Review: Martin Neuhold writes an opus to 70s progressive music with Embraced By Dusk

Martin Neuhold
Rating: 7.5/10

When we think about dusk, we often tend to associate feelings like melancholy, gloom and loneliness with it. And we end up seeing the daily event with a pessimistic attitude. But German multi-instrumentalist and composer, Martin Neuhold, welcomes ‘dusk’ with open arms and revels in every feeling associated with the daily event in his latest album “Embraced by Dusk”.

The album, essentially, borders around ambient, chillout and downtempo music. But, if you listen to it closely and dig a bit deeper, “Embraced by Dusk” might feel like Neuhold’s ultimate tribute to legendary German bands, such as Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel, who rose to prominence during the 1970s. The artist himself states 1970s progressive rock to be one of the biggest influences to his musical style. And this reflects in all his previous works. So, it can be said that if 70s German progressive music had a revival of sorts, Neuhold would be one of its torch bearers.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this album is Neuhold’s collaborations, namely with Alien Nature, Vaders Orchestra, Kellerkind Berlin, Stefan C. Schenkel and Claus Jahn.  Tracks such as “Solar Fields,” “On The Brink of Extinction” and “Nightdance” give the album the essence of being the soundtrack to an epic fantasy film even though they are a bit lengthy. This aspect is highlighted due to the fact that the album can instigate visuals in your mind with its intricate sound design. The visual nature of the album is also reflected in Neuhold’s solo tracks like “Alone With Myself,” “Ă„nother Dream” and the title track.

Although each track in “Embraced By Dusk” has a distinct flavor of its own, the album in its entirety lays out an collective theme in the listener’s mind. And that is, perhaps, its unique selling point.

Oh yes! Like every album that has intricate detailing in sound design, “Embraced By Dusk” is also best listened to with good headphones and proper attention being given to it. This is an album which will grow on you with every listening session. And it stands as proof to the statement, “You can find good music in today’s world when you start looking beyond what is commercial.”  

~ The Monk