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Narrenkonig is the 3rd album by German Folk Rock band Schandmaul, earlier this year I reviewed a later album by the band - Wie Pech & Schwefel which came 2 years later. This one released in 2002, sounds very similar, there is a medival folky sound which I normally rather like, there's something which doesn't quite seem to click in to place though. Perhaps it is the lack of variation in the medieval tunes or the awkward vocals.
The vocals are little more than spoken quickly, occasionally crooned in a folky way - it's quite jolly and seems rather warm and humorous but I can't help but feel female vocals are more suited to the band's music. The violin playing in particular is highly enjoyable and I like some of the sad songs but again the vocals seem a bit strange, while I accept that a dramatical voice would suit such songs - I'm not quite sure that the singer pulls it off, it sounds more like a tragic musical.
There are large gaps in the tracks between the bursts of rock but when it does kick in, it's usually a refreshing change. I would like to enjoy this band, it may help if I learnt what they were singing about. The two albums I've reviewed have been quite disappointing though. I haven't chosen a favourite track because I don't think I have one - they all start to blur into one after a while.
2. Das Seemannsgrab
4. Dein Anblick
5. Die Drei Prufungen
7. Der Spion
8. Die Zwei Bruder
11. Der Kurier
13. Der Hofnarr
14. Der Wandersmann