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Druckfarben: Artifact (DVD)
Druckfarben's story began in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough in the mid 1980s. Phil Naro, lead vocals and acoustic guitar; Ed Bernard, lead guitars, violin, mandolin, and backing vocals; Will Hare, on keyboards and backing vocals; Peter Murray, on bass, octave mandolin and backing vocals; and Troy Feener on drums and percussion have been creating their unique blend of progressive music for that long.
Artifact is a time capsule of a live performance recorded by the Virgin Mobile Mod Club, at the Masterpiece Theater in Toronto, back on March 8, 2012. The DVD captures some of their fan favorites and best tracks.
Druckfarben is a great mix of fellow Toronto bands Rush and Saga. They possess both the hard driving guitars and thick bass of Rush while at the same time deliver the prog chops of Saga. Phil Naro even resembles Rush's Geddy Lee in appearance and possess those higher pitched vocals which made Lee famous.
Lush keyboards and melotronic sounds will fill the air and your TV as this band weaves its magic before your eyes. The songs are long and deep and will take you on a journey of discovery that will leave you wanting more. You will ask yourself many times, "How could you have missed this band?" Well, with two major arena bands playing in your same time and town, it is no wonder they were overshadowed. But with this disc you can catch up and appreciate a sound which will sound familiar, but also unique.
My favorite tracks were the "Intro: Pennyfarthing", "Sons of Anakim", "Influenza", and "Nonchalant". But how could any progger not enjoy a song titled, "Smaller Wooden Frog"? The instrumental extravaganza "ELPO" is a stunning display of musicianship. However, there are no throw away songs on this DVD. Every track is full of dynamic power and most an interesting story line. One of the premier moments was their cover of the Yes classic, "Siberian Khatru". You will swear Chris Squire is up on stage with all that chunky bass. Naro does a good job of reaching the highs travelled by Jon Andserson. Ed Bernard does a great job of bringing Steve Howe to the stage as well. A great way to close this set of wonderful music.
The DVD also includes "Depart: A Druckumentory, a film by Neil Folkard, about the evolution of the band. The documentary will tell the story behind the band name Druckfarben, which is interesting enough in itself.
So, if you are like me, new to Druckfarben, get this DVD and see what you have missed. If you are a fan this is a must buy. Toronto has created some of the best bands in prog history. Unfortunately Druckfarben has not achieved the notoriety of their fellow contemporaries. Maybe this DVD will help remedy that discrepancy.
You've heard Rush and Saga, now check out the other amazing talent that eminates from Toronto. Get Artifact and learn about and enjoy Druckfarben.
Sons of Anakim
Seems So Real
Smaller Wooden Frog
Dead Play Awake
Walk Away (alternate version demo)
Nonchalant (demo from actual writing session
Added: September 21st 2013
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: druckfarben.bandcamp.com/
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