(11 November 2001) The debut self-titled album by Soniq Theater is a 16-track progressive masterwork by German composer, producer and recording artist Alfred Mueller. Jazz, rock and pop influences contribute to the eclectic sound of the well-arranged pieces. While vocal work drifts in and out, instrumentals dominate the album. The sound is that of a well-established progressive group, yet it is entirely performed by Mueller himself.
We asked Alfred about the vocals. He told us, "the vocals on [the track] 'Minka e Rano' come from the CD Bulgarian Magic Voices; I loved this song, sung a capella and I composed the prog-song arrangements around the vocals. The vocals on 'Excalibur' and 'Cinemagic' come from a sampling CD containing a capella sung snippets for sampling; the name of the singer is Suzann."
Soniq Theater's music will appeal to fans of Rick Wakeman, Vangelis and even a hint of Yanni; it balances dynamic guitar parts with symphonic keyboard passages that are often classically influenced featuring lightning speed at times. While certainly progressive in every respect, there are hints of new age, with natural atmospherics spread around for good measure, throughout the project. Well-played percussion adds to the crispness of the material.
The album's epic numbers include "The Power and the Glory," "The Riders of Rohan" and "Cinemagic," with symphonic passages running over the 6:00 mark. The others are somewhat shorter yet they fit very nicely together to form a cohesive album. From the dramatic opening number "Rondeo" to the closing magic of "Dans les Nuages," this is an album that our readers will listen to over and over, beginning to end.
Find further information on Soniq Theater and order the compact disc online at the artist's website. Certainly worth a trans-Atlantic journey, this debut album is a must listen!