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Sunrise Auranaut - Way Of The King CD (album) cover

WAY OF THE KING

Sunrise Auranaut

Crossover Prog


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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars `The Way of the King' is a charming instrumental progressive work entirely composed and performed by Vitaly Kiselev, a Russian multi-instrumentalist who goes under the name Sunrise Auranaut. A concept album conveyed purely through musical passages without the use of words, it tells the tale of a king walking away from his life of privilege, status and wealth to become a wandering musician. I'm wondering if the story is a metaphor for Vitaly's own life, either choosing to or wishing to be able to ditch the nine-to-five grind most of us work in for a more artistically satisfying and musically, spiritually fulfilling path?

The tale is told through nine fully instrumental pieces, including a four part title suite, all loaded with vintage keyboard/synth movements, tasteful and heartfelt acoustic guitar with thrilling electric runs and gentle percussion. Full of medieval flavours and madrigal moments, with the occasional regal majesty of Genesis, plenty of the pomp of Rick Wakeman and a touch of the romantic tones of Camel. But while it may sometimes play like a love-letter to it's influences, Vitaly's personal approach always brings a touch of class and sophistication to this smooth and easy-listening journey.

A lovely church organ piece `Prologue/Coronation' opens the album, followed by the wavering Moogs (straight out of the old `Legend of Zelda' games to my ears!) and reflective placid flutes of `Castle Walls...'. Fanfare bluster, urgent electric guitar runs and contemplative acoustic moments feature in the title track, with many romantic and stirring themes worked in throughout. `Young Wind' has an upbeat strolling Hammond melody that will have your foot tapping in no time, while `Minstrel' is a lush symphonic passage with emotional and sweet synth orchestrations galore. Despite a glorious church organ middle, `Who Took - God or the Devil?' brings some unexpected crunching harder rock more reminiscent of Jethro Tull or perhaps even Hawkwind. The prancing melody of `Step By Step' brings to mind the title track of Genesis' `A Trick of the Tail', `Blues of Friendly Heat' (one of my personal favourites) is a dozy jazzy stroll through the woods on playful Hammond, Moog and piano, before `Epilogue: Happy Finale' closes in an epic manner with a reprise of the grand church organ of the beginning.

While the album lacks the dynamics that a full proper group would provide (definitely some live drums would add a lot of warmth and power next time around), there's no denying Vitaly is a talent and very proficient on all the instruments utilised here. Fans of those classic early Rick Wakeman solo works, the first Index album, Karfagen's `Lost Symphony' and maybe even Camel's `The Snow Goose' should give this one a try. I'm a total sucker for these sort of instrumental prog albums, so Vitaly should be very proud of this effort, and I have no doubt we will hear even better works from him in the future. I also feel it's our job to praise and support these sort of little artists who lovingly play progressive music, and besides, anyone who proudly thanks his Mum on the back of the CD booklet is pretty alright with me!

Three and a half stars - great job Vitaly!

Report this review (#1133336)
Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2014 | Review Permalink
1 stars This sounds more like a demo or even sketches of an album/ The biggest gripe for me is guitar - instrument is constantly out of tune, playing is very sloppy and choice of notes is, to put it mildly, questionable. This is especially true for acoustic guitar, which is way out there. Drum machine is also all over the place, and again samples sound and overall balance are not very pleasing. Keyboard-related things are another story, this is done quite well. Compositions are not that bad too, some nice Camel-ish feeling. I understand that this is one man effort, but it MIGHT have been a nice album, but it just not there yet. Just skip it.
Report this review (#1457474)
Posted Saturday, August 29, 2015 | Review Permalink

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