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Deluge Grander - August In The Urals CD (album) cover

AUGUST IN THE URALS

Deluge Grander

 

Symphonic Prog

4.01 | 107 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Bombastic and pompous, but at the same time sober and intelligent

The first time I heard about DELUGE GRANDER was in 2006 when this USA band was suggested for Symphonic, the first member of the team that listened them was my good friend H.T. Riekels who was really impressed. Being that on those days we had a lot of work, I let it pass for some weeks, but H.T. put a lot of pressure on me not only sending PM's and mails, but also mentioning the band in our daily coordination chats.

The guy was so insistent that I had to buy "August in the Urals" without listening samples just to stop listening him, and even when this is not the Symphonic I was used to, was really impressed with the magnificent, pompous and at the same time elegant sound of the band.

It was clear that the Symphonic structural evolution that started on the 90's in Eastern Europe, had spread all around the world and that we were before a new form of the genre that would bring freshness to the music we grew with, so immediately mailed all the team and the band was added.

This evolution I'm talking about is obvious since the first note, if the 70's pioneers of Symphonic were masters blending Rock and Classical, this guys are making a richer fusion of genres that cross, Jazz, Classical, Avant Garde and everything we can just imagine.

The album opener "Inaugural Bash" is a good example of this tendency, the first couple of minutes they play some sort of Symphonic soft Jazz, but then the change begins, it's not radical as we are used to, but progressive even when not less dramatic. The music slowly morphs from fast and lets say light, to mysterious and haunting, even when the piano is the lead instrument, the organ mix is simply out of this world. As the song advances, we can perceive the influence of such musicians as Rachmaninoff mixed with dark chants and soft choirs.

But "Inaugural Bash" is 25 minutes long, and the band has time to bombard us with Mellotron guitar riffs, trumpet, xylophone and many other instruments, creating wonderful dissonances without loosing the concept of melody, simply brilliant.

"August in the Urals" is absolutely different, more fluid and less mysterious, but this time the interplay between piano and acoustic guitar is simply amazing. The subtle and sometimes vocals even when not in the same level of the music are good enough to keep intact the beauty and complexity of the music This time the changes are really dramatic and unexpected, as we Symphonic freaks enjoy so much.

"Abandoned Mansion Afternoon" again starts jazzy for almost three minutes, but then as in the first track, the soft metamorphosis begins, and after a couple of minutes of guitar and vocal transition we are again before a complex and haunting musical piece with surprises each minute and a frenetic finale.

"A Squirrel" is an incredibly dynamic track, and even when it seems as a jamming session between piano and drums mainly, they manage to transform it into a full blown Prog piece of music with sudden changes and odd timings, play special attention to the organ section around the fourth minute, that leads to a jazzy passage and another dramatic finale, it's specially brilliant.

The album ends with "The Solitude of Miranda", a frantic track that starts with a hint of EMERSON LAKE & PALMER keyboards to change into something hard to explain but easy to enjoy, the speed and accuracy of Dan Britton is impressive, now closer to the style of RICK WAKEMAN; but the combination of soft female and strong male choirs surrounded by Moorish/Flamenco guitar, is the cherry on the top of the pie.

What else can I say about an album that pioneers the Symphonic evolution in USA and that doesn't have a single weak track?...Well maybe that it's 100% essential to understand the music we will be listening in the next years.

Even when I rarely give the maximum rating to a debut album, this time I can't go with less than 5 solid stars, without being unfair.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |

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