George Starostin's Reviews



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<> (08.09.2001)

Hi, Amon Duul 2 are superb! After listening to so much, they are still one of the best groups. If only an established artist like Radiohead or Blur would cover one of their songs! Then I think people would get to know about them. Still if its true they played the Cornberg festival in August??!! Then I hope they return to play London soon. If only a major label would pick up their back catalogue and promote them. They would and should be up their with the best. Infact I think the problem is maybe because their really individual. Still with the shadow of Noisy Amon Duul 1, hanging over them. Although I love bits of Amon Duul 1 and Amon Duul UK as well.

davidaburdick (25.10.2003)

i was in england during my stay in the air force........being forced into it due to selling pot...(not me my roommate) and i spent most of my money buying every group i never saw in the states... i bought not only the first albums by queen and genesis........but ventured full force into kraut rock......... hawkwind,faust,can,kraftwerk,neu,nirvana (different band)...and hawkwind..........also buying crap like ..Grobschnitt...etc... most of those groups became my favorites and are still to date.............i love that stuff and it so transcends the "popular" music in a way that makes it look silly...........this stuff is what music is all about to creative and a way only hinted at by more mainstream practitioners such as the moody blues,genesis and pink floyd and yes .................(although most fans are not into their early works).......i mean how many Wall and Dark side fans are into Atom heart mother or Ummagumma?? which i consider their peaks...........i am still amazed at these groups and will be till the day i die..................... amon duul...hawkwind and another early band killing joke me represent the possibilities of music..............oh i forgot king crimson......................but all these taken together represent to me a kind of eternal musical struggle that is completely timeless.......and again makes any current music or popular stuff look like dogfood................................. thanxs for your great website and insitefull reviews..........................these groups and songs will be with me forever.............because it is forever music.................i am a musician myself and have done a few like things...........and have always found those the most rewarding..............although the lightweight pop and rock crap get more attention............... musicians always enjoy the deeper musics......................just as meaningless sex gives way to love of your first born son....................the more meaningfull music of my past becomes more important than the crass junk of today.................i find myself appreciating more and more the freedom that music used to compared to the money grubbing force fed garbage that we are allowed to hear.................i consider the experimental groups a kind of religious conference.............. and the top forty kind of a low life heathan redneck outlook..................these groups are the beethovans and daliis......... pure art for arts sake.............beautifull...............and i for one would rather hear renate.........than any goddawfull madonna, whitney,mariah,britney crap.............she is THE soul singer...........much as kate bush was was she..... hell..even yoko is in there somewhere and john saw that................this music cannot get enough exposure as far as i'm concerned.........oliver stone should not have done a movie about the doors..................he should have done a movie about amon duul........................amen..................
PS. oh yeah i just emailed a letter and i forgot this................ i once saw a porno movie that had an amon duul song from Lemmings as a soundtrack....................i was astounded.............i could only think someone in the staff was very was a very weird juxtaposition of feelings ......... totally weird....................and amazing.....................i also saw the lead singer from the band tommy tutone in a porno as well..........apparently these things crossed all barriers in those times.................

Rick Atbert (25.08.2006)

I have to say I take issue with the part where you said "the band members always sing without or with only the slightest German accent" - maybe the female voice does a little, but whoever the guy is that sings here...on all three Amon Duul albums I've heard (the first three), he's got an extremely thick accent, and I love it, it's one of my favorite parts of the music. Amon Duul II are a very German band and it should be easy to tell that even without knowing where they're from.
Either way, I'm not extremely impressed with those albums...yes, they're good, and sometimes even great ("Luzifers Ghiom" is one of my favorites), but none of their albums seemed all that solid to me. Lots of great riffing though...this band was mega-talented and pretty good songwriters, but in my book they never really made a super solid album (provided that everyone is to be believed when they say the first three are the best). I guess maybe I was disappointed because I was expecting something more like Can, Neu!, or Faust...real geniuses in the genre. Still, I'll continue to listen to my opinion the German rock scene was so advanced in the 70's that their music eclipses most of what was being done everywhere else, and practically anything you can find in the Krautrock genre is interesting.


<> (03.12.2002)

I think that Phallus Dei is am amazing album to say the least. They really predated a lot of the experimental Gothic bands like Legendary Pink Dots and Current 93 with this album. This album is really intense with energy, and almost demoniacally inspired I love it, it's deathbed music. I love the use of raw violins, and what are you talking about when you say this album goes nowhere? I mean have you even listened to it really closely? The female singing predates some of the female gothic singing that you hear in black metal these days, in fact this album almost predicted some of the Gothic Metal as well. This is a great album, gloomy and whimsical at the same time I LOVE It! They also sound really basically the same whether you are tripping or not, you really don't have to trip to enjoy this one!

