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(73:31, STF Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Mosaik 5:36 2. Ein Geheimnis 12:52 3. Dysfunktion 4:08 4. Die Flamme 5:45 5. Lippen aus Schnee 3:08 6. Plankton 3:34 7. Die Stadt 5:23 8. Judo 12:36 9. Die Bange Nacht 3:36 10. Der Grose Zampano 16:53 LINEUP: Tine - bass Flusi - drums Kunde Waldzither - forst zither with: DJ Tomate - piano Christine Walterscheid - saw, vocals Matt Korr - guitars, piano, voice Michael Meyer - trombone
Prolusion. German band ANDERES HOLZ (other wood) was formed back in 2016, and in the time since the official formation they have explored their brand of music on stage and developed material for an album release. "Fermate" is their debut album, and was released through STF Records in the early fall of 2018.
Analysis. As a reviewer, it is always interesting to be exposed to artists that venture forth into landscapes not too many others have explored before them. Anderes Holz is very much a band of this kind, and I'll hazard a guess that they are fairly alone in opting for their specific and striking sound. As far as progressive rock goes, this is one that probably hovers around the edges of the progressive folk universe somewhere. The use of the forest zither is the one element that makes this a band to be reckoned as being folk though, especially as it is such a dominant aspect of this band's overall sound and identity. The lead vocals may also pull in some tendencies from that department, at least in places, although that aspect of this one may well be a bit more accidental. As for the rest and the greater totality, well, that is a different kettle of fish altogether. A description that begs for a lutefish joke, considering the context. But there aren't any aspects of lute here to play upon, as the material as such tends to shy away from the folkier tendencies other than the specific ones detailed. The shorter songs actually have more of a post-punk and perhaps even new wave feel to them, albeit with a zither replacing the guitars and keyboards thus creating a rather different sonic palette. At times with a wee bit of a funky tinge to the instrument details, and with a subtle inclusion of elements that have more of an avant touch to them. On the longer compositions progressive rock fans will get their fill of structural changes as well, alongside alterations in pace, intensity and general sound and style. The post-punk and arguably even punk-tinged sections appears here too, alongside more cinematic interludes, dramatic inserts and quirky movements and details. More progressive if you like, up to and complete with a few more avant touches, and a wee bit more expressive in certain sections as well, be it as a whole or with individual, specific details. Some possibly jazzier details appears here and there too, adding a slight eclectic touch to this production. As far as progressive rock goes, this is a band and an album that moves back and forth across the borders. Not all that often clear cut progressive rock oriented, but rather frequently stepping away from the conventional as such too. The music is rather easy to like, often rather accessible, but with a tendency to toss in some off-kilter elements here that safely transports this album to somewhere outside of the mainstream. This in addition to the use of the zither as a lead instrument of course. It is a well made and compelling album however, and a strong one at that considering that this is also a debut album.
Conclusion. Anderes Holz have carved out their very own niche of music with the music on their debut album "Fermate". A blend of progressive rock, folk and post-punk, with a highly distinct sound and expression and flavored with avant details to boot, this isn't an album that will ever hit anything like a Billboard chart. But those who find the notion of a zither-dominated band taking on folk and progressive rock with both avant and post-punk flavoring to come across as interesting should take note of this CD. A fairly unique album in my book, and worth checking out for those with an adventurous mind.
Progmessor: September 30th, 2018
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