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2 May 2009

Amon Düül II - 'Phallus Dei' (Sunset)

The more technically skilled side of the Amon Düül collective made this first album in 1969 and started a whole new strain of German rock music that is still influencing kids today. The first side is surprisingly conventional rock, though of the very progressive variety, if progressive means lots of chord changes, modal riffs, and polyrhythms. Side two is the 20 minute title track - which is a pretty great title, if you sprechen sie bit of Deutsch - and it starts off in a very progressive way, if progressive means dark synthetic hellbeast screaming drone vortex. It falls into place though with the ragin' riffs and rhythm shifts, before taking on a weird neo-classical/folk content. Maybe I just get all tingly whenever I hear a violin being played like that but I think they were really looking at Grosse Bretagne. When you can feel the fire ticking it's most effective, but I keep thinking ahead to Yeti (which sadly won't be reviewed here, as we don't have a copy) and the gnarly wizard cookout that was to follow. I'm pretty sure I saw a Kurt Kren film one that had this album as the soundtrack, though it looked more like the proper German cover than this disappointing British value series cover. Interesting though: the back cover touts some of the other records in the series that may be of interest to Amon Düül fans, such as Shirley Bassey and Del Shannon.

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