Saturday, July 25, 2009

Amon Duul II "Phallus Dei" 1969

Phallus Dei (Liberty 1969)
Genre: Krautrock
Album Legnth: 41.41
Best Song: Kannan

1. Kannan 4.03
2. Dem Guten, Schonen, Wahren 6.13
3. Luzifers Ghilom 8.34
4. Henriette Krotenschwanz 2.04
5. Phallus Dei 20.48

Literally translated as 'God's Penis', 'Phallus Dei' is an important album which helped to define the genre. The groups unique blend of rock, Eastern influence, and improvisation led to a powerfully energetic sound that is distinctly German in every way. The band, eight members in total, consisted of two drummers, Dieter Serfas and Peter Leopold, who together, provide one of the most prominent percussion sections in rock history. The vocals are dark and full of angst; especially those performed by Shrat which come off as operatic in nature. The album kicks off with 'Kanaan', a powerful percussion-driven track with romantic overtones. 'Kanaan' explores Eastern musical motifs with a flair of German romanticism and showcases guest musicians Holger Trulzsch (Popol Vuh) on Turkish drums and Christian Burchard (Embryo) on vibraphone. Following this is 'Dem Guten, Schonen, Wahren' a track which was first released in its embryonic form as 'Kaskados Minnelied' on Amon Duul's (the sister group) debut-LP 'Psychedelic Underground'. The musical growth of this track is astounding as Amon Duul II rocks out in gloomy fashion while Shrat delivers some of the most crazed vocals ever put onto record. 'Lucifers Ghilom' is noteworthy for its innovative and bizarre musical structure. As with later works, most notably 'Tanz Der Lemminge', the musical direction shifts constantly as the track builds. Predating Embryo, 'Ghilom' introduces a wonderfully-obnoxious screeching electric violin into the mix. 'Henriette Krotenschwanz', a short track with a marching drumbeat and pulsing bass riff, showcases Renate Knaup performing lead vocals. Finally, the album is brought to a close by the twenty-minute psychedelic opus 'Phallus Dei'. 'Phallus Dei' is a large scale improvisation that introduces elements that would later dominate the bands sound. The album has been reissued by Repertoire in a remastered digipak edition with five bonus tracks 'Freak Out Requiem I-IV' and 'Cymbals In The End'.
[5/5 Doug]

Chris Karrer - Guitar
Johannes Weinzierl - Guitar, Vocals, Violin
Renate Knaup - Vocals
Falk Rogner - Keyboards
Dieter Serfas - Drums
Peter Leopold - Drums
Dave Anderson - Bass
Christain 'Shrat' Thierfeld - Vocals, Percussion, Violin

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy your blog being a huge Krautrock fan.I have the original German pressing of this as well as a lot of the albums featured here.