Sunday, January 10, 2016

Anabis - 1980 - Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

01. Heaven On Earth (13:00)
02. Water - Problem (3:55)
03. Faded Dreams (3:40)
04. Malleus Malificarum (13:15)
05. Assassination (6:00)

- Bert Beck / bass, percussion, kazoo, vocals
- Roland Dörr / keyboards
- Mike Morkel / drums, percusion, vocals
- Peter Müller / guitars
- Holger Sann / lead vocals, flute, acoustic guitar, percussion
- Erhard Waschke / guitars

A German band formed in 1978 largely of musicians from the Giessen region, Anabis produced three studio albums before disbanding in 1988. The band's music has proven somewhat difficult to classify, with a psychedelic element that has been compared to fellow countrymen Eloy, and a singer (Holger Sann) who has engendered comparisons to the theatrics of Gabriel-era Genesis.

Like many other largely forgotten progressive bands of their era, the band's discography is somewhat confusing with the album Wer Will listed as their debut and alternately as their second studio release. The album has also been issued under two separate covers, which may explain the confusion about its origin. The band's final release included only drummer Mike Morkel from the original lineup augmented by a variety of studio musicians, and has been issued with the title Theatre as well as Success. All the band's albums have been reissued at one point of another under a variety of labels.

The band distinguished themselves on early albums with the use of flute, as well as heavy and psychedelic keyboards, German vocals, and cynical lyrics. Each of the first two albums is structured with a long, epic work anchoring a number of other, largely thematic tracks. Their final release is a more contemporary rock album with English vocals, as well as an infusion of horns and a heavier guitar sound.

Anabis can be found referred to in almost mythical terms on a variety of progressive, krautrock, neo-progressive, and psychedelic web sites and newsgroups, although they have also shown up on numerous 'all-time worst' band listings, usually in reference to their Theatre release.

This is a rather obscure band with a sound that seems to inspire strong opinions, both positive and negative, from those who have heard them. They deserve consideration for inclusion in the Archives largely because of their appreciable and almost legendary reputation among the progressive rock community.

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