Year of Release: 2002
Label: Ispo Facto Music
Catalog Number: 824
Total Time: 63:51:00
High Wheel is on a roll (pun intended), receiving the prestigious opening slot for NEARfest 2003. With festival organizers Rob & Chad also being the band's US CD distributor, the notoriety should garner a wave of new fans. I for one purchased the CD (from The Laser's Edge) due to a conversation and soundclip I got from Rob over the internet. These guys know how to promote, don't they?
High Wheel plays symphonic progressive rock with a touch of aggression that is often missing from symphonic style bands. Yet, a subtle style emerges in songs like "Dark", with classical guitar and flute taking center stage. "Sleepless" has acoustic guitar coursing through its veins and driving the song all the way through. The organ play in "Try An Error" is terrific and has a lot of interplay between the instruments. The organ sound is reminiscent of early Genesis. Plenty of tempo and dynamic changes dominate the longer tracks, yet the band shows an adept feel for short musical statements too. The 12 minute 3 part "The Screamer" uses an acoustic guitar intro, moody keyboard solos and plenty of vocals. Each section is a song within itself. Listen for all the little extras, short guitar runs, busy drum work, and classic keyboard sounds. The interplay between the guitar and keyboard is excellent during "Blasted By Screams". The final track is a 32 minute 10 part epic that demonstrates all the band has to offer. Aggressive guitar, melodic solos, piano, flute, symphonic keys, you name it.
Vocally the band does a lot of harmonizing, and I prefer this to when there is just a single vocalist. As stated on the NEARfest website, though the band is from Germany, but they sing in perfect English. A balanced effort, High Wheel shows a great feel for creating many moods and textures. For those of us lucky enough to get tickets for NEARfest 2003, lets hope High Wheel are as good live as on record.
Try An Error (5:02) / The Screamer: Before The Raid (2:32) / The Screamer: Blasted By Screams (4:02) / The Screamer: Silent Room (5:48) / Sleepless (6:06) / Void (5:43) / Dark (3:21) / Blind Archer: On The Archers Hill (2:24) / Blind Archer: Harvest (6:16) / Blind Archer: Twisted (1:50) / Blind Archer: Intersphere (3:51) / Blind Archer: Man In The Cloud (2:23) / Blind Archer: Globes (1:44) / Blind Archer: Strings (3:02) / Blind Archer: Arrows (3:57) / Blind Archer: Hall Of Fame (4:23) / Blind Archer: Archer (2:08)
Wolfgang Hierl - guitars, flute, keyboards, vocals
Erich Kogler - bass, double bass, vocals
Uli Jenne - drums
Andreas Lobinger - keyboards, vocals
Pia Horn - violin
Remember The Colours (1994)
Back From The Void (2002)
Live Before The Storm (2006)
Genre: Progressive Rock