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

AUGUST IN THE URALS

Deluge Grander

 

Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 103 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

infandous
4 stars 3 1/2 stars really.

Who would have imagined that there could be anything new and original in the symphonic prog sub-genre? Well, there is, and it's Deluge Grander.

Now, being honest, this is not quite in the category of "like nothing you've ever heard before". It is symph prog after all so the classical music influences lend a somewhat familiar overall sound. But these are mixed in with some fusion, some almost avant textures, and a healthy dose of zeuhl. The music is dense, multi layered, and even when there is repetition, it never really gets boring because the layers build and build, changing the foreground of the music while the background maintains the same structure (more or less). Anyway, that's the best description I can come up with at this point.

The opening epic, is quite a ride, with all sorts of interesting variations, sections, and diversions of themes. We are introduced to the (extremely) baritone vocals here, though they are minimal. While the vocals were a turn off to me on the first few listens, I've come to appreciate them as they are not bad at all. I think that the issue really is that most people are not used to such extremely low register singing. In the case of this track, they fit the mood and feel of the sections they are in perfectly, and so are at their finest here.

Second track, August in the Urals features the most vocals of the whole album, and as such was my least favorite early on. Now, however, I find that I can appreciate them, if not love them on this track. The music itself is somewhat more "conventional" I guess, in that the song has a much more immediately identifiable structure than other songs on the album and seems a bit less dense and "busy" (though towards the end it gets back to this).

Abandoned Mansion Afternoon is quite a good track, again featuring vocals, but a bit less than the previous track.

The last two tracks are completely instrumental and probably still my favorites on the album. The playing is quite good, with some intense flamenco type playing and melodies on the final track making for a quite satisfying conclusion to the album.

Overall, an excellent piece of work, and something interesting in a quite bloated sub-genre. Honestly, I don't think any of this can be compared to other symph prog bands. While there are influences that can be discerned here and there, it really isn't your typical retro prog album, though the instrumentation and approach is more 70's than modern..........though even that statement is not exactly true. A unique work, that I rate at about 3 1/2 stars, the half star being subtracted due to the rather muddy production values. I'll round up for the archives,but I'd say it's not quite a 4 star album.

Anyway, if you want some truly original symphonic prog, this is the place to go.

infandous | 4/5 |

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