Neuschwanstein – Battlement. 1979 Germany

Neuschwanstein – Battlement. 1979 Racket

CD reissues: 1992 Musea (France); 2006 MALS (Russia)

Packaging details: This is one of those albums I first learned about via the Eurock catalogs of the late 1980s. Eurock was a goldmine of information back then as well as the only place you could buy something like this. I bought quite a few LPs from Archie in the 1980s, with the limited funds I possessed. I sold off the LP not long after picking up the CD, which I bought as soon as it was released (and have gone back and picked up a mint original LP recently as well). In fact, prior to that, Musea sent me the liner notes script and asked that I proofread it, asking that I not be "too American" in my delivery. They didn't ask me again, so I think I failed at being English. lol. They were nice enough to give me credit in the liner notes anyway. No hard feelings at all, I'm still friends with Bernard to this day. As far as I'm concerned, Musea remains the greatest CD reissue label ever, even though they pretty much stopped doing reissues about 6 years ago.

Review: The below is a review that I originally wrote for I/E magazine in 1993. Remember them? I've altered it somewhat to reflect new information, and perhaps clean it up a bit. I can't remember if this one got published or not - but the magazine was always very kind to me.

There seems to be some debate as to whether or not Neuschwanstein is similar to Genesis. I think they are, and it's not entirely a coincidence, given the many other bands in late 70s/early 80s Germany who attempted a Genesis-like sound (Ivory, Sirius, ML Bongers, Zarathustra (1982)). But by no means are they plagiarist. In fact, "Battlement" actually expands on the classic sound, though there's still no mistaking who provided the influence. The opening two tracks 'Loafer Jack' and 'Ice with Dwale' are straight-on "Selling England by the Pound" style and reminds me quite a bit of another excellent Genesis styled band: The Austrian group Kyrie Eleison. 'Intruders and the Punishment', 'Beyond the Bugle', and 'Battlement' follow and its here where we separate the men from the boys. An overabundance of time changes, guitar and synthesizer soloing, phased voices, and all sorts of unexpected twists and turns distances this release from the wannabees. The CD reissue comes with the ubiquitous bonus track. According to the bio, 'Midsummer Day' was omitted from the original LP due to its commercial nature. A strange statement considering how progressive it really is. So in conclusion, if classic Genesis is to your liking then you will love this. If not, then you may still like it. This one comes highly recommended.

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