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The Gourishankar - 2nd Hands CD (album) cover


The Gourishankar


Eclectic Prog

3.98 | 167 ratings

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4 stars Showing respect to my fellow reviewers (even though at times we strongly disagree) is the true essence of this site, providing opinions on various hitherto unknown bands and their opuses. Getting a feel for a specific album's merits is not always a simple exercise, as we all have our own personal slant on taste, but with a genre as stylistically diverse as prog, this can be a leaky boat at times. It's also what makes "prog-hunting" so much fun!!!! Sometimes, a new revelation will unfold its treasures on the spot and others require a retooling of the sensory programming (expecting blue and getting green) and blossoms only on repeated efforts. This is what is known as "fine-tuning". Russian band The Gourishankar is a case in point, whereby previous reviews were positively adamant at this being primo progressive of the highest order but my first impression was somewhat restrained because of the overdose of various ingredients in this massive release. If one had to synthesize all the ingredients of progressive history and re- engineer them into a contemporary veneer, than this would be a "magna cum lauda" example. It's all here, ladies, gents and ex- comrades: symph, art, neo, rock, classical, folk, electronica & techno with dabs of burlesque, jazz, pop and fusion. My first run through provoked heartburn more than any proggy bliss and I had to ingest some Pepto-Bismol with my vodka! Also somewhat puzzling were the decidedly non-Russian names of the musicians which made this even more mysterious (Cat Heady? Nomy Agranson? Doran Usher? And Vlad MJ Whiner? Not exactly typical Moscow Central! Nothing like Igor, Boris or Ruslan). I did the smart thing and broke up this 71 minute plus sucker into individual pieces that sequestered my entire attention, now listening with an open- mind and even wider ears! And suddenly, just like a violent Siberian snowstorm, I heard the beauty of it all! With ingeniously seductive pieces like "Endless Drama", "The Inexpressible Chagrin" and the simply marvelous "Marvelous Choice", the shift from "What in hell.." To "Hmmn, Russian heaven?" was underway, providing the platform to eventually enjoy the other excellent pieces. There are some rather odd choices here but the philosophy is clear (and it's certainly not dogmatic Marxist!): unabashed variety overload (which the old Soviet censors would of clearly accused of "bloated capitalist bombast", come to think of it)! One thing is definite: this is certainly an interesting release that will astound, confound and ultimately fascinate the geographically unchallenged proghead. 4.5 once red stars
tszirmay | 4/5 |


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