Login
Username

Password



Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Latest Comments
Way better than the first...
Guys she's on Facebook, I...
Maybe Franne was friends ...
Rudy was co-written by Fe...
Great album and excellent...
H.E.A.T - 2017 Redefined ...
H.E.A.T - 2017 Eye Of The...
Keldian - 2017 Blood Red ...
No, I'm changing my mind ...
Code Red - 2017 Heat Of T...
Yeah, I quite liked this,...
Midnite City - 2017 Summe...
Target - 1979 Taxman [yo...
Cher - 1982 Rudy [youtub...
Cher - 1982 Games [youtu...
Revolution Saints - 2017 ...
Revolution Saints - 2017 ...
Black Sabbath - 1989 Devi...
Black Sabbath - 1989 Head...
Neal Schon - 1989 Softly ...
Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 1986 Articles » Karat - 1986 Funfte Jahreszeit
 
Karat - 1986 Funfte Jahreszeit



ARTIST: Karat
ALBUM: Funfte Jahreszeit
LABEL: Teldec, AMIGA (GDR)
SERIAL: 6.26396 AP, 8 56 218 (GDR)
YEAR: 1986

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Herbert Dreilich - vocals * Bernd Römer - guitar * Thomas Kurzhals, Ulrich 'Ed' Swillms - keyboards * Christian Liebig - bass * Michael Schwendt - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fetzen Aus Samt * 02 Funfte Jahreszeit * 03 Die Fahrradverkaufer * 04 In Deiner Galerie * 05 Hab Den Mond Mit Der Hand Behrurt * 06 Der Doppelganger * 07 Aus Zweiter Hand * 08 Er Kam Sah Und Siegte * 09 Der Liebe Fluch * 10 Die Glocke Zweitausend


Background
East German AOR kings Karat were riding high by 1986, coming off the back of two big albums (1982's 'Der Blaue Planet' and 1984's 'Sieben Wunder Der Welt'). These platters had seen them cross the Berlin Wall to achieve success in West Germany as well, platinum success to be exact. Their touring stocks were also pretty high, hitting several European stops despite the infamous travel related red tape applied to iron curtain acts. Karat even played Cuba, resulting in a small pocket of support in the States to this day. Having always blended prog elements into their particular brand of AOR, much like Saga and Eloy, 1986 saw a slight dilution of that approach as they chased their commercial aspirations. The result being a more streamlined, direct AOR approach for 'Funfte Jahreszeit' ('Fifth Season'), with prog influences more of an undercurrent than an upfront presence.


The Songs
'Fetzen Aus Samt' glides down the pike on skittering electronica, eventually building to a frisky mid-tempo shuffle with subtle melodies that are not necessarily immediate. Intensity does pick up as the track progresses though, some of the guitar riffs and licks put through an echo device recalling the old dub reggae technique... King Tubby meets AOR? Don't get me wrong, it never sounds reggae as such, turning out to be one of those AOR tracks you need to hear a few times to 'get it'. Title track 'Funfte Jahreszeit' is up next, a ballad built on very strong AOR chord progression. Starting at almost sedentary tempo, it does gather speed, culminating in passages of exhilirating drum and guitar power in the post choruses. Great use of the old light and shade principle, great track. 'Die Fahrradverkaufer' went right by me, an awkward affair in tempo and melody, hard to find the merit here. I'll indulge them their experiment and hope for better to come. Well, Karat go on a golden run at this point, delivering the Wiener Mischung coffee in spades. 'In Deiner Galerie' is one of the more simple AOR tracks I've heard in structure, but damned if it didn't stay in my head for weeks. Built on elegant piano and a considered mid-tempo, guitar colouring the soundscape with fluid melody. Power is at hand in the chorus, with one of those unexpected mid-song bridges tying it all together. A more organic Eloy comes to mind, magic cut. 'Hab Den Mond Mit Der Hand Behrurt' lays down the mid-tempo again, some prominent bass work spicing up the verses. It's the chorus that hits the home run though, a revolving cascade of understated melody and crystal guitar, this would have sat comfortably on Saga's 'Behaviour' album. This was the album's big hit as well, thoroughly deserved success for a rich coffee laden AOR stunner.

