Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Polis: Weltklang

Six years on from their Sein release East German prog traditionalists Polis return with Weltklang, an album where the band’s desire to sound like a vintage 70s prog rock behemoth knows few bounds. Having spent those intervening years not just writing and recording the eight tracks presented here, Polis have dedicated themselves to building a retro studio crammed with analogue equipment and old recording desks. And all this in order to fulfil the dream of not just sounding like a band from their favoured era, but actually feeling as though they have somehow just arrived from that time. Cleverly, however, Peter Gabriel’s Real World studio was utilised to mix and master the results, leaving a pleasing feel that Weltklang is a 70s album that’s just had the most sumptuous of remasters!

Admittedly these intentions come across as being a little ‘grand’ in the CD booklet, with talk of attempts ‘to get rid of the garments of this all too fashionable little era and drop the seeds of a bigger one into the hearts of its listeners’, coming across as being slightly little pompous. However, when you contextualise that against a long history fighting against the constraints that being a band from eastern Germany still place on acts like Polis, then maybe it’s a little easier to understand the objectives they are working towards.

Cornering this act into a prog situation is both right and wrong, for while some of the more readily welcoming sections in the opening trio of “Tropfen”, “Gedanken” and “Leben” delve deep into a vintage prog sound that skirts around the big boys of that era, everything this lot do is also informed by a more psychedelic bent and maybe even the merest hint of Krautrock. However the chiming guitars of “Gebet”, while nodding to a certain Mr Rothery, do also add a deeper intent, whereas the ever growing atmospheres of the tribal drum inspired “Mantra” closes the album out in quite heady style. With the vocals from Christian Roscher both engaging and enigmatic, he does an excellent job of drawing you ever further into the world being created here and while you couldn’t imagine this German language album spawning any hits, there is a certain stick in the mind quality that his singing provides.

Weltklang is a bit of a slow grower, with little twists and turns within the likes of “Abendlied” providing new aspects with every listen. That high dividend illustrates that the unwillingness of Polis to compromise not only rewards the band themselves, but it also makes for an engaging and at times exhilarating experience for the listener. They maybe aren’t quite reinventing prog in the way they think they are, but the individual take on the wider aspects of that genre displayed here are impressive nonetheless.

Track Listing
1. Tropfen
2. Gedanken
3. Leben
4. Abendlied
5. Sehnsucht
6. Gebet
7. Steig Herab
8. Mantra

Added: May 19th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Progressive Promotions online
Hits: 1407
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index ]

» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Polis: Weltklang
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2020-05-19 16:46:03
My Score:

If that nod to Pink Floyd's Live at Pompeii on the cover of Weltklang doesn't grab you, the retro sounds contained within this new Progressive Promotion Records release from German act Polis certainly will. Using all vintage, analog equipment and drawing on their influences from Floyd, Krautrock, and many of the famous Hammond B3 acts such as Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, and Atomic Rooster, Polis have crafted eight new songs on this one that will take you back to 1971, and though the vocals are in German, they are quite melodic and perfectly matching the blissful music here that shouldn't provide any amount of distraction to English listeners. The opening salvo of "Tropfen", "Gedanken", and "Leben" scratch that itch for classic '70s prog, complete with simmering Hammond organ, biting guitar leads, floating vocals, and plenty of atmosphere, while the bubbling bass, Black Sabbath styled heavy riffs, and Jon Lord inspired organ tones of "Sehnsucht" brings to mind more recent Opeth output. Piano is featured on the lush "Steig herab", a melancholy track that builds to a symphonic climax, and "Mantra" is a vocal dominated piece featuring ominous chants and tribal rhythms.

Easily one of the more unique prog-rock albums I've heard here in 2020, Weltklang definitely ticks off the 'vintage' quality box as well as offering some truly different flavors which all adds up to a very enjoyable band that is new to me but one I'll be watching closely going forward.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by