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Traumhaus: Ausgeliefert

Traumhaus is a German band that has been round for a while now. I was first introduced to the band upon hearing the Das Geheimnis album which was quite impressive. Progressive Promotion Records has seen fit to give the band a proper overhaul and has rereleased their first self-titled album from 2001, now entitled Ausgeliefert. The English translation is Helpless and that would seem to be a good title considering this is a concept album tackling sexual abuse. The cover has also been changed, now depicting an institution of some sort, fitting right in with the concept.

The band plays neo/symphonic prog in the style of bands like Pendragon and IQ. Keyboards and guitar get equal billing with an abundance of solos and textural elements. The music is always very tasteful, never turning into a 'let's see how fast we can play' competition. The lead vocals are decent, not the best I've heard but not the worst either although listeners may find the German accent a little distracting. I do feel understanding German would have made for a more enlightening listening experience but that is no fault of the band.

The first track "Aufwärts" is up-tempo right from the start with catchy keyboard and guitar riffs. It is not a heavy song but the guitar does add a little crunch to offset the abundant use of keys. Next up is the title track and clocking in over seventeen minutes is the obligatory album epic. A lonely piano intro and sorrowful violin sounds create a moody beginning. The riffs gradually build creating a symphonic sound this band is so good at. A bit of progressive metal can be heard in places as the guitar becomes more intense leading to a quiet middle section of spacey effects that build up once again. The soaring guitar solo is one of the album's best. Maybe not a lot of twists and turns here but there is no denying this is an excellent track and my favourite of the bunch. "Zu Spät" should appeal to fans of classic prog as the Hammond and atmospheric acoustic guitar chords harken back to the '70s. "Peter & der Wolf" features heavier guitar riffs and blankets of keyboards used mainly for colouring the soundscape . The quieter middle section injected with heavier riffs serve to heighten the drama. The staccato type riffs also conjured images of '70s Rush.

Two instrumental bonus tracks are included at the end of the disc, both continuing the band's harder edged symphonic sound and strong use of atmospheric textures.

So what we have here is a very promising debut album carefully redone with the help of Progressive Promotion Records. If you don't have the original release, symphonic music fans should check this out.

Track Listing:
1. Aufwärts
2. Ausgeliefert
3. Zu Spät
4. Peter & der Wolf
5. Wandler
6. Das Neue
7. Navanita
8. Am Abgrund
Bonus Tracks:
9. Die Reise
10. Die andere Seite Teil 1

Added: September 14th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2001
Language: english

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