'Der Doppelganger' is built on Ulrich Swillms panoramic synth pattern, half tempo at verse time but the choruses have the necessary mid-tempo bite, and melody to match. Some very prominent rhythm guitar adding crunch to said choruses as well, the track ends as it began, on waves of that synth dreamscape, a true example of prog AOR crossover. 'Aus Zweiter Hand' is another of those slow starters, something of a trend with Karat, but as with previous tracks it picks up speed and intensifies the melody as it goes on, easily reaching it's mid-tempo ambition. Another tick in the positive column. 'Er Kam Sah Und Siegte' comes crashing in on layers of electronic synth sequencing, but there's more aggression in the atmosphere this time, hinting at power to come. As ever, Karat build the intensity, massive riffs and some well placed drum effects add to the drama and by the time the snare drum fires off five gunshots you'll be climbing the wall like a panther, finally they break free of mid-tempo and cut loose! There's something very Omega about the scope and execution here, dark and brooding but still utterly AOR. Coffee meter lying in bits all around me, so it's a good thing 'Der Liebe Fluch' is a gently acoustic ballad, no drums but enough charm involved. The album closes with 'Die Glocke Zweitausend', something of an AOR power ballad. A very singable chorus and some astutely applied crunching guitar make this another winner.


In Summary
'Funfte Jahreszeit' was another AOR success for Karat, and well deserved. Together with Omega and FSB, they form an essential trifecta of AOR from the iron curtain. Around this time, keyboard maestro Ulrich Swillms left the band citing health concerns. He would later return in a live capacity, but in the meantime Karat soldiered on, and were nowhere near done with quality AOR. 'Im Nachsten Frieden' would follow in late 1989, also well worth a look here at GDM.


All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.


 
This article has been tagged
Tags: Karat 
 
Comments
#1 | Eric on November 19 2013 17:36:05
Lee, your coverage of Eastern Euro Prog/AOR is getting more interesting with each review. I have the early Karat stuf, but this one I have not heard. Keep 'em coming!
#2 | swazi on November 20 2013 20:24:21
Very impressive review of an east german cult band, Lee! Respect! I am familiar with 'Der blaue Planet', but didn't know this one and the others.
#3 | AOR Lee on November 21 2013 04:21:04
Eric and Bernd, thank you both for the great comments. This band is excellent. I must also stress the voice of the late and missed Herbert Dreilich. Not a guy for the upper ranges, but he possesses a rich power in the midrange that exactly suits the Karat style of AOR. Very cool band, I will be purchasing more of their albums soon
 
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
 
Ratings
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

100% 100% 0% [No Votes]
95% 95% 0% [No Votes]
90% 90% 0% [No Votes]
85% 85% 0% [No Votes]
80% 80% 100% [1 Vote]
75% 75% 0% [No Votes]
70% 70% 0% [No Votes]
65% 65% 0% [No Votes]
60% 60% 0% [No Votes]
55% 55% 0% [No Votes]
50% 50% 0% [No Votes]
45% 45% 0% [No Votes]
40% 40% 0% [No Votes]
35% 35% 0% [No Votes]
30% 30% 0% [No Votes]
25% 25% 0% [No Votes]
20% 20% 0% [No Votes]
15% 15% 0% [No Votes]
10% 10% 0% [No Votes]
 
Articles Cloud
Pathosray - 2007 Pathosray, Witness - 2000 Joey Huffman interview, Stencil Forest - 2006 The Abyss, Nugent, Ted - 1980 Scream Dream, Prototype - 1983 Prototype, Alternativa - 2005 A Night In Starlight, Lukather, Steve - 1989 Lukather, Fleetwood Mac - 1987 Tango In The Night, Nugent, Ted - 1988 If You Can't Lick Em...Lick Em, DuBrow, Kevin - 2004 In For The Kill, Stranger - 1982 Stranger, Sharx - 1985 On The Rock, Sciuto, Michael - 1999 Edge, Zebra - 2003 IV, 707 - 2005 Life Beyond 707: interview Kevin Russell
Tags©
Kingdragon Human Zoo Robert Palmer Happy The Man Dark Sky Donald Dean Brighton Rock Quiet Riot Kevin Dubrow Malison Rogue Zinatra John Miles David Lee Roth Robert Fleischman Airplay Boston Neal Schon Miss Behaviour Lorry Avantasia China Sky Return To Zero Delp Goudreau Barry Goudreau Boston Orion The Hunter Barry Goudreau And Engine Room Cutting Crew EP Marseille Giants This Picture Dalton Bob Welch Blue Way VonRay Manowar
All Tags
Search DDG