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

TOUCH THE MYSTERY

Modern-Rock Ensemble

 

Neo-Prog

4.01 | 167 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nº 100

Today I celebrate my hundredth review on Progarchives. As you can imagine, today is a very special day for me. Since a long time I planned to celebrate this date with a very special album from my country, the album generally considered the pinnacle of progressive rock of my country, "10.000 Anos Depois Entre Véus E Marte" of José Cid. However, I changed my decision and I decided to celebrate this date with this new album of this new musical project. Why? Because this new musical project has won a very special place into my heart since the first moment I listened to it. All begun in the end of 2015 when I was contacted asking my opinion about the album. As many of us know, we are often contacted by many groups to review their albums. And as we know too, we can't review all those albums. However, in this case, I was very impressed with this project. Despite not only the music is great but also Vladimir is a man with great skills, as a composer and performer. So, soon I became interested in this project and decided to review it.

Modern-Rock Ensemble is a musical project of Vladimir Gorashchenko, a composer, poet, keyboardist, guitar player and producer from Ukraine. About the project's name, Vladimir comments that his musical style was influenced by a great heritage of art-rock, jazz-rock, cosmic rock, symphonic rock and ethnic rock which he considers as essential parts of modern rock music. It also means that Vladimir wants to get more complex ensemble or orchestral type of sound. To this project Vladimir invited many talented Ukrainian rock and jazz musicians as well as a string quartet.

"Touch The Mystery" has six tracks. "Meditations" is the English version and the last track is the Russian version. It's one of the lengthiest tracks on it. It begins with some eastern musical influences that develop progressively all over the track. It's one of the two tracks on the album with some vocal work. This is a very good track, very well developed and with some original musical moments. It oscillates between slow and more aggressive parts. "What Will Happen To My Country" is a soft, melodious and emotional track that shows the feelings and the concerns of the composer with the future of his country. It's a very beautiful and nostalgic piece of music composed only for keyboards. It represents for me the most beautiful moment on the album. "Touch The Mystery" is the title track and the lengthiest track on the album, and is also the great highlight of the album. This is truly a majestic track. It has all the ingredients to be a masterpiece. Despite being another epic as the first one, musically it's very different. It's magnificently constructed and orchestrated, and has a great strings work. The music flows and develops naturally all over the track. It has also a very beautiful tune. This is really a great piece of progressive music. It's not a surprise that this track gives its name to the album. "My Angels" is another very soft, melodious and emotional track of the album. It's another piece of music composed only for keyboards. This time it shows the deep feelings of the composer's love for his wife and daughters. It represents the second most beautiful moment on the album. About the short pieces in the album I must say that they are absolutely beautiful and lovely. Both show Vladimir's own feelings about two very important things for him, his country and his family. "The Swamp" despite be the third lengthiest track on the album, is very different from the other two. First this is a live version and second it's strongly influenced by jazz. This is also an excellent track, more experimental than the previous tracks and where the strings work is also very beautiful. The track is also magnificently constructed. This is really another great piece of music. In my opinion this is the second highlight of the album.

One more thing. My compliments to Sergey Shulima, he made a great job with the paintings used on the album cover.

Conclusion: "Touch The Mystery" is a very interesting album, magnificently composed and orchestrated and with a very professional work. It has some beautiful and emotional moments and also some great job from all the performers. The strings work is really impressive and beautiful. The album is very well balanced and the inclusion of two small and soft pieces in the middle is really an excellent idea providing some of the most beautiful moments on the album. They break the most emotional moments of the lengthiest epic pieces. The vocal work of Vladimir is very curious and interesting. His voice is very deep and strong. Some can consider it too much deep for their tastes. But I think the use of his vocals on the album was very well balanced. The musical performance on the album clearly shows to be an album made by a keyboardist. However, Vladimir gives a lot of room for the other musicians shine on their own performances. I must say that I'm very impressed with the keyboard skills of Vladimir. I must confess that I didn't know anything about his musical education. His keyboard work is really great and I always presumed that he had a classical training. Now, I know that I was right. This is simply one of the best progressive albums I've heard to in the last years.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

P.S. : There is only one thing that worries me about this musical project, which is its classification. I'm not really sure if consider it a neo-prog project was the better option. I can see why, but I continue with many doubts. Despite I never was a great fan of the expression neo-prog (I like very much of bands which are caracterized as neo-prog bands), I think the music of Vladimir is much more profond. I always thought that the neo-prog style is nothing more than the symphonic prog style more simple, more melodic and more commercial. So, this is what bother me with this project. Despite Vladimir's style be very melodic it has nothing to do with simple, and especially, it has nothing to do with commercial. In my humble opinion, Vladimir's style has its roots very profond in the symphonic prog, as his classical training as a musician shows, we can clearly see it on "Touch The Mystery". By the other hand, and as himself says, his musical style is very much influenced by many and varied music styles, as we can clearly see on the track "The Swamp", which has clearly fusion musical influences. So, it would be more natural to me to put Modern-Rock Endemble in the sub-benre of Eclectic Prog or even Symphonic Prog. However, the decision was made and I accept it.

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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