Musically Czakan compare similarly to Treat’s ‘Organized Crime’ period, plus you can pick the eyes out of many other German contenders listed below.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: State Of Confusion
SERIAL: INT 845.126
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Germany
LINEUP: Michael Schennach – vocals * Oliver Guttinger – guitars * Tommy Fein – keyboards * Frank Schrafft – bass * Randy Arcachon – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 State Of Confusion * 02 Tears * 03 Run With The Wind * 04 King Of Temptation * 05 High Speeder * 06 So Cold * 07 Eyes Of The Gods * 08 Rock Will Survive * 09 Thunder And Lightning * 10 Heartbreak Savage
The mid to late 80’s was a busy time in the German rock scene, with many acts rising to the top during this time. You don’t need to name names from this scene, anyone reading this site will know of all the German powerhouses through this era.
Of more interest were those acts who were hovering around in the lower leagues of the German scene. Cannon, Kingdom, Aidean, Trans Am, Gravestone and a few others. Admittedly a lot of it was generic, but one thing was for certain, they could all play.
Add to this lot Czakan, who started life off in the mid 80’s, with singer Axel Triebel, guitarist Oliver Guttinger, bassist Frank Schraft and drummer Hans-Peter Motzing. this line-up of Czakan released an album in 1985 called ‘Heaven’ (released on the Bregenzer label), though very little is known about it.
Toward the end of the decade, new singer Michael Schennach joined the fold, as did drummer Randy Arcachon and the addition of a keyboard player Tommy Fein. Now signed to Intercord, the band were produced by Eloy mainman Frank Bornemann. The resulting ‘State Of Confusion’ is a much admired slice of melodic hard rock with a ton of keys and blistering guitarwork.
Musically Czakan compare similarly to Treat‘s ‘Organized Crime’ period, plus you can pick the eyes out of many other aforementioned German contenders listed above. Lots of icy keyboard effects opens up ‘State Of Confusion’, as it marches toward a majestic hard rock entrance.
‘Tears’ is probably the band’s best known track. Those Treat come home to roost on ‘Run With The Wind’, particularly the chorus, and the keyboard fills remind you of bands like Rescue and Javan, again, another pair of German bands with a flair for keyboards.
‘King Of Temptation’ is a mid-tempo burner with a slight blues angle, it’s followed by ‘High Speeder’ which lives up to its name, a double kick drum special which gives this track a bit of momentum, but to be honest, it is never going to give any of the thrash bands a run for their money in terms of tempo.
‘So Cold’ is the sort of track you’ve heard a thousand times before, with all the band’s manoeuvres all sounding rather stereo-typed. I really enjoyed ‘Eyes Of The Gods’, a faster paced tune with more guitar flash from Guttinger, whereas ‘Rock Will Survive’ is a straight forward track, again out of the Treat handbook.
Oliver Guttinger gives us a load of riffs on the opening bars of ‘Thunder And Lightning’, the track takes a few contrasting paths throughout its playing time, with verses, bridges and choruses all sounding quite different.
The band churn out a power ballad ‘Too High To Touch’, it has its moments, the double kick drum on the chorus spills it over into Pretty Maids territory. ‘Heartbreak Savage’ finishes the album, the sound reminiscent of 220 Volt from their ‘Eye To Eye’ album, though probably not up to the same class.
In places this album is exceptional, and I would guess that with repeated listens this might even earn a few brownie points. As mentioned, there is a strong Euro melodic rock vibe happening throughout the album, and if you like Treat especially, then this one is for you.
By all accounts, this is where the road ended for Czakan, however Oliver Guttinger and Frank Schrafft would be part of a German hard rock/blues band called Backbone Slide, who released one self titled album in 1993.
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Czakan are back in 2023 with a new album ‘Unreal’. Out now on Pride and Joy Records.