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Little Tragedies - The Sixth Sense CD (album) cover


Little Tragedies

Symphonic Prog

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erik neuteboom
4 stars I was still in a sheer euphoric mood about their previous effort entitled New Faust when I received this new album by Russian symphonic progrock sensation Little Tragedies. After a first listening session, I concuded that the obvious ELP and Gerard hints are less and there is also more variation and originality. In fact Little Tragedies has developped into a progrock band that can compete with the current top bands like The Flower Kings, The Tangent and IQ, their only problem is that the vocals are Russian, not really accessible.

The first song The Sixth Sense is loaded with bombastic keyboards (especially Hammond organ and fat synthesizer flights) and heavy guitar riffs, it sounds like "ELP meets Ayreon" but the warm and distinctive Russian vocals give an extra dimension. The next track Bird is a kind of musical Pandora's Box: first a Floydian atmosphere with dreamy saxophone and fragile slide-guitar, then an accellaration featuring sparkling piano, propulsive guitar riffs and great interplay. This is followed by sensitive electric guitar work and an organ solo, then suddenly a spectucalar break with sensational synthesizer sounds and heavy metal-guitar riffs, impressive!The other ten songs sound melodic, very tasteful, elaborate and especially varied, from dreamy with sensitive piano/warm vocals and compelling with Latimer-inspired guitar to fluent with fiery guitar/saxophone and sumptuous with lush keyboards. The interplay between the harpsichord and howling guitar in some songs sounds very delicate. My highlight on this CD is the track You And I: first sparkling piano, sensitive guitar and warm vocals, then a wonderful classical piano piece and finally a great build-up with bombastic Hammond organ and flashy synthesizers, accompanied by a dynamic rhytm-section, breathtaking!

My conclusion: Little Tragedies has made a great album, very varied and loaded with good musical ideas and excellent soli on several instruments. Just check their MP3 files or try to get their CD's, highly recommended!

Report this review (#88882)
Posted Sunday, September 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars When I first read the titles of the tracks on the back of the cd, I couldn't imagine what I would have heard. I thought that the lyrics were in english, but then the title track exploded with its russian vocals!!

But this isn't a problem, my friends. Here we have some great pieces of music, no matter in what languages they are sung. This is symphonic prog at his best, and the instrumental parts cover more than a half of the entire cd. Anyway, russian vocals are very nice, I pretty enjoyed the vocal lines and the singer's voice. They give a particular mood to the entire album.

The music you will find is fantastic. I've found no weak tracks, and almost every song is a masterpiece on his own. Keyboards and guitars are everywhere, long instrumental passages, lots of fantastic and powerful solos and riffs. In some parts keys and guitars have a kind of "prog metal" sound (Bird), while some passages are softer and give you a feeling of peace and tranquillity (Consolation). Despite the russian lyrics, you will easily remember some melodies and harmonies of the album, just after one listening or two.

An honorable mention goes to the trumpet and to the saxophone. Their use gives this record a lot of originality, and strenghten the compositions, making them particular and sophisticated.

A very special album for everyone who enjoys Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Anglagard music. I can't tell exactly the emotions it gave me the first time I heard it, because they were so varied and dreamlike that it's impossible to describe the feeling I get. Long time has passed since an album caught me as "The Sixth Sense" did.

Report this review (#100522)
Posted Sunday, November 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I always wondered why I missed this album on my dense reviewing path. It is Symphonic, it is from Russia, it automatically means at least 4 stars. I turned it on and immediately remembered what I dislike here - vocals and lyrics. I can clearly see the point that this is some kind of background “melodeclamation”, but I’d prefer them to play instrumentals only! Musically “The Sixth Sense” is a bit more Prog-Metal-leaned than “New Faust”, but mostly in the same vein – bombastic keyboard-oriented Prog with some “Russian Romance” pieces. Seriously, without this “voce issue” things could have been much better. I doubt that I’ll buy “Chinese Songs” as I was going to do this weekend. Gena, I need instrumentals!!!
Report this review (#132043)
Posted Monday, August 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A brief introductory tale: some months ago, I went to my favorite music shop and met the dealer, now a friend of mine, who showed me a CD where everything was written in Cyrillic and I couldn't even guess the band's or the album's name. We, immediately, started an ouija session, in the hope that Tchekov or Gorki could appear but instead we got tovarisch Stalin, and it helped few since he wasn't (as ever) very keen in the Russian language. Soon, lights went off, strange sounds were heard, cigar and vodka smelling prevailed and we all feared the moment. we forgot that Uncle Joe's soul resides in the deepest abyss and has a direct line with the Unmentionable. holy cow! I ran home, not forgetting to bear my precious burden and later calmly I discovered a website address occulted (sic) amid the unrecognizable characters, visiting it I deciphered the puzzle and voilà I was finally and officially introduced to LITTLE TRAGEDIES' "The Sixth Sense".

