Describing German band Silberbart is almost impossible as it veers from very heavy early metal to a gentle lulling nightmare.
Written by: Dangerzone
ALBUM: 4 Times Sound Razing
SERIAL: 6305 095
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Hajo Teschner – vocals, guitars * Werner Klug – bass * Peter Behrens – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Chub Chub Cherry * 02 Brain, Brain * 03 God * 04 Head Tear Of The Drunken Sun
Fans of early 70’s German prog rock will probably be well aware of this underground classic from the virtually unknown Silberbart, which at four tracks runs well over forty minutes. This was the only vinyl statement heard from this trio, but it left an impact as almost 40 years later prog rock buffs are still enthusing over the warped and tortured acid rock captured so brilliantly.
Describing with any degree of accuracy what is going on here is almost impossible as it veers from very heavy early metal to a gentle lulling nightmare. These guys easily compete with the likes of Deep Purple and Uriah Heep at their heaviest, and it’s impossible not to hear some Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath in the mix too. Where they came from and how is like finding a needle in the haystack as you would expect.
‘Chub Chub Cherry’ at four minutes is the only thing remotely masquerading as a standard track, albeit remarkably heavy, with Geezer Butler style bass work competing with thunderous riffs and soloing with shades of Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. It was very advanced for 1971, lacking unfortunately the quality production of bigger acts if the time.
At 16 minutes ‘Brain, Brain’ is a bizarre journey into psychedelic hell, with devastating passages that put Black Sabbath to shame, exploding out of nowhere and then retreating into soft dreamy passages. This is power trio material that you would expect from The Who live. The track takes so many tangents that trying to keep up is almost futile, but it’s so ambitious and effective that it’s a must hear.
‘God’ lays down powerhouse drumming and a general wall of noise that could be seen as a prototype thrash kind of intensity. Again slower sections mix with the instrumental onslaught and there’s the finale that never seems to end.
More of the same with ‘Head Tear Of The Drunken Sun’ which has a pretty amazing passage from the four minute mark that is simply a blur. After another feedback driven slower middle section, things get even more maniacal at the ten minute point, with a proper tear up to end a fascinating album.
What inspired these men to create such a racket is unknown, but it destroys many a supposedly heavy band from the time, and by that I mean the likes of Bang, Dust or Blue Cheer.
It differs from the established prog rock giants because it toys with such offbeat excursions into experimental keyboard areas with a believable sense of menace. At its heaviest it’s way up there, but as mentioned earlier it still sounds crude compared to Deep Purple’s ‘In Rock’ due to low production values.
It’s a minor issue however, because this comes from a time when experimenting actually threw up original ideas. So many bands existed like Silberbart that counting them is impossible. This is a great investment for any serious fan of a great period in rock history.
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Here’s another of Alun’s acid rock adventures with German band Silberbart.
[Smokey] Another long forgotten psych rock album that I’ve had on file for a good 20 years or so. God knows when the last time I listened to it was – maybe a few times back when I was in my late 20s. I don’t remember anything about it, anyhow. So I’m glad you wrote a review about it as the album’s definitely worth more than a cursory listen. In fact I’ve already given it four spins in three hours. As you say, this is pretty hot for 1971. I can hear influences of bands like Purple, Who, Zep and Sabbath throughout, but they’re not so marked as to be an obvious rip. The album’s got a flavour of it’s own, ‘Brain Brain’ being the best example of the band’s unique spin on hard rock. The madness and menace of the song fit in well with the terrorist acts committed by the Red Brigade during the same period, especially at the 3 minute mark when the band do their own take on the infamous Who like explosions that always sounded like a crossfire battle on the field of war.