Shiver - Walpurgis

Year of Release: 2003
Label: M2U Records Korea
Catalog Number: M2U-1007
Format: CD
Total Time: 34:25:00

Originally released in 1969 on the Maris label (catalogue number 20501), this is the only album the Swiss band Shiver ever released. It also contains both tracks that were issued as a single: "Hey Mr. Holy Man"/"The Peddle." It also features the very first time the famous designer H. R. Giger delivered some of his art to become an album sleeve. Later on he would do it much more, with Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery being the most famous one. Again issued in a thick miniature album sleeve, this rather short album also contains a full family tree (which must be a hell of a job to do!), linking the band with names such as Toad and Brainticket whose music sometimes is a bit similar.

As happens a lot with recordings from that era, especially the drums sound overmodulated, which doesn't mean we can't enjoy this album, as we most certainly can. The opening instrumental "Repent Walpurgis" reminds me of early Procol Harum or even Ekseption. The sound is very bluesy, highlighting both Hammond organ and distorted guitar. As also happens a lot with bands from that era, longer progressive tracks alternate with shorter, more commercial sounding pieces. Because of the fact that an equal amount of music had to be spread on both sides of the vinyl album, some LPs therefore don't sound logical at all. "What's Wrong About The Blues" sounds like thousands of other blues songs from that period: repetitive and with tons of improvised harmonica playing. A bit in the tradition of similar projects from that era, "Hey Mr. Holy Man" is a ballad backed by Hammond organ and choir, whilst someone narrates on top of it.

Because in the sixties most bands performed a lot during dance events, they also played a lot of covers. Because people who attended those concerts were familiar with some of those covers, each time such a band decided to record/release an album they made sure one or more of those covers graced the album as well. In the case of Shiver they deliver a rhythmic version of the classic "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" as performed by the Animals and later on turned into a huge disco smash hit by Santa Esmeralda. As happens a lot during early recordings, the sound of the tambourine is a little too shrill as is heard during "No Time." The album closes with the flip for Shiver's only single, the instrumental "The Peddle," which once again is a mean blues song featuring piano, guitar and, sadly, an organ that is mixed way too far in the background. From a musical perspective, this certainly is not the world's best album, as I'm sure thousands of other bands could deliver equally pleasing music. However, as a package, this results in a most enjoyable release that still might be of more interest to the H. R. Giger collector than the completist of underground psychedelic material.

Limited edition of 1000 numbered copies.

Repent Walpurgis / Ode To The Salvation Army / Leave This Man Alone / What's Wrong About The Blues / Hey Mr. Holy Man / Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood / No Time / The Peddle

Dany Ruhle - lead guitar, harmonica, vocal
Jelly Pastorini - organ, piano
Mario Conza - bass, flute, vocal
Roger Maurer - drums, vocal
Peter Robinson - lead vocals

Walpurgis (1969/2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CH

Added: January 11th 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Hits: 1671
Language: english


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