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Antony Kalugin - Stellar Gardener CD (album) cover


Antony Kalugin


Symphonic Prog

3.93 | 87 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars ANTONY KALUGIN is still the mastermind of KARFAGEN, less of SUNCHILD and HOGGWASH from now on; he composed new age music and then became interested in progressive rock; he delivers here an instrumental opus in the tradition of his last released in November with convolutions of CAMEL and other YES, quickly joined by pure and hard progressive symphonic on the framework of a WILLOWGLASS. ANTONY KALUGIN took advantage of the pandemic (which has been going on for over a year!) To release this classic roller coaster-worthy opus, given the many hidden drawers inside. Antony who releases albums faster than his shadow.

"Stellar" for the first of the two great titles, plunges directly into an epic symphonic and multi-colored piece; a CAMEL side, another jazzy then singular convolutions here and there, a break in the religious, intimate environment, moment of meditation, introspection, then it leaves with a little acoustic on the guitar which will find the great OLDFIELD. It's beautiful, for a first I am jubilant, for his second I am less charmed, more an encore in my opinion; beware, it's beautiful from start to finish but less bombastic, less creative than its predecessor; the synths and other keyboards lead the dance in a jovial way and allow themselves to jousting for the finale. "Gardener" and a THE BEATLES intro, just the kitsch start; hop we start directly on a sound like WAKEMAN, la EMERSON, it spurts everywhere, a bit of OLDFIELD for the interrupted crescendo. Olha comes to grow her voice and gives a hook to this second long epic track for a few moments; it leaves with a little more of everything; jazzy break in the middle then nervous riff and violin, finally violin synth to give a melancholy frame of any beauty. The final of the last 5 minutes is explosive and gives a glimpse of the instrumental quality and would almost make me regret the first 15 without a real soul. In short, the more beautiful of the two titles however.

"Stellar Castle" begins the 1st of 4 "radio-edit" tracks for a breathtaking lyrical soaring, a little VANGELIS and OLDFIELD combined for a less messy tune because it is very short and a deluge of concentrated notes. "Stellar Garden" takes up 'Gardener' and quickly takes us to the same musical lands; the duration makes it more recognizable, I can clearly see HACKETT and GENESIS on it. "Stellar Age" and a YES, church organ tune leading to an end of set tune, goodbye tune; in the middle of this title, an explosion of notes makes you explode the quadraphony of your speakers, yes always listen in a specific room to take full advantage of each notes which go in all directions. "Stellar Heart" for the ending track this time is the correct one; a piano, angels' voices, a simple, delicate GENESIS proto sound, a violin or a synth that tears our ears in a delicate way, sweet rhyme to finish.

ANTONY KALUGIN, mastodon progressive keyboardist, therefore composed alone to offer this second opus, closer to a symphonic roller coaster than to the conventional progressive of his group KARFAGEN; It moves, the melodies are beautiful, intoxicating, bewitching over listening, a bit muddled too, blending CAMEL with ELP or WAKEMAN from YES. GENESIS for melodic breaks. It's bucolic, out of the bombastic 70's, it's agreed and it lacks that little extra to hit the ear a little more; well I won't be able to make two notes but I'm still addicted to "Marshmallow" for its emotional return to this day. Flawless epic instrumental symphonic prog with less creation compared to the last one.

alainPP | 4/5 |


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