Search and Destroy (04.01.2003)

I read with interest your thoughts on the above mentioned LP. I got a copy on vinyl today and it's my first real introduction to the band and I have to say I loved it. I think for the time, it was pretty way out, far and away ahead of most UK groups of the time, and pre-dates the total madness of Brainticket's 'Cotton woodhill' by some 2 years. Not that it's that freaky, but it's pretty of the wall by 1969 standards I'd say. Recommended from this little corner of London anyway!

<> (17.03.2004)

"From today's perspective, there's hardly anything that shocking about Amon Düül II's debut album."
Actually, I must disagree with you on this one, with all due respect. The first time I heard "Dem Guten, Schonen, Wahren," and that guy's falsetto (I don't know his name, honestly), it scared the hell out of me. The mellotron in that song, and the march-like chorus was also pretty bizarre, even by today's standards. Even "Kanaan" is very unsettling. All of my years of David Bowie's Low, and the Velvet Underground's "Venus In Furs" couldn't prepare me for a lot of the music on Phallus Dei. That's just my opinion.


<> (24.08.2000)

Many people i know adore the instrumental album to the first.i think you asessement of the instrumental album is unfair:this is multi-layered,highly psychedelic horror soundtrack music that is highly enjoyable with or without hallucinogens...haven't listened to it in a while...almost too heavy,but on par or better than some jazz attempts in the same vain...miles davis would be proud!

Mike DeFabio (12.02.2001)

I've downloaded the first half of Yeti and I don't think it sounds half as weird as you say it is. Reading your review I expected something like Trout Mask Replica or something. Yeah, it's pretty kooky, but it's no weirder than early Pink Floyd. And early Pink Floyd is awfully weird, but it's not THAT weird. This music is perfectly coherent to my ears. And "Eye Shaking King" doesn't make ME want to kill MYself, but I AM pretty creeped out by that insane distorted vocal! How do you GET a vocal sound like that? HOW?


Alexis Von Sydow (18.04.2003)

Now, this is a good album. Unfortunately, only so if treated as subject to scientific analysis. In other words, it can be moderately entertaining to listen to every little detail, concentrating on the structures of the compositions and the way the instruments interacts and all that crap, because, it is interesting, believe it or not, to do so, but if we're talking in terms of enjoyability and "normal" entertainment value, it's mostly crap. That is, many of the riffs on here do kick ass, and parts of struck you with their goofiness ('H.G. Wells' Take-Off'), but taken as a whole, all the parts that aren't riffs or deliberately silly are principally chaff. Also, the "scientific" approach to listening isn't a very comfortable one - I did manage it, but I wouldn't want to do it again. Of course, I guess you can get used to this music, and that the album might grow on you, but it's highly unlikely that anyone would want to listen to it enough in order for it to do so. I have honestly no idea how to rate this. I mean, it is original in many ways, and that scores, and listened to properly, you might get the kicks out of it, but. beh. Wouldn't recommend buying it.


CM (09.07.2004)

Being an absolute die-hard fan of the first 3 albums, I approached this one with some hesitation. I'd heard that it was the beginning of the end for Amon Duul II, as it was far more conventional and geared towards a commercial appeal.
My first listens to this didn't impress me. It has a very folk/psyche character, and the songs are more tradtional in character. However, after a few more listens, things started to click with me. First one song began to stand out, then another, until I completely fell in love with this album. It is a classic. Definitely a departure for them from the previous stuff, but excellent for what it is. I would recommend listening to this without the prejudice of expecting it to deliver what their previous albums did.
This is a different sound, which although more conventional in parts, is still ripe with experimentation. It also features some of the bands most interesting guitar playing. Renate Kraupe is fantastic on this album, and for me the album's highlight is "All the Years Round" which she sings lead on. For the more trippier tastes, "Hawknose Harlequin" ventures off into psychedlic territory with an extended Hendrix style guitar jam for the final 5-6 minutes of it's 9 minute length.
While I definitely love the more organic experimental era of Amon Duul II, this album is as good in quality that marks a new stage in the band's evolution. Definitely not the beginning of the end.


Keith Hart (26.05.2003)

Hi George. A shot in the absolute darkness for me. One of the first recordings I CD'd after my prog reproachment at 37. I continue to laugh at a sort of cruel joke they play on you. It's like a stoned party you've wonderred upon at dusk. Walking your dog perhaps. Beguiling, heavy and rhythmic. You walk towards the centre, and there's a laughably ridiculous singer, singing like a middle-aged woman in an opera club. It's not so terrible that it irritates but it changes the trip, and the words are neither powerfully personal nor mildly profound. Doom is always silly-sounding. The first vocalist, the one that coughs makes a devastating first impression and is much preferred. There's humour. The recording is excellent though, dense but with clear riffing and strong atmospheres. I listen to this infrequently. It's good outside in early summer.


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Goran Janicijevic (27.11.2005)

Those "dreary Latin sentences" are actually German, saying something like "When the sun of the culture sets low, the midgets' shadows get long".
Now, I really love "Apocalyptic Bore". Nice retort to those who dream about the perfect world. The line "Even gigantomaniacs were thrilled" is ultra-hilarious. A few months ago I visited a site dedicated to space-rock, where was a review of ADII recent concert. Yes, these are all small venues in Europe attended only by fans who are aware that ADII still exist. The reviewer was first surprised that they perform "Apocalyptic Bore", saying that he never paid attention to it (and generally to everything after Wolf City), but he finally admitted that it is a great song.
It looks like I am a rare ADII fan who prefers their second, "structural" phase (from Wolf City to Made In Germany). --


Neil Eddy (30.08.2005)

I've just got the remastered CD version of this album. Years ago I owned the original LP version but never got into it in comparison to Made In Germany, Hijack, or The Dance of The Lemmings. Basically the original Lp had production that sounded like it came out of the pit more than anything else. Large parts of the instrumentation and vocals were muffled and made it a hard album to get into.
Not so the remastered version! The crispness, and volume and thus their onstage power restored, I can appreciate now just how good the Duul were live. Best songs "Soap Shop Rock", "Archangels Thunderbird" and Syntelman's March of The Seventies".
One thing that strikes me about this album, Amon Duul II, and German rock music overall, is the strong underlying debt it often owes Jimi Hendrix. Listen closely to this album and his influence becomes apparent on many tracks here. The bonus tracks are interesting but don't really add anything to the release at all.
Overall, a much welcomed re-release - I'm damm glad I hunted it down!


Michael Kehoe (06.04.2001)

I had the opportunity to pick a few Amon Duul II albums in Germany in 1973 while on my only European vacation. During my college days, my friends and roomates were quite baffled by this band, and wondered what non-commercial drugs I was enjoying to understand this stuff.
It was with the release of Made in Germany (I found this in the U.S. as a single album), that they finally got it to a degree. Yes, it was more 'accessible' than the other albums, but that is not always a bad thing. It kept some of the more bizarre elements of old, while weaving a more structured sound around some wonderfully diverse arrangements and moods.
Let's put it this way, if an album of this quality could get my friends to take the Bachman Turner Overdrive album off and actually listen to an album that offered some challenges, then it was (and still is) alright by me.
I have a hard time saying that it's the best Amon Duul II, maybe it's the best of that phase of Amon Duul II. It's certainly one of the few that I can still listen to in mixed company and have the others enjoy it!

Kevin MacNutt (04.05.2003)

Probably the people who complain about this record have the two LP version. I originally owned the single LP American issue (it actually belonged to the NPR station I worked for from when they were a progressive rock station in the 70's) and thought it was a great album, in fact it was one of my earliest experiences with Krautrock. I saw many parallels between this album and Roxy Music's output from the same era. When I started replacing many of my worn out albums with CDs, I bought the 2 record reissue on the Reperatorie label in 1996. Boy what a stinker the double version it is. Even though it is not anti-semetic which got it edited down to one record outside of Germany, it is still really tasteless. Basically it is a rock opera about Germany


Markus Grahn (17.06.2004)

I kind of liked Pyragony X when it was new, although I agree with you that this album is one of their worst. Zauner's keyboards that were state of the art back then sound hopelessly dated now. Certainly the new recruits Zauner & Ebert were allowed to dominate the band a bit too much. I still like the vocal melody of “Lost in Space”, and “Cappuccino” is a nice tune too, although they don’t sound like Amon Düül 2 at all. Btw, “Merlin” is written by Weinzierl, and I guess it’s sung by him as well.


Mark Perkins (24.07.2004)

Here I am locked into 2004, surrounded by mediocre music and lamenting those 1968-1974 days of Amon Duul 2 releases, year after year, and then life changes and I begin to forget. Then along comes 2000 and I find this, I begin to open my wings again and appreciate what I had ...once. It's like the intervening 30 years never existed; Amon Duul 2 sound as fresh, original and lyrically dominant as ever they did. Amon Duul 2 - The sun and the moon, complete and complementary. Just listen to these genii of music as they take the pure unsullied sense of their past and serve up more of their delicious surprises. Perhaps 'Kiss ma ee' should rank as the most staggeringly driving and listenable track of all time. Sure, I like Amon Duul 2.


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