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Anderes Holz: Fermate

And now for something completely different.

The band Anderes Holz, I know, at first I thought it was the artist’s name also. They hail from Germany and are one of those bands very difficult to categorize. Folk, punk and progressive elements all come together in a mish mash of sounds and grooves which all work pretty well. Perhaps what is most noticeable is the use of forest zither, an acoustic instrument you don’t often hear in progressive rock. In fact, I think this is the first time for me. Here it replaces the guitar which does appear on a couple tracks.

The soundscapes vary from dense to sparse, often edgy and intense. That said, the zither provides many melodic more gentle moments to contemplate. Keyboards and synths are also used, even delving into spacey sounds occasionally. The one drawback is also a highlight. At times the vocals don’t appeal to me, perhaps a bit too raw and scratchy. However, they also display much variety and creativity. This goes with the band’s unusual approach. By the way, all lyrics are in German.

The opening track “Mosaik” is quite dense and grooving with slightly distorted vocals and cleanly picked zither. The ending trombone motif is pretty cool. The music flows nicely, is pretty catchy and highly adventurous. Proggy rhythmic structures, spacey synths and rumbling background drones make “Ein Geheimnis” another solid tune. Its longer length allows for some interesting course changes. My only problem is that some of the vocals are a little rough for me. This will definitely be an acquired taste. A punk like urgency informs the rapidly paced “Dysfunktion”. Imagine a German version of The B52’s only more ‘out there’. With “Judo” the band venture into the avant-garde, especially the completely whacked out violin led instrumental break that will have some running for the exits. The briefly used robotic effects on the vocals were actually pretty cool. I only wish they were used more.

The album artwork is something out of a nightmare, somehow not surprising given the unusual makeup this band possesses.

Say what you will about the vocals, Fermate is certainly an adventurous and creative piece blending tuneful rhythms and beats with more obscure and obtuse instrumentation.

Track Listing:
1. Mosaik
2. Ein Geheimnis
3. Dysfunktion
4. Die Flamme
5. Lippen Aus Schnee
6. Plankton
7. Die Stadt
8. Judo
9. Die Bange Nacht
10. Der Groβe Zampano

Added: December 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1229
Language: english

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