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


Modern-Rock Ensemble



4.03 | 191 ratings

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3 stars Sounding much like 1980s Rick Wakeman comes Ukrainian Vladimir Gorashchenko's Modern-Rock Ensemble (with a little help from Anton Kalugin). Touch the Mystery presents a collection of songs that Vlad has been reworking since the end of the 1980s. These nice sounding, mature, emotional songs are a welcome addition to the Prog lexicon.

1. "Meditations" (11:43) A nice song with welcome guitars and an interesting baritone voice. Twelve minutes seems a bit long for the little development that occurs but it works! (9/10)

2. "What Will Happen To My Country?" (3:02) one of the two keyboard instrumental solos from Vladimir. They both sound a lot like 1980s Rick Wakeman pieces (including the use of dated synthesizers and New Age-y electronic piano). This one is a bit more developed in terms of multiple tracks and the use of multiple instruments. (8/10)

3. "Touch The Mystery" (19:50) This is the most developed, prog rock-like song on the album, with many shifts in tempo, melody and dynamics, instrumental orientation. The only song with the presence of sax (soprano) this works very well for this song--as does the nice lead guitar work of Max Velichko (KARFAGEN). Some of the sound reproduction and sectional shifts remind me quite a bit of UNITOPIA's 2009 prog epic masterpiece, "The Garden." I also quite enjoy the use of both fretted and fretless bass in different sections here. Nice work, Igor Zakus! Altogether an interesting, engaging song with competent flow compositionally and great performances throughout. The sound of the keyboards used throughout are often feeling dated, and the transitions sometimes feel a bit predictable and/or cliché. (9/10)

4. "My Angels" (Dedicated To My Wife And Daughters) (3:16) pretty enough but a bit over-saccharine for my tastes. Same criticisms as for #2. (7/10)

5. "Swamp" (Recorded Live During The Jazz Festival In 1989) (9:51) despite the poor sound quality, this is an interesting song, very spacious and full of pretty melodies. Though apparently from a live performance, the song feels as if the band were experimenting with being together as well as the use of various sound effects. Also, each section feels somewhat rehearsed while the transitions are a bit rough, feeling forced. (7.5/10) 6. "Meditations" (Version In Russian) (11:43) as intimated by the parenthetical addition to the title, this is the same music tracks as song #1 with the lyrics sung in Russian. I always prefer songs sung in the artists' native languages. (No rating.)

Though I am well aware of the prolific presence of Anton(y) Kalugin in the past decade (I own several albums of projects of his [Karfagen and Sunchild]), I am not as intimately familiar with his personal instrumental sytlings to differentiate between his contributions to this album and those of its composer. It works.

A 3.5 star album; good but certainly not extraordinary. Rated down for brevity of original and unrepeated material.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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