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

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Corrosive Media - Speakeasy – Speakeasy is a maxi-CD single of three techno-house tracks from German duo Benedict Wyneken and Uwe Wienke. Tracks 1 and 3 clock in at just over fibe minutes each while the centerpiece, "Tommy Gun,"...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues