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Stern Meissen — Reise zum Mittelpunkt des Menschen
((Not on label) 4012831 80 133, 1981/1995, CD)

Stern-Combo Meissen — Weisses Gold
((Not on label) 4012831 80 123, 1978/1995, CD)

by Mike Ohman, Published 1997-02-01

Reise zum Mittelpunkt des Menschen Cover artWeisses Gold Cover art

Stern Meissen (originally Stern-Combo Meissen) are universally acclaimed as East Germany's greatest progressive rock band. Not wishing to wait for Amiga to reissue their albums, the band took the initiative themselves, pressing their first five albums on CD in a private issue. This unfortunately means they're damn hard to track down, but certainly worth the effort. The two discs listed here are generally regarded as their best, most of the rest of their output is keyboard-orchestrated versions of classical works epitomized by the three unlisted bonus tracks on the Weisses Gold CD: synthesizer etudes based on themes from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." The original music contained on these two albums is much more interesting: symphonic prog with a grand orchestral sweep, orchestrated via multiple keyboards (augmented by strings and brass on Weisses Gold). The rhythm section is delightfully animated, the vocals (by ex-Lift drummer Werther Lohse on Weisses Gold, by Reinhard Fissler elsewhere) are uncommonly ingratiating. If any fault could be found with either of these albums, it would certainly be the dry, stodgy narration on Weisses Gold, which means absolutely nothing unless you speak German. Otherwise, two undisputed classics, well worth tracking down if you can find them.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 11, 1995 releases, 1981 recordings, 1978 recordings

Related artist(s): Stern Combo Meissen

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