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Krampl, Gerald: Lighthouse

The follow-up to last year's Innocent Wasteland, Lighthouse finds Viennese pianist and composer Gerald Krampl continuing to explore vivid emotions with a minimalist, chamber style. Although using only a few instruments (in similar ways) makes it a bit repetitive, it's a great effort overall, and its duration is perfect for making its statement without hyperbolizing.

Krampl's career began in the 70s and 80s with the prog-rock bands Kyrie Eleison and Indigo. In the late 90s, he and his late wife, Hilde, started Agnus Deióa spiritual fantasy poetry and instrumentals. Recently, Krampl has leaned toward a classically simple ambience, which allows for a lot of affectivity and delicacy without much complexity.

The title track opens Lighthouse in a sorrowful spirit. Sad piano chords are met with ominous and transcendent strings that float around like ghosts. While these sounds are certainly captivating and crushing, this template is used for several tracks of the albumó"Timeless Heart," "Dance Of The Innocent," and "Thoughts of Before" are just a fewó so a lack of diversity is felt.

Elsewhere, Krampl adds a bit more color to Lighthouse. "Tomorrow Come What May" truly feels like an expertly crafted classical piece, "In Better Days" has a Vaudeville essence, and "Voices Unheard" implements haunting choirs. And of course the whole album, with its home made, multitracked instrumental grounding, carries the influence of Mike Oldfield (which is never a bad thing).

Lighthouse is most commendable for how well Krampl expresses feelings with simplicity, and the one-man band aspect definitely adds charm. While it tends to get tiresome after a certain point, there is an undeniable poignancy throughout. You may become frozen in awe several times during Lighthouse, which proves that Krampl succeeded at his goal.

Track Listing
1. Lighthouse
2. Tomorrow, Come What May
3. Distant Shorelines
4. In Better Days
5. Timeless Heart
6. Walking The Last Mile
7. Voices Unheard
8. Dance Of The Innocent
9. Cloudburst
10. Thoughts Of Before
11. Nightpearls
12. The Guiding Light

Added: February 17th 2011
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 2131
Language: english

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