Exposé Online banner

Neuschwanstein — Fine Art
(Longbow Records LC 52092, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-10-03

Fine Art Cover art

38 years is a long time between albums, and from their 1978 album Battlement, only one member remains, co-founder Thomas Neuroth, with seven more members joining the lineup in the interim. Those who remember it (Musea did a remixed-reissue of it in 1992, Exposé reviewed it in our premiere issue) might recall a sound reminiscent of Planets period Eloy meeting Moonmadness era Camel, with a vocalist who sounded a bit like Peter Gabriel in his Genesis days. Much has changed in the interim: The band has evolved their sound into a more complex symphonic style, ditching the vocals completely (save a short bit of German narration on one cut), rife with arrangements for strings and orchestral instruments (though credits don’t say explicitly who plays what) and plenty of bombastic moments, typified by the ten-minute opener “Fêtes.” If anything, one might now be reminded of the first few albums by The Enid (Aerie Faerie Nonsense / Six Pieces period) though the compositions tend to draw more on classical influences from the fatherland. There are ten pieces presented here, and while most take the heavy symphonic approach, there are others that present simpler offerings, like “God’s Little Plan” based on a piano duo, or the melancholy strings of “Der Mond Ist Aufgegangen,” or even the avant approach in the opening of “The Distributor,” followed by a more folky themes, which burst into a multi-part guitar driven rock piece with heavy keyboard orcestrations. The only cut which takes a song approach is the closer “Wehmut, Stark Wie Banyuls” with moving melodic themes that build from the strength of progressive rock. It’s been a long time, and there are a lot of new faces in the band, but I think most would agree that Neuschwanstein has evolved well, with Fine Art representing a forward-looking and ambitious new approach that makes no attempts to recreate the past.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Neuschwanstein

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...

Stickman - Fretless – On Neil Haverstick's ninth CD, he offers a compilation of all the fretless pieces from his previous CDs. Four of seven tracks exceed the ten-minute mark and feel improvised, sometimes enhanced with...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues