Fading Beauty by Faithful Breath is an album where the mood is an instrumental portrayal of death, passage of time, introspective apocalypse – a dreamy sort of progressive rock. It was originally a private release of 1500 copies and still one of the finest of that German krautrock era. There are three tracks, Fading Beauty (12:08), Lingering Cold (10:25), Tharsis (21:38). There first two are in a style of Goethe and a Germanic romantic saga of weltschmerz, wrapped in a electronic soundscape by echo effects, mellotrons, organs, soft hypnotic drums and female voice all mixed in an intimate stereo mix. Which is why the albums really suits for listenings on good headphones. The album embodies the feeling that the material world can never satisfy or explain the essential and spiritual thirst we have.
Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life.
-Jean Paul (1763 – 1825)
The last track, Tharsis, is based on the myth where the Earth is an egg that will eventually hatch and in this futuristic version, Earthlings defend themselves with nuclear weapons. I had hard time accepting this track on the album, it somehow breaks the mood. Most of the times I put on the first two tracks and enjoy the 22:33 minutes they provide. Although sometimes the last track gets mighty and enjoyable too.
Faithful Breath was formed in 1967, men didn’t make anything until Manfred von Butler joined the band in 1972 and inspired the others to a more progressive style. Maybe we can conclude that this album was his artistic vision? At the time I heard this album I was so impressed and thought there was more from the band, with the same feeling, but there wasn’t. The band didn’t make anything similar and really changed style, where they even changed band name and then changed it back to Faithful Breath where they continued with 80’s type of viking metal stuff, getting costumes and getting into stuff that was galaxies away from the Fading Beauty. So this album is unique and one of the kind.
Where could more music from this Manfred von Butler be found? Apparently he finished his medical studies and has his own clinic – from what I read in an interview from the past band member Jürgen Weritz.