Sunrise Auranaut - 'The Way Of The King'

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Sunrise Auranaut - 'The Way Of The King'

I can't honestly even suspect what might tempt anyone to purchase this record.

Yeah, yeah, I know, never judge a album by its cover. However there's no denying the first stumbling block one-man Russian keyboard, synth (and it would appear everything else) master Vitaly Kiselev will have to overcome with 'The Way Of The King' from his "band" Sunrise Auranaut, is what looks like a computer generated children's storybook cover adorning this disc. Especially when the bearded, lute carrying minstrel on said cover, who is discovering a crown in front of a what looks like a painted shoebox castle, looks suspiciously like a certain Mr. Blackmore...

Anyway, putting that aside, if you like the sound of budget Rick Wakeman, then let's delve into the album itself, where a completely instrumental wander through Progressive themes via a clunky programmed drum sound barely ever lifts the spirits. The intentions are fine and the performance itself reasonable enough. However, hunt high and low though I might, inspiration for this remarkably low budget fare is tough to muster. A cloudy production either helps mask the clunkiness of the material, or does the songs no justice (it's hard to know which way to fall on this to be honest), while simply uninspired ideas neatly box the undoubted skills on show and hide them under the stairs in hope of better songs to illustrate them. Honestly, 'Young Wind', 'Step By Step' or 'Blues Of Friendly Heat' basically sound like some sort of synthesizer demonstration mode, set for "Yes and Wakeman" and left to not so happily churn through its cycle over and over.

It may come across as harsh but when there's a mountain of superb Prog-based music out there to savour, I can't honestly even suspect what might tempt anyone into plumping for an album which sounds like someone noodling away a bored afternoon for their own pleasure. Although even in those circumstances, I'd guess that the composer would struggle to remember these concoctions, unless they happen to be Sunrise Auranaut of course...

Steven Reid

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