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Attila Kollár - Musical Witchcraft III - Psalms & Soundtrack  CD (album) cover

MUSICAL WITCHCRAFT III - PSALMS & SOUNDTRACK

Attila Kollár

 

Prog Folk

3.26 | 19 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Science fiction inspired, instrumentally oriented SOLARIS were Hungary's leading symphonic prog band from the early eighties onwards, releasing magnificent albums in 1984 and 1990. Before their third album Nostradamus (1999), both guitarist Istvan Cziglán -- who died in 1998 -- and flautist Attila Kollár had released a solo album. Attila called his own project Musical Witchcraft. The second part of the trilogy, Utopia, was released in December 2002. I bought the third Musical Witchcraft album Psalms & Soundtrack a few years back when I visited Budapest. I'm not familiar with the preceding albums of the trilogy.

The cover design is a mess, but that's not a big deal. Attila's flute is to a large degree the leading instrument in this acoustically oriented, melodic and slightly jazzy folk-prog, and his male co-musicians play acoustic guitar, bass guitar, percussion and drums. The female collaborator Edina Szirtes plays violin and harmonica and sings wordless vocals. The album is divided into Studio Section and Concert Section. First comes a 4-part "Psalms & Soundtrack Suite", followed by four separate pieces. Each piece is in a fairly regular song length, and symphonic tendencies are sadly rather absent. The folk flavor is strong also on the compositions that contain a good deal of rock elements. That is, the rhythm section is well present, be it a good or a bad thing. I perhaps would have preferred slightly less of drums. There are some sound effects -- alarm clock, bird singing, horses, traffic sounds -- that feel unnecessary, almost irritating, but luckily they're only momentary at the beginnings of tracks.

Without a question the musicianship is excellent. The organic and light-hearted music is enjoyable but doesn't really contain notably impressive highlights that would really stick out of the whole. The pieces on Concert Section are relatively similar than on Studio Section. Due to the nicely spacey live acoustics and the absence of sound effects I enjoy the Concert Section more. 'Hymn No. 200' has a charming melody. The flute sounds superb on it (as on the whole album), and Edina's vocalese fits nicely in.

I can't quite decide whether this is a lovely four-star album of excellent instrumental folk-rock or a mildly disappointing collection of less-than-stellar compositions. Let's say my rating is 3˝ stars and I round it down for minor things such as messy design.

Matti | 3/5 |

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