Dies Irae ‎– First

Dies Irae ‎– First
Release date:1971
Genre: Krautrock

Very little is known about 'Dies Irae', except that it is rumoured that Manfred von Bohr (of 'Message' and 'Birth Control') started his career with them. They are shrouded in mystery, and were hardly at all typical of bands on the Pilz label.
'Dies Irae', despite the Gothic religious imagery of their name, played a heavy brand of Krautrock, blending in jazz, blues and psychedelic touches. Really, every track was in a different style. Mostly they used straight rock structures, with good songs (mild German accents in English), and much psychedelic spice. All creatively and imaginatively played, and inter-cut with all sorts of surprising twists and turns. They could be really heavy or trip-out on the esoteric ether.
Maybe less distinctive than most Krautrock of the era, 'Dies Irae' were nonetheless excellent! The album title seemed to imply their intent for a second album, but it never happened!
  1. Lucifer
  2. Salve Oimel
  3. Another Room
  4. Trip
  5. Harmagedon Dragonlove
  6. Tired
  7. Witches' Meeting
  8. Red Lebanese
  9. Run Off
  • Rainer Wahlmann - Lead Vocals, Harmonica
  • Harald H. G. Thoma - Guitar, Vocals
  • Robert J. Schiff - Bass
  • Andreas Cornelius - Drums

Eden ‎– Erwartung

Eden ‎– Erwartung
Release date:1978
Genre: Krautrock

A huge band with a confused history, 'Eden' drew on a wide range of musics in their complex progressive style, lots of folk references, adapted classical melodies, etc.
Aptly, in tune with their name, 'Eden' were also very much a religious group, as virtually all of their songs use texts taken from the Bible, and amount to Teutonic rock-opera's in a sense.
At their best (as on 'Erwartung') 'Eden' come across as a blend of early 'Renaissance', 'Novalis' and 'Hoelderlin', together with some neo-progressive touches and all sorts of other prog, folk and symphonic touches!
The multi-instrumental nature of their music made for a rich palette of sound, and a wide variety of instrumental elements contrasting with the esoteric German vocal elements.
'Eden' are interconnected with various other bands on the Lord and Pila labels.
  1. Spätregen
  2. Erwartung
  3. Eden, 1. Teil
  4. Eden, 2. Teil
  5. Ein Anderes Land
  • Marcus Egger - Vocals
  • Anne Dierks - Vocals
  • Annette Schmalenbach - Vocals
  • Mario Schaub - Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Vocals
  • Dirk Schmalenbach - Violin, Piano, Synthesizers, Sitar, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
  • Hans Fritzsch - Guitars
  • Michael Dierks - Organ, Piano, Clavinet, String Ensemble, Vocals
  • Michael Claren - Bass, Vocals
  • Hans Müller - Drums, Percussion
  • Emil Wirth - Congas


El Shalom ‎– Frost

El Shalom ‎– Frost
Release date:1976
Genre: Krautrock

Originating in late-1970 from Rheinhausen (Duisburg), 'El Shalom' were one of the many obscure German bands that only ever managed to release things through a small local independent, and that was 6 years on from their inception.
The album 'Frost' was of that typically German mellow prog vein as best documented by the likes of 'Epitaph' or 'Jane', however 'El Shalom' never had such deft compositional qualities, and although competent instrumentally, the English lyrics are rather dodgy and arrangements a little amateurish.
Those that appreciate similar bands, like 'Minotaurus' or 'Troya', may however find them of interest.
  1. Der Werbegnom
  2. Princess June
  3. Kreislaufkollaps
  4. Alvin Zweistein
  5. Frost
  6. H., A., Und Zwirn
  7. Birthday-Song
  8. Leipzig
  • Joachim Brands - Keyboards, Vocals
  • Gunter Christ - Guitar, Vocals
  • Helmut Meier - Bass, Flute, Vocals
  • Wolfgang Merkens - Drums, Vocals
  • Karlheinz Schmitz - Guitar, Flute, Vocals

Friedhof ‎– Friedhof

Friedhof ‎– Friedhof
Release date:1971
Genre: Krautrock

'Friedhof' were an early-1970's underground band who produced just the one obscure album, and then disappeared into obscurity.
The self-titled record, which sounds like it's recorded in a sewer, is largely a collection of totally freaked-out guitar, bass and drums instrumentals, charged to the power of brain-numbing intensity.
So, whilst a touch grungy and raw in the production department, the sheer quality of the music overrides the technical defects.
This is one for those who not only like their rock music with guitars afire, but - white hot!
  1. Orgasmus
  2. Nothing At All
  3. Undertaker's Joy
  4. Setting Sun
  5. Clear Blue Sky (Part 1)
  6. Clear Blue Sky (Part 2)
  • Ernst-Ulrich Freitag - Guitars
  • Norbert Schulz - Bass, Percussion
  • Rainer Bartl - Drums


