Tom Hayes 7-November-2006 Prosper – Broken Door

Garden of Delights have provided us with another gem in the German rough, this time the group Prosper, a band from the coal mining town of Bottrop. Like many private releases from the 1970’s, there is no sense of the audience, so there’s a lack of focus in the material. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as in Prosper’s case. The album’s opening is clearly operating in King Crimson’s “Starless and Bible Black” territory, with long stretches of experimental sound offset by ultra tight guitar centered sequences. A very promising opening indeed except… that’s pretty much the end of that style. From here out there’s vocal centric acoustic balladry, Eloy styled symphonic rock, a lengthy chops heavy fusion oriented piece with great guitar and electric piano, some southern fried Allman Brothers boogie via Cologne, atmospheric space rock with violin, a short drum solo and an instrumental Novalis meets Return To Forever styled melancholic closer. It’s the 70s smorgasbord, and much better than it might seem, as Prosper were able to execute on each style effortlessly and perhaps better than many of their counterparts. Guitarist Evert Brettschneider was a member of The Contact Trio while at the same time playing for Prosper. Other past and future members of Prosper were involved with bands as disparate as Wallenstein, Aera and Chicken Bones. By 1980, Prosper were dead, gone and buried with only this 1975 album to show for their troubles. Fortunate they did, as “Broken Door” is definitely worth owning.

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