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




Symphonic Prog

4.21 | 349 ratings

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4 stars SOLARIS is often regarded as one of the finest prog rock bands to come out of Hungary. I personally find "Marsbeli Kronikak" a tad overrated, but I can forgive that: 1. it was the 1980s, 2. Hungary at the time was still under communist rule, meaning anyone performing music and recording albums always had to meet with government approval before allowing the album to be released. I am totally convinced there would have been many more prog rock bands coming from that country had it not been communist (ditto for Poland and what was then Czechoslovakia), but of course more prog rock bands started surfacing in post- communist Hungary, the best-known example being AFTER CRYING.

OK, "Marsbeli Kronikak" is an album inspired by Ray Bradbury's book, The Martian Chronicles. The first half of the album consists of the side-length title track. It starts off rather electronic, with funny martian sounds speaking in Hungarian. As the music progresses, it then becomes more dominant by guitar and flute. The second half of the album consists of shorter tracks, many of them heavier pieces. The 1995 CD reissue also contains two bonus cuts, of unknown origin, but they seemed to be recorded in the same era, the last cut having a rather strong Eastern European-ethnic bent. I think my biggest complaint of the album is the band's use of synthesizers, the synth sounds are, no doubt about it, early '80s synths, but I guess in 1983 (when the album was recorded, it was released the following year) not too many bands, even west of the Iron Curtain, were too interested in still using the Mini Moog, ARP 2600, etc. (besides Moog and ARP had already went under by that time anyway). Still, this is definately one the better Eastern European prog albums I've heard.

Proghead | 4/5 |


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