Popol Vuh
Nosferatu


4.0
excellent

Review

by Angel STAFF
September 30th, 2010 | 20 replies


Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Listen. The children of the night make their music.”

Popol Vuh was a German band founded by pianist and keyboardist Florian Fricke. The group is regarded as one of the earliest to create ambient, New Age, and world music. Their work began revolving around the then new Moog synthesizer paired with ethnic percussion and would later evolve to include all kinds of instruments, electric and acoustic alike, combined to produce mystical-sounding music both spiritual and introspective. The band is perhaps most notable for contributing to the soundtracks of the films of Werner Herzog, including Nosferatu, Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo, Cobra Verde, Heart of Glass, and The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, in which Fricke appeared.

The music of Nosferatu isn’t always dark, but it’s certainly haunting. Herzog’s updated homage to F. W. Murnau’s silent classic further explores the pathos of the legendary Count Dracula, portraying him as a tortured and lonely soul, a victim of his own immortality. Popol Vuh manage to capture much of this atmosphere and emotion in their worldly sounds. Whether it’s sitar and electric guitar or acoustic guitar and synths, the band manages to harness a certain aura in these songs that perfectly compliment the images and themes of the film. On its own, the album still remains a meditative and thought-provoking collection of music. Nosferatu seems like such a departure from the bloated orchestral scores of modern film-making. Here there’s a certain mystique to the sounds within and a true ambience. Minimalistic as it may be, there’s almost always enough going on. The marriage of instruments is thoughtful, with each part being well executed and bringing subtle compliments to the others. A lull in the action as often greeted with a new and interesting pairing of sounds and melodies. While listening to Nosferatu, the mind rarely wanders; it journeys - through the vast and ornate chambers of a Transylvanian castle and to the depths of one’s own subconscious.

Nosferatu the film is certainly a classic, and in many ways, so is its soundtrack. The album remains a captivating early foray into music only gaining relevance today. The death of Florian Fricke in 2001 marked the end of Popol Vuh, but the collection of marvelous music he and his colleagues have left behind lives on and continues to inspire. Perhaps Count Dracula said it best himself, "Death is not the worst. There are things more horrible than death.”



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Meatplow
September 30th 2010


5524 Comments


Awesome, could use more krautrock reviews on here.

need to revisit this and Aguirre: The Wrath of God

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2010


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just in time for Halloween.

Bet y'all were expecting another black metal review.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2010


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a bunch Meat. I'm expecting a whopping six or so comments on this lol.

Prolapse
September 30th 2010


4370 Comments




Apollo
September 30th 2010


10362 Comments


was definately expecting a bm review, nice work broski

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2010


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've got a couple of those I would like to do soon as well. So stay tuned. And thanks.

Meatplow
September 30th 2010


5524 Comments


I listened to Affenstunde a while back, captivating stuff.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2010


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it's a highly influential, highly overlooked album. And I suppose the same could be said about the band in general.

Jethro42
September 30th 2010


12546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review Angel, keep it up!
I'm not a big fan of Krautrok, but I'll pay attention to these fellas since it was into your yesterday's 70's prog list (the only one of the list I've never heard of)

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2010


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It could be considered a bit of a stretch including them in a prog list, but I felt like they needed some attention nonetheless. Thanks Jethro.

Meatplow
September 30th 2010


5524 Comments


kraut and prog sort of live in each others pockets I guess

the only distinction I can make is krautrock is more focused on ambient and electronic sounds, sort of a precursor to a lot of the first industrial and post-punk groups.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2010


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well said. I think the mentality of taking music to new and exciting places beyond the norms established by popular music was present in both movements, so it's safe to say they are related in that respect.

Meatplow
September 30th 2010


5524 Comments


that's still not adequate really

Krautrock is an eclectic and often very original mix of post-psychedelic jamming and moody progressive rock mixed with ideas from contemporary experimental classical music (especially composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, with whom, for example, Irmin Schmidt and Holger Czukay of Can had previously studied) and from the new experimental directions that emerged in jazz during the 1960s and 1970s (mainly the free jazz pieces by Ornette Coleman or Albert Ayler). Moving away from the patterns of song structure and melody of much rock music in America and Britain, some in the movement also drove the music to a more mechanical and electronic sound.


I was halfway there

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2010


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn lol.

iranscam
September 30th 2010


469 Comments


All I have by Popol Vuh is Hosianna Mantra, which rules. Been meaning to get some of their soundtracks. I've only heard the one in Aguirre and it was great. And good review by the way.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2010


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, those are some legit albums. And thanks man.

I forgot to mention earlier that Opeth use "Through Pain to Heaven" as their intro song for the Lamentations DVD.

scissorlocked
June 2nd 2011


3511 Comments


nice review man

I need to get into this - there is excellent shit to find in krautrock bands

Digging: Distance - Outer Limits

Tikicobra
April 7th 2012


573 Comments


This movie's so great, and so is the soundtrack.

tarkus
April 7th 2012


5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed this rules

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2014


18861 Comments


"loneliness is the most abject pain"

Digging: Substance / Vainqueur - Reverberation / Reverberate



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