Fireworks

Sunchild - 'Isolation' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/cf/df/e0/2848_sunchildisolation_1350403830.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 16, 2012    
 
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Antony Kalugin and ensemble have produced another masterpiece.

It was only a couple of months ago that I was singing the praises of Sunchild’s previous release, ‘As Far As The Eye Can See’, and imploring readers with a penchant for quality progressive rock music not to let it pass them by. 

Well, you know what? I’m about to make exactly the same suggestion again, because the prolific Antony Kalugin and ensemble have produced another masterpiece (subtitled ‘The Dark Chapter’) that following repeated listens totally envelopes the senses and leaves one with a tremendous feeling of achievement, especially given the lyrically dark subject matter of the four part 26-minute title track that closes the album makes for an emotional ride. However, this also encompassing some of the most accomplished keyboard and guitar sections to be found on any progressive rock album so far this year, and is an engrossing listen.

So, the reality is that across its 56 minutes, the overall musical palette is not too dissimilar from the previous album; there are tracks featuring the somewhat accented vocals of Kalugin and also ones with Zhenya Lenkov and Viktoriia Osmachko to the fore, although in her case only during the first half of part 3 of ‘Isolation’. The first half of the album is song-oriented and although overall this album took me longer with which to fully engage when compared with its predecessor, the absolutely glorious ‘Shall We Run’ grabbed me immediately, and continues to do so. It’s one of the best songs of the year for me, so far, and the chorus resonates through the head long after the song has finished.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The other four songs: ‘No-name Town’, ‘64’, ‘The Great Me’ and ‘Berlin & Leningrad’ have a much more progressive approach to them and for the most part Kalugin and Lenkov share the vocal duties. Instrumentally, things never get particularly technical, the rhythm section providing a subtle or pulsating basis to the ascendant guitars and keyboards as required, but reaching something of a incendiary level in the juggernaut ‘Berlin & Leningrad’, lyrically disturbing and providing an immediate conduit for ‘Isolation’.

It is this title track that is the compelling jewel in the crown here, as already alluded to above. It continues the story (to be found in earlier Sunchild albums ‘The Gnomon’ and ‘The Wrap’ of a boy and a girl who grew up together, but whose lives diverged one fateful day. Part 1 of this is a brief, plaintive a-cappella song and what happens then is an absolute must hear for all you progressive rock adherents!

2012 is turning into another wonderful year of music for those who enjoy being taken on journeys of discovery by the albums we acquire, and this is up there with the best of them!

Paul Jerome Smith

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