Saturday, June 2, 2018

Wallenstein - 1973 - Cosmic Century

Cosmic Century

- The Symphonic Rock Orchestra :
01. Rory Blanchford (9:25)
02. Grand Piano (2:11)
03. Silver Arms (9:40)
04. The Marvellous Child (6:10)
05. Song Of Wire (7:46)
06. The Cosmic Couriers Meet South Philly Willy (7:24)

Bill Barone / guitar
Jürgen Dollase / grand piano, Mellotron, synth, vibes, lead vocals, co-producer
Joachim Reiser / violin
Dieter Meier / bass
Harald Großkopf / drums, percussion, phased hi-hat

- Rolf Dollase / flute
- Torpid Little Hamlet Choir / chorus vocals

While I prefer the guitar driven, Krautrock flavoured "Blitzkrieg" to this one, I must say that this symphonic album is very pleasing in a different way. Guitarist Bill Barone seems to share the spotlight with recently added violinist Joachim Reiser, but they both take a back seat to the piano play of band leader Jurgen Dollase. I've been listening to this one a lot recently not sure what rating to give it, but i've come around and can now appreciate it's beauty and charm. Even the vocals that some might think are weak, are to me fragile and suit the music perfectly.The title "Cosmic Century" might be a little misleading because this has nothing much to do with Psychedelic / Space or Krautrock music.
"Rory Blanchford" opens with slowly played piano as violin, drums and mellotron join in. This is probably the most mellotron laden tune on here.The guitar is raw 3 minutes in as the bass throbs. We get vocals for the first time 5 1/2 minutes in. A guitar outburst 8 minutes in before the song ends with vocals and a calm. "Grand Piano" is by far the shortest track at just over 2 minutes. As the title suggests this is all about the piano from beginning to end. "Silver Arms" has such a good intro of piano, violin, bass, guitar and drums. And check out the organ a minute in. Mellotron. Scorching guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. A calm with fragile vocals 4 minutes in while the guitar cries out a minute later. Some guest flute comes in. Piano, drums and violin lead the way 6 1/2 minutes in as the tempo picks up. Guitar is back before the song is over.

"The Marvelous Child" opens with what sounds like spacey or fuzzy organ melodies. A minute in the tempo picks up with drums and piano leading the way. Vocals 3 1/2 minutes in. Lots of piano in this one. Prominant guitar after 4 1/2 minutes and later 6 minutes in. "Song Of Wire" is my favourite song on here, it opens with piano as drums come in and vocals 1 minute in. Great bombastic sound 2 minutes in that reminds me of FLOYD. Vocals are excellent 2 1/2 minutes in. Fragile vocals again 6 minutes in as themes are repeated. "The Cosmic Couriers Meet South Philly Willy" is an instrumental that opens with piano and drums.The guitar before a minute is quite raw. More great sounding guitar 2 1/2 minutes in that goes on and on. Blistering guitar 5 minutes in.Lots of piano 6 minutes in. I just love listening to this tune.

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