• Pancake: Out of the Ashes

    Mar 16 2006, 21:07 di Progbear

    Pancake’s second album finds them moving in more of a typical symphonic mode, as opposed to the quirky Wishbone Ash-cum-Pink Floyd area of their debut, Roxy Elephant. Keyboards (and inaudible violin, courtesy of bassist Peter Indrak) are introduced on this album and the extra texture is appreciated, but this is hardly groundbreaking stuff. Swirling spacey sympho, rather in the vein of Eloy or Neuschwanstein. Competent but rather lacking in identity.

    New singer Rainer Rohm is decent, but he's not a patch on their earlier vocalist (the delightfully-named Hampy Nerlich) or the female vocalist who would replace him (Biggi Zmierczak, on their excellent swan-song LP, 1979's No Illusions).
  • Pancake: No Illusions

    Gen 29 2006, 21:19 di Progbear

    Each of the three albums by Germany’s Pancake seem to offer something different. The debut Roxy Elephant seemed to attempt sympho-prog with two guitars in lieu of keyboards, a sort of Wishbone Ash gone prog. Out Of The Ashes adds keyboards, and is a rather more typical German sympho affair, in the vein of Eloy or Novalis, though lacking in much distinction.

    The third time round they got the mixture right, switching to an authoritative keyboardist and adding dazzling female vocalist Biggi Zmierczak. Often compared to Earth and Fire, No Illusions does indeed approximate the style of the Dutch band back when they were proggy and interesting (which they certainly weren’t by 1979), right down to the heavy use of Mellotron on most of the tracks.

    One of the more underrated items of German symphonic prog. Worth picking up.