Well, at least, I took a definitive contact with a band I was pursuing for a long time and the pursuit was rewarding since this very first album I heard from LITTLE TRAGEDIES is really admirable. All those magic Eastern sounds appear like waterfalls, from powerful and thunderous parts to bucolic and pastoral passages, and even so sounding like a real symphonic prog-rock, with a copiousness of guitars and keyboards, scored by exquisite vocals in Russian. The band provide the listener with heavy and massive tunes like the Kremlin walls or delicate moments crafted like a Fabergé egg; sometimes it's like feeling the sumptuosity of L'Hermitage corridors or the freshness of riding a troika on a snowy field - all in all "The Sixth Sense" can be compared with a Trans-Siberian travel or a Baykonur rocket launching.

The title-track, also the opener, hits you like a Tunguska impact and the symphony continues through finely shaped songs like 'Bird', 'On the seashore' and 'The prodigal son', full of majestic instrumentation and colorful singing, decaying in the middle-section where in certain moments the samovar produces a cold tea and the papirossi tastes a bit tough - the series of short songs are a bit dull, repetitive. But fresh troops coming from Siberia save the opus in the last two tracks, 'You and I' and the ender which responds by the dramatic title of 'I haven't lived, I've suffered through it.', either finishing the concept in a splendid manner.

I wish I'd label this album with the mastering diploma, but the emptiness of some tracks steals one precious star from it but the final rating is still fabulous. Total: 4.

Report this review (#156870)
Posted Thursday, December 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
2 stars I couldn't agree more with Prog-jester that the vocals are the biggest issue with this album. He mentions the lyrics too but I don't understand Russian so obviously I have no idea about that. It's not that the vocals sound bad, in fact he's a good singer but the Russian language is really unattractive to hear sung. If this was an all-instrumental album i'd feel much differently about this record. It's over 77 minutes which doesn't help either.

"The Sixth Sense" has an epic intro and it kicks in rather heavily. It lightens with synths and piano then unfortunately the vocals arrive. It kicks back in after 3 minutes with organ. Nice.Themes are repeated. "Bird" has this FLOYD-like spacey intro with sax and piano.The vocals ruin this great mood.Trumpet in this one too. It changes after 3 minutes as the tempo picks up and the piano leads. It turns heavy 6 minutes in. I like when it calms down 7 1/2 minutes in too. "On The Seashore" is spacey to start and synths lead after 2 minutes as it picks up.The vocals join in. It settles back to almost a 90's CAMEL-like flavour. I love when the guitar comes in before 5 minutes and it gets heavier.Vocals return as it settles then it's spacey late.

"Prodigal Son" features piano and reserved vocals.This isn't good especially when the vocals arrive. It settles back before 8 minutes. "Consolation" is ballad-like.Yikes. "Dream" is mid-paced and vocal and piano led. Horns too. "Bonding" is again ballad-like with vocals. No thanks. "Turkey" is synth led and uptempo.Vocals before a minute. Horns and guitar after 1 1/2 minutes. Synths are back leading again. "I Am Polite With Modern Life..." is a mellow, sappy ballad. "Pre-Memory" is laid back and vocal led. It turns instrumental before 3 minutes.This is better but it's just okay. "You And I" is not good at all. "I Haven't Lived,I've suffered Through It..." opens with piano melodies as vocals join in. Another ballad. Just kill me now. It does pick up some. Fans only.

Report this review (#427353)
Posted Sunday, April 3, 2011 | Review Permalink

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