Exposé Online banner

Amon Ra — We Never Said Good-bye
(Nature Studios LC 05699, 2015, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2017-04-30

We Never Said Good-bye Cover art

This Munich-based group first burst on the scene around 2000, garnering praise for their debut Precarious Balance and securing opening slots for Saga and Jethro Tull. Then while working on the follow-up their label went under and the band imploded. Fast forward to today and core musicians Scott Balaban (vocals), Thomas Wenzel (guitars), and Lothar Hermann (drums) have returned and the results are worth the wait. Previous band members Dierk Neldner (keyboards) and Gerry Boiciuc (bass) also make appearances, so it’s not like the original band isn’t represented. But the long interval has been put to good use, refining and polishing the arrangements and working up new material to round out the album. Stylistically, Amon Ra ply a style of melodic neo-prog similar to Arena. Balaban and Wenzel are both fans of musical theater so expect lots of dramatic flourishes, bombast and romance. Not everything succeeds, but to their credit the group has the sense to know the line between art and excess. Clive Nolan-type West End indulgences are mostly avoided, leaving a nice mix of guitar and synth assaults (“Karma Machine”), acoustic 12-string toe-tappers (“The Long Dark Road”), piano and voice ballads (“Rocket Man”), and even a bit of musical comedy (“Tango Mortale”). Songs like “Where When and Why” tie it all together into mini operettas that evoke everything from Queen to Queensrÿche. This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who don’t mind the more theatrical end of the prog spectrum there’s plenty to enjoy.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Amon Ra

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Germinale - Germinale – One of the better of the new Italian progressive bands, their eponymous debut just escaped the second part of our "New Italian Progressive Rock Scene" overview back in issue #4. So with the...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues