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Meisel, Hubi: Kailash

Over 2 years in the making, German vocalist Hubi Meisel follows up his highly acclaimed CD from 2003, EmOcean with another spectacular concept CD called Kailash. While EmOcean's story took place in the Sargasso Sea, the setting for Kailash moves further east to the Himalaya mountain range. The CD derives it's title from Mt. Kailash which according to Hindu and Buddhist religions has long been regarded as the holiest place in the world. To try to attempt to explain the whole story and concept of Kailash in great detail would probably exceed the scope of this review so I'll provide a brief overview just so you have a rough idea of what the story is about. The story basically deals with one man's journey across the Himalayas to Mt. Kailash where upon reaching the summit, an important secret is revealed to him. I won't give away the rest of the story line or what happens but I would strongly suggest that if you want more info, to go directly to Hubi's website where all the information behind the concept of Kailash has been greatly detailed by the man himself.

Once again Hubi has surrounded himself with a perennial all-star band to bring his latest musical vision to fruition. The concept and lyrics may be Meisel's but the contributions of his close friend and musical collaborator, keyboardist Vivien Lalu, who wrote all the music and co-arranged with Hubi, cannot be overlooked. Lalu's fantastic keyboard passages and arrangements are the perfect match for Meisel's vocals and lyrics, it's almost like they work on a purely intuitive level in their approach to the music and lyrics. The rest of this stellar lineup is rounded out by guitarist Marcel Coenen (Sun Caged), drummer Daniel Flores (Mind's Eye) along with new additions, the great Johan Niemann on bass (Therion) and additional guitarist Jorge Salan (Mango de Oz). The guitar duties are almost evenly split on the CD's 10 main tracks (Joop Wolters once again plays all guitars on the bonus tracks) between Coenen and Salan and they both do an excellent job throughout, in fact Salan's addition is a real coup for Meisel as his playing adds a whole other flavor to the songs on which he appears, not to mention this guy can shred with the best of them. What more can you say about the brilliant rhythm section of Niemann and Flores, if you've never heard some of the releases they've both played on together, you are missing out big time. In addition to backing Hubi, they continue to supply the bottom end for other projects such as Mind's Eye and Tears of Anger.

Kailash is truly epic in musical scope, but never feels bloated or pretentious due to the absolutely stellar ensemble playing and dynamic interplay throughout. On some tracks Lalu's keyboard lines are doubled in unison by Coenen and Salan's guitars to perfection that my jaw eventually got tired of draging on the floor in awe at the astonishing level of musicianship that these guys possess. A prime example of what Salan brings to the table with his playing can be heard on the magnificent 10 and half minute, and center piece of the CD, "Wheel of Life". It's only fitting then that I left the best for last and that would be the performance of Hubi himself. Meisel turns in the vocal performance of a lifetime, singing every note with the utmost of conviction, feeling and emotion as only he can and in his own unique style. There is not one ounce of fat or filler on Kailash and the production and sound is also top notch, something Hubi took care of entirely on his own once more as he mixed and produced the whole thing in his own studio. Kailash is truly worth the wait and Meisel has definitely taken his music to a whole new level and raised the bar dramatically for his next effort. However for now, get yourself a copy of this disc as soon as possible and immerse yourself headlong into the work of an extremely gifted and dedicated artist. I never imagined dishing out a 5 star rating, but trust me it's truly warranted.

Track Listing
1) Potala Palace
2) Red Oracle
3) Snow Lion
4) Himalayan Sunset
5) Shiva's Dance
6) Kailash Jewel of Ice
7) Wheel of Life
8 ) Milarepa's Cave of Miracles
9) Merdeka
10) The Great Prayer (Monlam Chenmo)
11) The Gentleman of Great Magic
12) Tigers of Everest

Added: February 1st 2006
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Official Website
Hits: 4014
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Meisel, Hubi: Kailash
Posted by Karl Jones on 2006-09-03 10:59:24
My Score:

This is a beautiful and emotional album that really needs to be listened to as an entire piece of work in order to fully appreciate everything that has gone in to creating the atmosphere within. The outstanding musicians and vocals, blend together to produce a wonderful concept to discover the " holy place" of the albums title. One of the best and unique albums Ive heard for a long time.

Meisel, Hubi: Kailash
Posted by Maria Zaldiba on 2006-02-03 20:17:01
My Score:

I also meant to say in my previous comment entry:

Thank you Ryan for this wonderful review of this great upcoming cd and thank you Hubi, for your beautiful contribution of unique and wonderful music....I'm sure that many
people will be touched by it. :O)

Take care,


Meisel, Hubi: Kailash
Posted by Maria on 2006-02-03 20:10:04
My Score:

WOW!!!! This is the Best review I have ever read! Ever! Congrats, Ryan, on a wonderfully written, positive review of Hubi Meisel's latest work.

I know that Hubi Meisel's "Kailash" will not only stand on its own but it will also truly surpass any production that has gone before. He has worked very hard on this and soon, listeners will have a chance to see this for themselves.

I can hardly wait until the day when I can listen to it for myself. :O)

One thing is for sure: This cd will place Progressive music on a higher level than it is now.

Meisel, Hubi: Kailash
Posted by Vikie Martel (Canada) on 2006-02-01 20:42:56
My Score:

Wow, Ryan...I simply and purely love your review of the album and all I want to do is to get the album in my hands RIGHT NOW !!!! Your words are very positive and knowing Hubi's work on "EmOcean", I'm already assured that this product is worth a big 10/10 too ^ !!!!!!! many mysteries, passion and emotions...I want to know more !

Your comments are so beautifully describe the most important things musically and well, again, I want it NOW lol !! Can't wait ANYMORE !!!!!
27 days...that's long...and you, lucky guy, you've already heard it !! ;-)

I especially like the part where you say: "[...] my jaw eventually got tired of draging on the floor in awe at the astonishing level of musicianship that these guys possess."

Hummmm...I don't have any difficulty to imagine what you mean by that since it happened to me all the time (and still does) with "EmOcean", hehe... ;-)

Well, dear Ryan...supposing that I would have never heard of this singer and musicians before, reading your excellent review would get me very curious and interested in knowing more...and I would go and check about that CD for sure.
Thumbs up !!!

And even though the album is not out yet, I already can say a big congratulations to Hubi, Vivien, Marcel and all the boys ! I'm 100% trusty that it will be the next best album in my CD collection so far... thank you for your meticulous and wonderful music !!!!! :-)

Quebec, Canada

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