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Ongkara - #B30HEPиCKA CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.90 | 2 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Back to St. Petersburg!

Sonic travels have so soon returned me to beautiful St. Petersburg, where there is a new release (late 2015) from Ongkara, a multi-national band of Russian and Canadian membership.

Their 3rd release "#взонериска" is pretty short at 28 minutes but they call it an album so I'm not presuming it is an EP. And a beautiful piece of work this is! So much joy and sense of being alive coursing through these veins. I was hooked at once. I love the fact that they sang the entire album in Russian giving it the authenticity I crave in rock from other parts of the world. The sound is quite unique. The tracks are short and have a "song" feel to them initially but it soon becomes quite satisfying and diverse. The frame of the tracks is built around acoustic guitar and some super bass playing, along with the vocals.

"Ongkara brings the best of Eastern and Western musical traditions together in a many-layered sound cocktail flavored with polyrhythmic drums and non-trivial vocal melodies" -Ongkara

It reminds me of the many modern eclectic RPI bands in spirit, and in particular I think of I Treni All'Alba who had the acoustic approach though to different ends. Sometimes Ongkara reminded me of early solo Gabriel, the sparse, low drum brooding stuff with exotic, experimental feel. But here there is a vibe coming from the language and the bits of subtle electronic sound effect/ambient noises floating just around the main component. The songs are dreamy, direct, they convey movement and emotion, and perhaps a sense of the outdoors. The skill of the players has to be mentioned as well---Artem and Aidar create the loveliest of sounds through the communication of their guitar/bass. It's a combination of complexity and beauty and accessibility which grabbed me instantly. That is not something that happens all that often. There are a bunch of technically fantastic players in the world but often they lack the gift of being able to record something that moves me and captivates. Ongkara have captured that and I believe this album will appeal to many of the readers of this site.

As some will remember I'm a big fan of short albums and not often do I wish an album was longer. This is one I do was a bit longer....great stuff Ongkara, solid 4 stars.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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