Monday, 1 August 2016

Popol Vuh - Einsjäger & Siebenjäger (1974)

Can never stay away from Popol Vuh for too long.  This is the one after Seligpreisung, which welcomed on board guitarist Daniel Fichelscher; from here on until the early 90s (and the last recognisable Vuh album) he'd share equal importance with Florian Fricke in shaping the group's sound.

Einsjäger & Siebenjäger (Hunter One and Hunter Seven) takes its name from characters in the creation myth of the Quiché Maya - which had already inspired the band name, Popol Vuh.  The album starts off as it means to go on, with Kleiner Krieger being a minute of ringing guitar lines, and King Minos futher setting out the core Popol Vuh sound for the next few years.  The gorgeous Morgengruß (morning greeting) shows Fichelscher's versatility with a bucolic acoustic guitar chime gradually being overlaid with his snaking lead lines.

An interesting Popol Vuh motif over their career was repurposing little bits of melody for different albums - the closing moments of the first side of this album are a similarly quiet, pianistic reprise of the 'Agnus Dei' finale of Seligpreisung.  The undisputed highlight of Einsjäger & Siebenjäger, however, is the side-long title track.  From peaceful beginnings, it sets off on a 19 minute epic voyage that gives both Fricke and Fichelscher ample room to drive the track through its cyclic moods, and vocalist Dyong Yun returns for the first time since Hosianna Mantra to add brief moments of breathy, spellbinding vocals.

Einsjäger & Siebenjäger

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