Gravestone ‎– Doomsday

Gravestone ‎– Doomsday
Release date:1979
Genre: Krautrock

Formed as a group of 15 year old school friends in 1975, and first existing under the names 'Heizkörper' and then 'Oregon'. 'Gravestone' were formed proper in late-1976. They came from the town of Illertissen (a good few miles south of Ulm) and tried to create a mixture of hard-rock and spacey styles.
For many years we'd known of 'Gravestone' as a heavy metal band of the mid-1980's, so it was a surprise to learn of their more progressive roots.
Their debut album 'Doomsday' was a largely instrumental collection, with only two songs "Doomsday" opening the album in a Harlis/Jane/Epitaph type vein, and "Stone Age" a much more typical Teutonic heavy prog ballad. The instrumentals, which are of varying recording quality, all seem to be extracts or condensed reworks of longer jams.
    1. Doomsday
    2. Life In The Coffin
    3. Hope
    4. On The Run
    5. Stone Age
    6. Corinne
    7. Summer '78
    • Wolfgang Ritter - Lead Guitar
    • Rudi Dorner - Rhythm Guitar
    • Berti Majdan - Bass, Lead Vocals
    • Andy Müller - Organ, Background Vocals
    • Mike Schmidt - Drums, Percussion


    Harmonia ‎– Musik Von Harmonia

    Harmonia ‎– Musik Von Harmonia
    Release date:1974
    Genre: Krautrock

    Established as a project in parallel to 'Neu!' and 'Cluster', the super-group trio of Michael Rother, Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius explored a wide range of synth and electronic rock styles. Initially they were formed as a live band, but also recorded two very fine albums of music that combined varying degrees of 'Cluster' and 'Neu!' styles.
    'Musik Von Harmonia' is most notable for the deep-space trek "Sehr Kosmische" and strange ambient textures, helping define a whole new genre of music.
    1. Watussi
    2. Sehr Kosmisch
    3. Sonnenschein
    4. Dino
    5. Ohrwurm
    6. Ahoi!
    7. Veterano
    8. Hausmusik
    • Joachim Roedelius - Organ, Piano, Guitar, Electric Percussion
    • Michael Rother - Guitar, Piano, Organ, Electric Percussion
    • Dieter Moebius - Synthesizer, Guitar, Electric Percussion


    Häx Cel ‎– Zwai

    Häx Cel ‎– Zwai
    Release date:1972
    Genre: Progressive Rock

    In Krautrock history there were only a handful of classical-rock bands of note, and of those 'Häx Cel' were one of the most obscure. They originated from Hanover circa late-1971, and played their first gig in January 1972, developing themes of Albinoni, Bach, Beethoven, Händel and such-like (mostly Händel on the album), all in a light but complex rock setting, with the focus on flute and (harpsichord sounding) keyboards.
    Their debut single recalled the classical style of early 'Jethro Tull', and a little 'Colosseum'. Their only album release 'Zwai' captured them live in concert on 29 October 1972,  at Beethovensaal, Hannover, and showed a band with potential, if a little shaky in some of the complex passages. Fans of the more arty subtle lighter end of classical rock (i.e. The Enid, Paul Brett, etc.) will no doubt love this one.
    The band, however, split up shortly after its release.
    1. Albinoni
    2. A Second Time
    3. Music
    4. Julius Caesar
    5. Bourrée
    6. Marsch
    7. Land Of Dreams
    8. To Barbara
    9. Andante
    • Michael Moebus - Bass, Vocals
    • Rainer Greffrath - Drums
    • Achim Neubauer - Electric Piano
    • Dieter Neumann - Flute, Vocals

