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

2020-01-15
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

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Present - Barbaro (Ma Non Troppo) – Present has a history of making macabre movie-soundtrack music since their first album Triskaidekaphobie was released in 1980. Their ninth record is accompanied by an essential archive DVD featuring...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues