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schandmaul unendlich
Artist: Schandmaul
Title: Unendlich
Genre: Folk-Rock
Release Date: 24th January 2014
Label: Universal Music

Album Review

The word eclectic can be used to positively describe a magpie-like gathering of styles and influences to create a whole. It can also hint that the whole is a bit of a mess. ‘Unendlich’ is a bit of both. It leaps about wildly in styles and tones, and whereas this is usually a good thing – who wants to hear fifteen identical songs after all – it makes for a disjointed and unsettling listen at times.

Bouncing breezily in is ‘Trafalgar’, a busy little piece with a nursery-rhyme feel to the verse, followed swiftly by the “do-do-dum dum do-do-do” folk shuffle of ‘Tippelbruder’. Appreciation, or otherwise, of this depends on how much you like the idea of the cast of ‘Lord Of The Rings’ bursting into song. It’s a bit too Hobbitty for my liking, and is somewhat over-produced. In fact a lot of the songs here would benefit from a more earthy and less polished studio sheen. On stage, I’m sure they’ll be fine, trees behind, a light drizzle falling, red flares lighting up the night sky. But it feels a bit flat here somehow.

The multi-instrumentation is impressive throughout and keeps things ticking along nicely, and there’s no doubting the skill of Thomas Lindner as a story-teller. And there’s a playfulness underlying songs such as ‘Mit der Flut’ despite it being another contender for Bilbo’s favourite party song. Things get most impressive on the slow, dramatic waltz of ‘Baum des Lebens’, a beautiful, understated song, gorgeously arranged and sung. And ‘Tangossa’ is a similar triumph, an instrumental, dancing seductively through the dusky street of Europe’s great cities. Try not foot-tapping to this one.

Folk-rock-by-numbers can be heard on the perfectly pleasant enough ‘Mittsommer’, and the farmyard knees-up of ‘Little Miss Midleton’ has a slow/ fast thing going on that will keep the purists more than happy. The album ends softly with the gentle harmonies of ‘Mein Bildnis’ giving way to the subdued ‘Märchenmond’. It’s a stunning end to the album, and allows one to forgive the huff-and-puff and bluster of some of the earlier over-folked moments. It’s epic in every sense of the word.

‘Unendlich’, then. It’s folk, it’s rock, it’s Middle Earth versus studio polish, there’s beauty here, and liveliness there, an over-crowded but happily busy little collection of songs. In a word, eclectic.

Album pre-listening


01. Trafalgar
02. Tippelbruder
03. Kaspar
04. In Deinem Namen
05. Bunt und nicht braun
06. Mit der Flut
07. Baum des Lebens
08. Tangossa
09. Euch zum Geleit
10. Saphira
11. Mittsommer
12. Little Miss Midleton
13. Der Teufel...
14. Mein Bildnis
15. Märchenmond


Thomas Lindner, Stefan Brunner, Martin Duckstein, Anna Kranzlein, Birgit Muggenthaler-Schmack, Mathias Richter

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Cover Picture

schandmaul unendlich


Music: 7
Sound: 8
Total: 7.5 / 10

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