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




Symphonic Prog

4.21 | 349 ratings

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Frankie Flowers
4 stars Marsbéli Krónikák is a great, all-instrumental symphonic prog album inspired by Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. It came out against the odds: it was recorded in the eighties in Hungary, which was still a communist country at the time, so it's a miracle an album like this was allowed to be released and made available there.

Solaris often gets compared to Camel. I can catch some similarities, especially from the flute work, although the guitar is much heavier and the keyboard work is pretty much to Robert's own style, with some classical overtones and plenty of mysterious, spacey creations to keep up the mood of the theme. The keys are all analog, but be aware, it's in the early '80s style, rather than '70s, so you won't find tons of Moog, Hammond, Mellotron, etc, with the exception of some Tangerine Dream style synths at the beginning of the album.

The music here has quite an extraoridinary concoction. It kicks off with the side length title track which is divided in to several parts and includes many different themes and great ideas. Parts two to five are particularly spectacular. Part one is also quite charming, starting with some funny sounding voices which are presumably sounds of martians speaking Hungarian. The second half of the album consists of shorter, often heavier pieces, like "M'Ars Poetica", "Apokalypse", and "Undefeatable". Plus the CD reissue contains two bonus cuts, "Orchideák Bolygóya" and "A Sárga Kör", the latter an interesting, highly percussive rock with a strong ethnic beat (in Hungarian style of course!) to it.

As everyone knows, the 1980s was a very prog unfriendly decade, but you won't be disappointed by the technical quality of these artists and their instruments. Well worth getting in your collection.

Frankie Flowers | 4/5 |


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