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Solaris - Martian Chronicles II CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 293 ratings

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3 stars Solaris - Martian Chronicles II (2014)

Thirty years ago Hungarian eclectic progressive rock band Solaris recorded one of the finest progressive records of the eighties behind the Iron Curtain, Martians Chronicles (1984). The release of the fourth record of the band sees the band combining the 'Nostradamus' and original 'Martian Chronicles' styles in yet another mostly instrumental album - all vocals are without lyrics. The band has a broad pallet of sounds; the standard symphonic progressive rock instrumentation alongside with flute, violins, modern electronic sounds and vocal styles of different origins. One vocal solo even reminds us of Pink Floyd's 'Great Gig in the Sky'. Apparent is also the use of the Hungarian musical influences, which adds to the authenticity of the band its sound. The recording quality is very good, I haven't heard a better production with the major 2014 releases.

The opening tracks of the 'Martian Chronicles' suite are all very well composed and eclectic in nature. The sound is great, the musicianship varied and the integration of the different stylistic elements works fine. After this we get a continuation of style with the two 'Voices of the Past' tracks. Then something strange, yet familiars happens (for frequent listeners of the band that is). The excitement and originality of the opening peaces wears off and a string of increasingly less interesting compositions follows. This has also been the case with the 'Nostradamus' (1999) album and in a lesser way with the debut. The final song 'Alien' is really strange with collections of strange sounds and boring composition. This is a pity, because otherwise this could have been one of the major albums of the year 2014.

Conclusion. Well recorded and well played album by Solaris that will please fans of the symphonic and eclectic genres, but the second half is (yet again) quite weak. Four stars for the first halve, two for the second halve ? which makes up for three.

friso | 3/5 |


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