Cosmic Dreams: This was a great "heavy progressive" quartet from Saarbrucken (near the French border). Their first and only album (entitled First) was recorded in just two days (during June 1971) in the Star Studio, Hamburg and produced by the then Pilz' label manager Jurgen Schmeisser. Konrad Plank was (as ever) engineering. Musically they were inspired by several British heavy rockers. The harmonica gave many tracks a bluesy feeling, comparable to the first Black Sabbath album. This group proved to be an inspirational source for the lyrics as well, dealing with drugs and the occult. Included were titles like "Lucifer", "Harmaggedon Dragonlove", "Witches' Meeting", "Red Lebanese" and "Trip". The last mentioned track was the highlight of the album: an eight minute long spacy instrumental crescendo building up to a frenzy, almost like the early Ash Ra Tempel. However, Dies Irae's finest moment was not to be found on their album. A staggering version of "Silent Night" with air defence sirens and bombing noises was Dies toe's fantastic contribution to the Heavy Christmas album! When Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser later took over the responsibility for Pilz, he changed the label's musical focus more towards folk-rock, releasing classic albums by Hoelderlin, Emtidi, Broselmaschine and Popol Vuh. Dies Irae were indeed hardly folk-rockers, rather folks playing hard rock' They were consequently dropped by the label. Their album is indispensable for heavy progressive collectors, even if not in the same class as Armageddon! It's not very rare, but much in demand.
yet: Very little is known about Dies Irae, except that it is rumoured that Manfred von Bohr started his career with them. They were hardly typical of bands on the Pilz label, with a heavy brand of Krautrock, blending in jazz, blues and psychedelic touches. Mostly they used straight rock structures, with much psychedelic spice, and good songs. All creatively and imaginatively played, and inter-cut with all sorts of surprising twists and turns. Maybe less distinctive than most Krautrock of the era, Dies Irae were nonetheless excellent!
01. Lucifer 4:46 02. Salve Oimel 0:37 03. Another Room 4:12 04. Trip 6:54 05. Harmagedon Dragonlove 5:09 06. Tired 4:03 07. Witches Meeting 9:20 08. Red Lebanese 5:15 09. Run Off 0:35 - Andreas F. Cornelius / drums - Robert J. Schiff / bass - Harald H.G. Thomas / guitar, vocals - Rainer Gerd Wahlmann / lead vocals, harmonica
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