Image © 1997
(28 May 2000) Madrigal are a progressive rock band from
Hannover, Germany. They are currently compiling their first
full length compact disc.
Fronted by the stunning lead vocalist Sandra Werner, the band
also includes Lars Totzke (guitar), Kai Paulmann (drums) and Kai
Spickenbom (bass and keyboards on "(No More) Face to Face").
Madrigal's first four-track EP is entitled Silence (Madrigal
(Germany) 1997); a second four-track EP was issued in 1999 in the run
up to the band's full length album. The band's music has a harder edge
than Wildeve, along the lines of Leger De Main
(review) but not as hard and more
accessible instrumentally. The sweet and crystalline quality of
Sandra's voice comes through in all of the songs. Sung in English,
all music is written by Lars Totzke (music) and Sandra Werner
(lyrics). The band's second EP is vocally stronger than their
Silence begins with the rocking track "(No More) Face To
Face" which is a powerful instrumental number with sufficient lead
vocal work to introduce the listener to Sandra Werner. "Covered
Sun" clearly places Sandra in the spotlight with instrumentals taking
a backseat to her soaring vocal passages and lush multi-tracked
backing harmonies. The production quality of the guitar work is
exceptional. "Turn Back The Time" is a very Yes-like track; it
balances thickly arranged melodious guitars with Sandra's jazzy
lead vocal passage and lovely backing harmonies. The EP's title
track is a folk rock-style song with layers of vocals supported
by a progressive mix of light acoustic guitar and more thickly
arranged electric guitar. The solo guitar work in the
instrumental bridge is especially notable and their first EP
is a delight.
The band's second EP was provided to Musical Discoveries
on CD-R. The first track, "Before Your Eyes," has incredible
vocal clarity that will strike all listeners from its first
play. Similar in some ways to "Silence" in its instrumental
arrangements, the vocals are immediately more evident and are
mixed way up, right in your face, with harmonies above
the lush instrumental arrangements. The—perfectly
performed—a capella vocal introduction to "Evolution Error"
is a further illustration of Sandra's vocal dexterity.
Another vocal-oriented track with layers of harmonies, the
thick guitar never overpowers Sandra's crystalline mid-register
performance. Vocals and instrumentals contrast with both harder
and softer edges in "Deep Blues" and "Crystal Night" which
concludes the second EP.
The two Madrigal EPs contain eight tracks featuring the
stunning vocal work of Sandra Werner with excellent lead and
supporting progressive instrumental work by the rest of
In anticipation of their first full length recording, it's
a good time to explore these EPs further. You can find
further information, soundbites and ordering information at
website. You can order an eight track digital audio music
(DAM) CD with the eight tracks reviewed here, download
samples and read further information about the band at their
The band can be
contacted via Lars Totzke, Karlstraße 8, 30559 Hannover.
Madrigal's two EPs are worth a cross-country journey, and
with the second vocally stronger than the first, the two
CDs are certainly a must listen!.