Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Karfagen - Birds of Passage CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.93 | 255 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Birds of Passage is Antony Kalugin's follow up to Échoes from within Dragon Island'. With returning musicians from the previous album, Alexandr Pavlov (Bassoon), Maria Baranovska (Violin) and Elena Kushiy (Flute) and the welcome return of guitarist Mathieu Spaeter from Magicians Theater. I believe Viktor Syrotin's drumming is articulate, I think this kind of music must be hard for a drummer. After Dragon Isle, it worried me how could the following album stand up to that great opus. I have now listened to Birds of Passage three times and I find it stands up very well. I think it is up to the listener to determine if it is better or not. Birds of Passage contains two lengthy tracks both surpassing the 20 minute mark along with two bonus shorter tracks. Again Antony has used the poetry of literary greats, this time being Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Blake for the basis of the subject for this album. Birds of Passage Part 1 we have the chorus of singers, Antony himself along with his wife Olga and Tim Sobolev. They sing the main theme that echoes throughout both parts. The music itself interweaves all instruments in a bright manner that reflects the subject matter of the poetry. I find Antony has the ability to make the singing as another instrument. Even though there is singing, it still feels as if it is fully instrumental.

Part 2 starts with a very nice calm section of acoustic guitar, soon to be accompanied by piano. This leads up to the punch of the electric guitar. This of course lends itself to the great playing from both Antony and Mathieu. About two thirds into this part is some keyboard which makes me feel I could float on those notes. Then as all great music, it pulls back to a quiet essence hinting to the climax that is coming. When that climax comes, it stirs you, makes your hairs stand up, and with the last notes satisfaction ensues. Then you breathe, let out a sigh and you know you want to listen to it again.

The first of the bonus tracks, 'Spring', has a tropical beat to it. A very happy feeling song with what I can only describe as a relaxing ghostly guitar sound which works really well. The second bonus track 'Sunrise'is perfectly named. The piano hints at the first rays of the sun coming over the horizon. This is a beautiful soothing track. This is a track you listen to when you soak up the scenery. This ends the album in a lovely, reflective mood.

I found this album more subtle and delicate than Dragon Isle. I mean this in a good way. It challenges the listener to listen more carefully. To listen to every instrument and it's journey, to listen to every nuance of every note played. To me this album will be a 'Passage' well worn with many listens.

Drmick1971 | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this KARFAGEN review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.