Chandelier We can fly (2023)


After the concert of these Germans in their homeland at the famous Night of the Prog festival in 2019, the fire has apparently started to burn again because after 26 years there  finally is a new album entitled We can fly.

This is the fourth album and is the follow-up to Time Code from 1997. After the first two albums Pure and Facing Gravity, which contained pure neo-prog, this album was an attempt to sound more modern and especially heavier. The reviews weren't too positive at the time, but personally I thought it was a reasonable album with a number of appealing songs.

What about the bandmembers after so much time? Well, it has hardly changed and where some might have hoped for a different singer, Martin Eden is also present again. I know that his voice is a case of "love it or hate it" and I can imagine that, because it is a voice with its own character. I don't have a problem with it, but he won't be my favourite singer. It is nice that he is a native English speaker and therefore has no accent, something that many German singers suffer from. Not just Germans, of course.

Fortunately, guitarist Udo Lang is still there because he still plays wonderfully. Armin Riemer plays keyboards and he also does a great job. Herry Rubarth plays the drums and Cristoph Tiber is back on bass.

The album contains seven tracks and starts off well with Space Controller, which after a few bleeps immediately turns into a very melodic piece with a nice guitar run. That's how I know them again. Nice duel also between keys and guitar. The song shows Chandelier at it’s best and that promises something for the rest.

To be honest, I have to say that with Help Me there is a somewhat lesser song of which especially the chorus sounds a bit thin. Also in terms of melody the song is a bit less appealing, but there is good musicianship because these men can still play. Vocally, Martin is assisted by Toni Moff Mollo (Grobschnitt) and their voices are not too far apart. Also in a number of subsequent songs these gentlemen sing together.

Spring is a nice long song with more than ten minutes and for me it is one of the better songs on the album. After four minutes Lang is allowed to play a wonderful solo and the tempo picks up a bit, but then it goes back to the mid-tempo rhythm of the beginning. Accompanied exclusively by piano, Eden shows that he can sing a little less bitingly and in the last part he sings a little lower and that suits him perfectly.

The shorter songs In Between and Mixed Magnificent Arts (yes MMA) are nice songs but get stuck in mediocrity and don't really touch me.

At just over two minutes, Light is a kind of intermezzo with double vocals on a layer of keyboards. Nice and more a kind of prelude to the epic of this album, the more than fifteen minutes long Forever and a Day. This final piece seems to be a kind of sea shanty but cast in a neo-prog form with beautiful pieces of guitar and again with vocal help from Moff Mollo. The tempo is slow at first and the melody is reasonable but after four minutes you hear a kind of sailor song with accompaniment on acoustic guitar. Fortunately, this doesn't last long and Lang, with a capital L, takes over with a sweeping solo but then things go wrong, Moff Mollo takes over the vocals and they are not really steady. Around minute eight, Riemer is allowed to give away a flowing solo on keys and that is very welcome because vocally Eden is not at his strongest here either. His vocal lines sometimes don't seem to fit quite right and together they sound like a couple of drunken sailors, but that can of course be the intention. A few last chords on acoustic guitar form the end of the song that I expected a bit more from.

Well, what's the conclusion?

A very decent album with a few outliers that as a whole is better than Time Code but for me doesn't reach the level of Facing Gravity. It's nice that they're back though.

As far as the cover is concerned, I can say that the idea is funny, a kind of floating seal, or is it a sea lion, flying above the desert. Appropriate, but not very exciting.

Music 73

Cover 65