    Ikarus ‎– Ikarus

    Ikarus ‎– Ikarus
    Release date:1971
    Genre: Krautrock

    It was in the mid-sixties, in the musical hotbed that was Hamburg, that 'Ikarus' were formed. Ikarus were just the latest beat group that had been formed in Hamburg.
    By 1966, 'Ikarus' made tentative steps onto Hamburg’s live scene. 'Ikarus’' earliest concerts took place in youth clubs, where they played cover versions of popular song. At first,'Ikarus' were called 'Beautique In Corporation'. Soon, this was soon shortened to 'BIC'. This found favour among the band’s audience.
    Although a relatively new group, 'BIC' quickly won over audiences. Soon, they had large and enthusiastic audience. 'BIC' played what they wanted to hear. They weren’t above playing covers of hits by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones. This was easy on the ear of the audience. However, before long, 'BIC’s' setlist changed.
    The band members began to write their own songs. Audiences expected to hear original material. They didn’t just want to hear cover versions. This suited the members of 'BIC', who were classically trained musicians. Composition came easy to them.
    These new songs were added to 'BIC’s' sets. Some of these songs had a psychedelic sound. 'BIC’s' music was evolving, as music evolved. This proved popular when 'BIC' played live.
    By then, 'BIC' had graduated from the youth club circuit, and were by now familiar faces on the Hamburg and North German music scene. Their music was a mixture of psychedelia and rock. However, there was an element of comedy in 'BIC’s' sets.
    Soon, 'BIC' were one of the most successful Hamburg bands. They were well on their way to becoming one of the leading lights of the Hamburg scene. So when they saw an advert for the 1969 Hamburg student beat band competition, 'BIC' decided to enter.
    Having won the 1969 Hamburg student beat band competition, 'BIC' were invited to in the 1970 Hamburg 'Pop and Blues festival'. It took place between the 1st and 3rd of April 1970. 'BIC' were going to rub shoulders with some of the biggest band on that early seventies. Among them, were 'Chicken Shack', 'Steampacket', 'Alexis Corner' and 'Hardin and York'. Despite such an illustrious lineup, it was the hometown band that won the hearts and minds of the audience. 'BIC' had stolen the show.
    After their performance at the 1970 Hamburg 'Pop and Blues festival', things happened quickly for 'BIC'. A live album of 'BIC’s' performance at the Hamburg Pop and Blues festival was released as their debut album. It was augmented by performances from 'Frumpy' and 'Tomorrow’s Gift'. The album sold fairly well, and it looked like 'BIC’s' star was in the ascendancy.
    Just a few months later, 'BIC’s' lineup changed, when two new names joined the band. Now 'BIC' was a five piece band. The new lineup of 'BIC' was then asked to open for British band 'Uriah Heep' on their forthcoming tour. This was the start of the rise and rise of 'BIC'.
    Not long after this, 'BIC' acquired a manager, who was also a  concert promoter, Will Jahncke. One of his first suggestions was that 'BIC' changed their name to 'Ikarus'. While this seemed more in keeping with the psychedelic and progressive rock scene, 'BIC' were a popular and successful band. However, the five members decided to change the band’s name to 'Ikarus'.
    Following the name change, 'Ikarus’' music changed. They were inspired to do so, by 'King Crimson', 'Yes', 'Colosseum' and 'Frank Zappa'. Soon, 'Ikarus' were fusing fusion with progressive rock and experimental music. There was still a slight psychedelic sound to their music. However, the new sound didn’t please everyone.
    With the critics championing their music, it made sense for 'Ikarus' to record their debut album in the second half of 1971. So the five members of 'Ikarus' made their way to the Windrose Studio, Hamburg.
    By then, the members of 'Ikarus' had written four songs. Each of the songs were collaborations between members of the band. That was apart from The Raven Including “Theme For James Marshall.” It was an 'Edgar Allan Poe' poem set to music written by four members of 'Ikarus'. This became a near twelve minute epic that featured on side two of 'Ikarus'. With the album written, the band began recording their debut album.
    The album sold well, and soon, the band were playing sellout shows across Germany. In Hamburg, 'Ikarus’' home town, they were asked open for 'Deep Purple'. It looked like 'Ikarus' were were well on their way to becoming one of the stars of the German music scene. Those that heard Ikarus concurred.
    Sadly, 'Ikarus' was the only album that the band ever released. The 'Ikarus’' story is a case of unfilled potential.
    1. Eclipse Divided In Scyscrapers And Sooner Or Later
    2. Mesentery
    3. The Raven Including Theme For James Marshall
    4. Early Bell's Voice
    • Wolf Dieter Strunz - Organ, Piano
    • Jochen Petersen - Guitars, Alto/Tenor Saxophones, Flute, Clarinet, Vocals
    • Manfred Schulz - Guitar, Vocals
    • Wolfgang Kracht - Bass, Vocals
    • Lorenz Köhler - Lead Vocals
    • Bernd Schröder - Drums, Percussion


    Join In ‎– Kentalope Island

    Join In ‎– Kentalope Island
    Release date:1974
    Genre: Jazz Rock

    Formed by drummer Edward Friedrich, Jörg Radeck on guitar and Udo Dobrzanski on bass originating from Marl (north of Essen) in 1968, and going through numerous changes over the years, first influenced by British rock and blues acts, 'Join In' later moved ever more onto jazzy prog and fusion realms.
    Associates of 'Think', whose Ricky Ramor and Frank Voigt were amongst the many that passed through their ranks, Join In recorded their album at the same studio, with Eroc as engineer.
    'Kentalope Island' their sole album recorded in the spring of 1974, which was released in the same year on the small 'Menga' label.
    'Kentalope Island' is a pleasant record, with some slight 'Think' references, but much more fusion, mixing jazzy musics with soft rock and prog elements typical of the era, comparable to many others, 'Guru Guru' circa Globetrotter, 'Cry Freedom', or Dutch acts like Alquin or Solution.
      1. Illlusions
      2. Do It Yourself
      3. Dreams
      4. Kentalope Island
      5. Used To Play
      6. Fliwatüü
      • Jörg Radeck - Guitar
      • Werner Bleck - Bass
      • Udo Custodis - Saxophone
      • Eddie Friedrich - Drums
      • Wilfred Jens - Piano