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On disc: Central Park

reflected - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Rockville Music - 2011)

Central Park was started in 1983 and til they disbanded in 1989 they made themselves known in the German prog scene.
In 2006 they met at a Yes concert and the band reunited in it's original line-up. And finally in 2006 they released their debut album unexpected, it took them 23 years to get out their debut - a CD/DVD package.
Last summer singer Jannine Pusch joined, the trained soprano likes heavy sounds and so the sound of Central Park changed a bit.
The opener Guns R Us kicks off with symphonic sounds, then heavy riffs take over and slowly this song develops. It takes more then 2 1/2 minutes til Jannine joins in, her vocals have something airy... Remind me a bit of some French chanson... Then they had into a passage with atonal elements, industrial sounds and the vocals have a punk rock touch. Sounds like a wild mix, but it works well! And it shows that Central Park push boundaries, that they try to differ and not just pay homage to the masters of the genre. With Free Fall they show a different facet, partly heavy riffs dominate and partly the Hammond sound. Jannine Pusch's voice on top of it is first cool and lascivious, then a spoken word passages, and back again to the cool vocals. The keyboard is the counterpart to her vocals and gives the track warmth. White Princess opens with a passage which could have been taken from a Tangerine Dream album... This time Jannine Pusch reminds me of Kate Bush... Another Part is a track which makes it easy for the listener, piano-based and partly with storyteller-like vocals - plus a beautiful guitar solo by Hans Ochs.
Then it's time for Vision Of Cassandra, a 3-piece opus which takes the vision about the downfall of Troy into nowadays industrialized world. They create soundscapes... A soundtrack for an undone movie. Let them drag you into the Vision Of Cassandra!
At Path Of Mercy the pay tribute to some of the masters of prog rock. And with The Last Tear they close this chapter. First a piano-based ballad, then it seems to explode and they head into a prog rock frenzy spiced up with industrial elements next to symphonic parts.
Central Park deliver a unique album which builds a bridge between the glorious past of prog rock to modern sound, a bridge from rock to classic, it's opera-inspired and ... Well, listen to reflected and you'll know!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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