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Solaris - Marsbéli Krónikák (Martian Chronicles) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.21 | 349 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Life on Mars and on Earth

Solaris is a very important band from Hungary because their most famous release, the band's debut from back in 1984, was one of the few important progressive rock releases during the 80's, a decade that became well known among progressive rock fans as the lost decade of prog or as the recession years. This release was so important because it was a very good one (and still a very good album after over 25 years) when progressive rock was enduring hard times, mainly due to no longer being the trendy kind of music.

Although Solaris's debut is an impressive and original progressive rock piece, besides being a completely standalone album, I don't think that it can be considered a masterpiece. That is because the album have only some pieces that are actually mind-blowing, which are the songs Martian Chronicles parts II-III and IV-VI and M'ars Poetica. The remaining eight songs are just very good songs and do not come close, in quality, to the three songs listed previously, showing that the band, though releasing an amazing debut, still needed to grow.

This album also seems to be inspired by the novel 1950 The Martian Chronicles by the american writer Ray Bradbury. Maybe these kinds of novels that did not made any reference to the capitalist lifestyle were accepted by the socialist governments behind the Iron Curtain, but I don't know for sure. The fact is that the novel is named The Martian Chronicles, the album is named Martian Chronicles and the band said that they were influenced by sci-fi.

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

Solaris is known for their all instrumental albums with terrific music. However, unlike other progressive rock bands, Solaris's music is not very challenging to be played and does not have any main or soloist instrument. Their music is the final product of a whole band effort at both composing and playing and that makes their songs incredibly balanced, I mean, the songs don't have a pinnacle or a best part, they are good as a whole.

Another interesting characteristic of Solaris's is that their songs have few ideas that are very well worked. I mean, instead of just throwing lots of separate ideas, the band focus on some handful of them and develop them throughout the songs, what makes the songs flow very smoothly. The outcome of such development of their musical ideas is just great, specially in the longer songs.

The highlights go to Martian Chronicles parts II-III and IV-VI and M'ars Poetica.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Although the album have some pretty good qualities and some awesome songs, the final product is not as good as it should be. Some problems would be fixed in their next album, called Nostradamus Book of Prophecies, but, still, here those problems worsen the album. However, it does not get too bad at all, but I still think that the masterpiece grade would be too much, so I will give to this fine album 4 stars then.

CCVP | 4/5 |


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