Fireworks

Sunchild - 'As Far As The Eye Can See' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/34/41/96/2309_sunchildasfarastheeyecansee_1339692215.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 14, 2012    
 
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The more I listen to this album, the more enraptured I am by it.

Sunchild is a project of the prolific Ukrainian musician Antony Kalugin (Karfagen, Hoggwash) and he has brought together an absolute plethora of talented players (instrumentalists and vocalists) to supplement his impressive keyboard virtuosity but somewhat accented yet warm and sonorous vocals. To say that this album has whetted my appetite to acquire the previous Sunchild albums (‘The Gnomon’ (2008), ‘The Invisible Line’ (2009) and ‘The Wrap’ (2010)) would be a considerable understatement, and ‘AFATECS’ is yet another fantastic album of prog rock released in 2011.

I have seen this album described as a “spine-tingling masterpiece”. It is precisely so: and then some! That is what makes this music reviewing job so rewarding – discovering a band or solo artist that one has not previously heard, and being absolutely floored by how utterly stupendous the album under consideration actually is. There’s over 63 minutes of utterly enthralling music here, quite a lot of it trending towards the theatricality of art rock and the intertwining of vocal and instrumental parts that this implies. To commence an album with by far and away the longest track on offer - the epic 15:25 of ‘Stars Of Cardiff Bay’ - is a bold move, but the listener is immediately thrown into an aural melange that pricks the senses with a sonically warm production and fantastic array of instruments to support and complement the male and female vocals: sometimes separate, sometimes in harmony. You will want to hear more; welcome to the story of “the man who sold the Frog”! (You’ll need to buy the album to find out more…)

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Vocally, most of the album has male or female vocals leading on alternating tracks from the delicious ‘Ring Of Eternity’ through to penultimate song ‘Visionary Sights’ but with glorious harmonies in support throughout. The female lead vocals (mostly, I think from Olya Chernova, although Victoria Osmachko is also listed) are oh so redolent of Kate Bush at her finest and fit so magically here. Lyrically perplexing at times, yet nonetheless beguiling, there is so much to absorb that I can imaging listening to this album a hundred times and still finding something new to delight!

If you can sample the album, please give a listen to the coupling of ‘March Of Fate’ and ‘Visionary Sights’. I keep hitting the repeat button to hear them over and over…The former has an intro plated on oboe and bassoon (not a frequently encountered instrument in rock music!) and has a verse/chorus structure combined with a fantastic tune that will worm its way into your brain (and there’s some great guitar in there too!) The latter is an utterly lovely, engaging song with a gentle, pastoral feel that segues into the concluding title track to bring this masterpiece to a satisfying culmination.

Quite honestly, the more I listen to this album, the more enraptured I am by it. I know there’s a lot of great prog rock out there at the moment, but please don’t miss this one!

Paul Jerome Smith

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