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Under A Dark Sky

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Average Rating
★★★★☆
(11 Reviews)

Uli Jon Roth Biography - Uli Jon Roth Discography - All Heavy Metal Bands

Description

Since the early 1970 s Uli Jon Roth has been a household name, be it from his work with the Scorpions, his own band Electric Sun, composing symphonies and concertos and sometimes performing with symphony orchestras throughout Europe. Uli Jon Roth has returned to form with his first real rock record since 1985 s Beyond the Astral Skies . Under A Dark Sky is the first official release in the long-awaited series of Symphonic Legends, which is a cycle of music written by Uli for his all-encompassing Sky Of Avalon project. Fans of the Scorpions and Uli Jon Roth alike, will be in awe of the guitar master once again as he delivers his next masterpiece.

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  • Despite being a long time Uli Jon Roth fan (Scorpions), I openly admit to being fooled into thinking this might be a return to his Electric Sun sound as “promised” by advance notices. After all, he has been embracing his past more and more in both his solo performances and his appearances with the Scorpions.
    Having said that, when I first listened to this, I wanted to give it 2 stars only. Now, I am not against the music Uli has been making the last 15 years+ or so as I do have Aquila Suite, Prolouge to the Symphonic Legends and Transcendental Sky Guitar (Parts 1 & 2) and like them all, however my expectations ruined the first listen of this CD.
    Then I decided to pop it in again and I am happy I did. I would most likely give this 3.5 stars if I could, only because I think “side 1″, if you can call it that, is not nearly as good as “side 2″. I rate the second half of this release as some of the best music he has ever created, including Electric Sun.
    By the way, for those expecting an Electric Sun revival, I think this CD is closer to Earthquake/Firewind than Beyond the Astral Skies (his worst release in my opinion-although still good). Give this a few spins…..it is a solid 4 star release (3.5 for the first half and 4.5 for the second half)

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I had the privilege of hearing them live at the Orange Blossom in Exeter, CA and enjoyed them tremendously.

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Ulrich Roth is, along with Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore, the progenitor and pioneer of the movement to fuse Art Music with Heavy Metal/Hard Rock. The impact of his music is monumental: without Uli, there would have been no Randy Rhoads or Yngwie Malmsteen. As hard as that idea might be for the legions of Rhoads and Malmsteen clones, anyone taking a concentrated listen to any of the ’70’s Scorpions or early Electric Sun output would make the same judgement. One of the biggest differences between Uli and the Malmsteen/Rhoads factions is the fact that Roth has been more serious in integrating the distorted electric guitar into the orchestra, as opposed to writing Paganini-worshipping, lead guitar fixated “concertos” with silly orchestration. With this album, Roth has reached the peak of his compositional powers, incorporating most successfully operatic, chorale, intricate piano, and authentically symphonic variables into the Rock/Metal genre. No other artist or release has done this as effectively, up to this point in time. I should also mention that, from a purely lead guitar playing perspective, Uli’s overall tone, attack, and sense of dynamics has become at least equal to the best Rock/Metal players in history, such as Jeff Beck, Blackmore, Schenker, etc.

    When I first bought this cd, I had to prepare myself for a listen that would be almost entirely non-Metallic. Once I got past that, I was floored by how advanced that Uli’s writing has become. He really is a legitimate composer that happens to play guitar, instead of a lead guitar player struggling to arrange heavy metal music for an orchestra. The guitar playing, like the first Sky of Avalon cd, comes in bursts for the most part, showing up at the best time to enchance the effect of it against the other instruments. He perfected the place of the guitar among the other orchestral instruments, unlike others whom just rewrote the cello cadenza parts for electric guitar.

    I realize that alot of people here wouldn’t be wild about the arty nature of this cd: the choirs, the length, etc. The fact is, the great majority of folks don’t like to have to focus when they listen to a Rock/Metal cd, preferring to listen to the same song structures ad infinitum. For them, music is mostly entertainment, which of course is fine. But, as a musician and composer, I can’t help but declare my profound admiration for what Uli has accomplished here. I think this is by far the best Rock release in well over 10 years.

    I have read where people compared this to the old ’70’s releases of ELP, King Crimson, etc. This doesn’t sound anything like those artists, in fact this sounds like something completely individual. That’s the highest compliment I can pay any work of art.

    I give this an easy 5 out of 5. This is one of those cds I know I’ll get more out of each time I listen to it, and that is so rare for cds today.

    I’m very grateful that this release exists: I find it tremendously inspiring and affirming. Most highly reccomended.

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • A few days ago on Sep 23, 2008 I was fortunate enough to see Uli live. He performed the entire Under A Dark Sky work as well as Scorpions, Electric Sun, & Jimi Hendrix classics. After the show I talked to Uli at length regarding the Dark Sky CD. He prefers to call it a “concept album” as opposed to a rock opera. What ever you want to call it, the CD is a masterpiece from a very talented artist. The spirituality of Dark Sky comes through as Uli makes a statement of “the state of the world today and how we fit into it”, as he told me.
    If you appreciate a grand work, in the style of classical concertos, with many various tempos, this is for you. Enjoy.

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Soaring, virtuoso guitarwork; metal seamlessly flowing as one with Beethoven (or, arguably, Wagner); extraordinary vocalists Mark Boals and Liz Vandall (complete with a choir), in three languages, furtively and dramatically crying out for peace and hope, challenging humankind to return to the One who guides us to the path of restoration – such is this new masterpiece of Uli Jon Roth and his band Sky of Avalon. The music alone takes hold of the listener, sending one’s emotions and spirit through a maze of exhiliration, fascination, quiet reflection, elation, sadness, and hopelessness. And then you turn a corner and it resolves with the final promised celebration of joy. In my opinion, the CD will equally please both classical fans and seasoned rockers. Whatever musical genre, the listener with a heart craving for answers finds hope in the message of this amazing work. And the consumer just craving a concert that musically takes their ears everywhere in the universe will (literally) think they’ve died and gone to heaven.

    Posted on January 18, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now