Rockpommel's Land

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Rockpommel's Land represents the height of Grobschnitt's career, combining all of the elements of the more palliated and subdued side of progressive rock onto one solid concept album. While comparisons to Yes appear in both the lyrics and the instrumentation, the band still manages to instill a genuine magic to the four tracks through heavy keyboard employment and by conjuring up some of the finest symphonic texturing that Grobschnitt has ever played. The fairy tale is about a fantastical giant bird that befriends a small boy, and the two travel to mystical places and far-off lands together, experiencing their share of adventure and misfortune along the way. Even though this imaginative story line is well-suited to the fantasy- like world of progressive rock, the instruments easily supersede any part of the album's magical anecdote. This is not to say that the music doesn't coincide appropriately with the tale -- in fact, the music clings quite well to the lyrics -- but the effectiveness of the synthesizer, the percussion work, and the other electronics paints a more descriptive picture than the words themselves. Both "Ernie's Reise" and "Severity Town" introduce Wildswein's soft vocals and the finesse of both the electric and acoustic guitar. The last track, a 20-minute musical excursion of vivid synth work, relaxed but moving string and drum collaborations, and ever-changing rhythms, is well-worth waiting for, wrapping up the album with each member exposing their individual talents. Past Grobschnitt albums have revealed the band's whimsical, sometimes humorous approach to making music, exhibited in both the lyrics and in the chimeric sound of the instruments, but Rockpommel's Land is a finely tuned, well-focused display of the band's poignancy and musical capacity.

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