Flaming Bess - Fata Morgana 1996

 Review by kenethlevine
3 stars After a 15 year absence, the collective vision that is FLAMING BESS`returned, led by multi instrumentalist Hans Wende as the sole original member. A "Fata Morgana" is a superior mirage on the horizon, often shapeshifting, and not an inappropriate description for the contents herein.

While presumably the saga of the protagonist continues to evolve, and the jazzy symphonic style remains largely intact, several more mainstream and conventional songs with simplistic messages could relate to pretty much any story. While they are funky, well played and undeniably catchy, "The Power" and "Regenkind" ("Rainchild") are also painfully generic. On the other hand, "Hoffnung (Hope Song) rises through pained lead and acoustic guitars to an emotive second half in which guest vocalist Bernd Hammes leaves all on the table. Elsewhere, we find plenty of fine tunes spanning the BESS spectrum, mostly not earth shattering, although "Dau"", "Erbarmen" and "Gedankenspiele" are pretty hard to put down, with their later CAMEL/later NOVALIS/tame FINCH/UK take on accessible, quasi-instrumental prog.

All in all, another success for the BESS, a band seemingly fated to quality entertainment.

1. Intro (1:31)
2. Arkana (Kapitel III) (3:30)
3. Veligandu (Power Song) (5:09)
4. Die Reise (3:32)
5. Hoffnung (Hope Song) (5:08)
6. Afrikanische Trдume (3:59)
7. Dau (4:35)
8. Visionen (0:41)
9. Regenkind (3:53)
10. Erbarmen (5:07)
11. Gedankenspiele (6:19)
12. Fata Morgana (6:58)
13. Fьr Mau-Ri-Tse (3:07)
Bonus Track 2001 Special Edition:
14. Rainchild (Hopeful Radio Edit) (3:24)

Time: 64:18

Flaming Bess / Fata Morgana 1996 (2001): Arkana
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