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Sunchild - The Wrap CD (album) cover

THE WRAP

Sunchild

 

Crossover Prog

3.80 | 81 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Life Line Project
4 stars It's a pity that these days so many progrock fans and even so many critics only want to hear the same old Yessongs replayed and rerecorded under different names and performed and "composed" by new bands over and over and over again. What is exactly progressive about that? Personally I like to discover new bands, producing new sounds and new music, adding new colours and bringing fresh ideas, thus keeping music alive.

Fortunately I recently discovered the Ukrainian musician Antony Kalugin, who has been producing lots of quantities of excellent new progressive and symphonic art rock in the last few years. Of course not everything he makes is completely new, because every musician is a part of the world he lives in and every man is but a cog in the big machine called world, but what's the point if everyone tries to be the same cog?

When you listen to the music of Antony Kalugin, you will get to know a man who has succeeded in giving the conception of the word progressive rock a new turn. His craftsmanship is proverbial. He is the main man behind the projects KARFAGEN and SUNCHILD. Enter his world and discover the fineness of his melodies, the warmness of his harmonies, the inventiveness of his arrangements and the outstanding quality of his keyboard playing.

His album "The Wrap", is centred around the over 38 minutes lasting title track of the same name. All other tracks are subordinate to this magnum opus. The second track is the instrumental intro to the Wrap, while the sixth track is meant as an outro. "The Wrap" is constructed over a couple of beautiful, returning symphonic rock themes and shows the complete versatility of the Sunchild sound. A classic band line up is alternated with a string trio (violin, viola & cello) and instruments like the bassoon and the bayan, an Ukrainian sort of accordion. Main attraction are of course the impeccable and excellent keyboard interventions by mister Kalugin. The lead guitar sound by Maxim Velchko is warm and full and fits the music like a glove. Just listen to his superb playing in the very symphonic final part of "The Wrap". His sound can easily compete with the best Steve Rothery.

The music of Sunchild can be heavy, just listen to the almost Metallica like riff in the main track, but the main ingredient of their music remains the warmth of their melodies and arrangements. Of course I could put in a couple of references to other groups to give an indication of would you can expect. Lovers of the best Mike Holmes (IQ) guitar solos will be pleased with the technically perfect sounding Maxim Velchko, while lovers of melodic Italian bands like Latte e Miele (compare the bassoon playing or some of the chord progressions on their album Papillon) will also recognize the sound of their preference in the music of Sunchild. There are spots where Sunchild shows the strength of U.K. in some passages where the organ and the violin combine. What I mean to say, is that Sunchild can compete with the best.

The only thing I had to get used to are the vocals. Antony sings, like he is telling a story and he does that very close to the microphone, which gives a bit the same effect as Jūrgen Dollases singing with Wallenstein. Of course this is a matter of taste. The opening track "Day Of Destiny" still has a very catching chorus and sounds inviting enough.

The album is well produced and comes with a handsome booklet. This album that so excellently combines folk elements to warm progressive and symphonic rock music, deserves to be discovered by everyone. All four stars are well deserved !

Erik de Beer

Life Line Project | 4/5 |

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