Co-founded by men with an interest in medieval Middle German, with its name borrowed from the work of a 13th century minnesinger, Ougenweide modernizes old texts into uncluttered folk-rock, which favors the neat strum-and-pause rhythm of a courtly lute and the clean, enveloping buzz of a krummhorn. Herzsprung is Ougenweide’s 10th studio album, although it is only the second to be released after the group disbanded in 1985. The raw, 1970s prog-touches of the earlier discs have been scaled back, but a love of inventive instrumentation remains. The album opens with a mooing fanfare performed on conch shells. A little later flute and rock guitar play around an incantation in old High German, “Phol Ende Uuodan”, which seems to be the second part of the same 9th or 10th century manuscript Ougenweide adapted into “Merseburger” on their second album in 1974. “A long wait for a sequel,” I thought.
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