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Modern-Rock Ensemble - Touch The Mystery CD (album) cover

TOUCH THE MYSTERY

Modern-Rock Ensemble

 

Neo-Prog

4.05 | 178 ratings

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5 stars Maybe this is one of the albums that I have been waiting for many years. After the great explosion of prog rock in 70th, very seldom we are facing a fresh sound and a new approach to prog rock. I am absolutely sure that there will be comments that Vladimir is using in his Modern-Rock Ensemble project too many styles ? why not? If it serves his understanding of music and composing, in my opinion it is very positive. Otherwise we might have been drawn by clones of Yes, Genesis and Pink Floyd.

Meditations: this composition opens the CD. For me (a big fan of Ian Anderson) at first the voice of Vladimir was nearly shocking. However, later on I realized that this piece could be hardly sung differently. His voice is deeply integrated with musical development, forming short duos with cello, bass and guitar. In culminations Vladimir's bass/baritone can be very powerful and passionate. I would like to mention a very unusual and interesting use of cello, which is flirting at first with a 12 string guitar, then ? bass, and then ? plays solo parties with ELECTRIC GUITAR. The piece is slowly transforming from ambient, philosophical, mellow parts ahead to two strong and powerful culminations. Lead guitar of Max Velychko in this piece is sometimes nice and fragile, but as well strong and powerful. Nice oriental flavor is created by real tabla drums and "electric sitar". The music is complimented with enough philosophical lyrics. I wonder how Vladimir could interpret Valery Bryusov's poem. A very strong track.

What will happen to my country: Beautiful track which shows a lot of emotion and grief for the Vladimir's native country.

Touch the Mystery: A true Epic! It is different from my beloved "Thick as a Brick", "Tales from Topographic Ocean" and "Supper's Ready", very different. However, it is an essence of symphonic prog. Fusion of rock, jazz and classical musical is very natural and proven by development of the piece. Duos of Max Velychko's guitar and Vladimir's keys sometimes played at the edge of dissonance are very fresh and strong. String quartet is going through the metamorphoses from classical quartet to a rock rhythm SECTION replacing rock guitar's functions, changing its role from supporting arrangement to a leading soloist. Since Touch the Mystery is commented by Vladimir as his autobiography ? he might have very tough life experience with many ups and downs. It is a pity that following his ensemble concept of sound Vladimir has reduced his keyboard presence in this piece on purpose giving a more space for guitar, saxophone and fretless bass. Nevertheless, great keyboard skill is present through-out the whole piece.

My Angels. A very melodic and beautiful piece with a synthesizer solo in a good tradition of HTM. I like this piece.

The Swamp. Very emotional intro is followed by ambient, Biblical and philosophical part with great electric violin. I wonder how such a complicated piece which constantly develops on two synthesizers, ELECTRIC GUITAR and bass, could be played live on such a level. A very special and strong piece of music.

Meditations (in Russian): one point ? it is the same piece as an English version, however it is sung in a different voice and with slightly different emotional character. In Russian it was sung back in 80th, with a much more hope and beliefs in the future. Now in 2014 Vladimir is matured and obviously not that optimistic. He tries hard to attract our attention to the fact that we have already reached the edge of the Abyss. In fact, that's true.

Like an artist by education I would like to comment the great job of Sergey Shulima ? the artist whose paintings were used in design of the album. Great work, Sergey.

With the open heart I would definitely propose a 5 star qualification to this great album.

[email protected] | 5/5 |

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