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Daniel Eliseev Project  (D.E.P.) - Night Shadow CD (album) cover


Daniel Eliseev Project (D.E.P.)

Heavy Prog

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5 stars Truly Outstanding. Not a bad track. Mature experienced musicians moving from thoughtful acoustic (like Rush) all the way to heavy impactful rock (this Sabbath) with a sprinkling of Progressiveness. Doesn't remind me of other bands so much, and as such is a fairly original sound. "The Journey Along" (9:58) can stand alongside any long inventive progressive rock track of the last 20 years.

So much is going on. The music has a thoughtful, emotional side to it. All aspects of this record have variety, the guitar work, the bass work, the drums, and the singing (several singers, sometimes overlapping, sometimes same with different chords).

The lead singer is great, although he took me a couple of listens to get used to. Lead singing is dynamic and clear above the deep and rich musical layers.

For me it bridges an important gap between full on rock (without variety) and progressiveness that can get boring. If you like your music to have emotional qualities, to be thoughtful, focussed, but heavy and with real impact, but never lose itself too much in progressiveness then this is for you.

Report this review (#2168460)
Posted Monday, March 25, 2019 | Review Permalink
Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars We could think at first by looking at the cover of this album, that this is another guitar oriented project of one man, but the music really sounds like a full band with a lot of space left to others instruments and vocal harmonies. The arrangements are well crafted with the use of acoustic, electric guitar, violin and fretless bass which gives to the music different colors. The main attraction to me is the vocals of Konstantin Djambazov and the other vocalists who sometimes sing together which is even more enjoyable. The tone reminds me of Yes and a bit of Gentle Giant, not that Konstantin as a voice of the same quality as Jon Anderson, but it still works with the music that sometimes is heavier. "Night Shadow" as a nice instrumental drums/guitar/keys break with the first exquisite guitar solo. "Pandora And Epimetheus" brings the pace down with some great guitar, keyboard parts as well as some beautiful multipart vocals. "The Journey Along" with his 10 minutes is ending the album nicely by giving an overview of all the atmosphere of a good prog track with some solid guitar, keyboards interplay and another kind of vocals tone, all this carrying the melody at the right pace to keep the listener engaged. This is an album that is never too much on the metal side but is more of a modern progressive album with some old classical prog rock influence.
Report this review (#2170862)
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2019 | Review Permalink
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars Daniel Eliseev is a prolific guitar player, a demanded session musician in Bulgaria. Due to his fine contributions to some projects around keyboarder Kalin Tonev I already was aware of him beforehand. And, real surprise, Tonev strikes back here. He's present on the album's most ambitious piece Pandora And Epimetheus with some dramatic Atomic Rooster ambiance. All in one. As it is his project first and foremost, Eliseev is composer, arranger, producer, of course. And, besides some bass, keyboard and programming input, he predominantly cares for the multiple guitar duties, taken for granted.

The DANIEL ELISEEV PROJECT is also focussed on the vocals, unmistakably, where Konstantin Djambazov takes the lead. And so some may be reminded of the band Yes here and there, because his high pitched voice is a bit Jon Anderson reminiscent. The acoustic guitar dominated ballad A Song For You though also brings a stunning female voice to the fore. Emphasis on vocals also means a bunch of lyrics to explore, well, rather encrypted, always a hurdle for a non-English native like me.

The project's debut delivers modern, well produced songs which generally feature a rather heavy rocking attitude. The album comes like an authentic affair. There's a lot to explore when thinking in melodic prog terms, tricky, varied, catchy, charming, and overly rrrrrrrocking in parts, yeah! Alter Ego and the album title track are standing for an excellent lift-off. The epic The Journey Along showcases another clever composition featuring twists and turns in mood, highly emotional. 'Night Shadow' should be part of every assorted prog rock collection. Absolutely recommended!

Report this review (#2171614)
Posted Saturday, April 6, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars Daniel Eliseev Project aka D.E.P. released his first album in 2018 named Night shadow. Well, this musician is from Bulgaria, not the place you normally think of for prog rock, with some exceptions like FSB, or prog metal band Pantommind being most well known outside of their country, but Virtuel, Clearland or Music Station must be added in the list for sure . Now is time to add another great musician and implicit album in Bulgarian prog rock catalogue Daniel Eliseev and his Night shadow. The release is a good towards great prog rock album , smelling of '70s but not a retro in style, with kick ass guitar lines and some fine musicianship all over. A vast cast of musicians grace the album with Eliseev at helm on guitar, among others: on hammond a young talented keyboardist Kalin Tonev, Konstantin Djambazov on vocals (from Virtuel and Clearland and aswell solo) with a voice remind me of the best Jon Anderson from Yes moments, etc. The guitar parts as I said are excellent specially on pieces like opening Alter Ego, title track , Pandora And Epimetheus being a more paced tune with nice duelings between guitars and keyboards. So, all in all I really enjoy this one from start to finish. 3.5 stars for sure

Report this review (#2183593)
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars Remarkable'no, Exceptional'er, Exquisite Heavy-Progressive Rock debut'heck, all of the above

Daniel Eliseev Project

'..a band founded and produced by Daniel Eliseev -for recording and performance of his own music.'

Current members:

Daniel Eliseev- , composer, arranger, guitars, bass, programming, lyrics Konstantin Djambazov ' solo vocal, backing vocals, keyboards George Varamezov ' drums, fretless bass Kalin Tonev ' keyboards Nikolaj Samardjiev ' lyrics, backing vocals Venci Pavlov ' bass, fretless bass Emil Mihov ' viola da gamba Sara Panosyan ' violin Anelia Toteva ' backing vocals


Alter Ego Night Shadow Pandora and Epimetheus Awakening Broken Consciousness Hidden Voices A Song for You The Journey Along Released November 8, 2018

Daniel Eliseev

Daniel is a multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. It's clear he has mastery of several instruments, and compositions here are sophisticated and engaging.

On this project, he's assembled a crackerjack team of singers and musicians to flesh out his musical vision.

Vocal wizardry

For me, the standout star of this debut disc was the vocal work.

The clear, high vocals of Konstantin Djambazov were immediately compelling, of course- soaring effortlessly above the instrumental work laying the foundation.

But more than that, there was obvious attention paid to harmonies, interplay, back-and-forth interchanges in lovely arrangements.

The clearest, but certainly not only, example of this is the Gentle Giant-inspired track 'Hidden Voices'.

Intricate vocal complexity with precision timing, harmonies, and stylings undergirded first by synthesizer layers, then the full band, in amazing detail.

The Music

This album starts with a burst of ebullient energy, a prime example of what I've called 'Heavy-progressive rock'.

Those clear, high vocals enter, and then the first of numerous invigorating instrumental passages led by the crisp, soaring guitar work of Daniel.

The rhythm section is masterful, drums and bass combining to set a forceful, yet never overdone foundation. Often, I was impressed with the subtle ways these two musicians set the stage for what was being done.

Keyboard textures throughout the album ranged from gentle electric piano, to growling Hammond organ (including some sweet/nasty work from Kalin Tonev on one track), to synthesizer runs and swoops.

On 'Awakening', for example, classical guitar introduces this first, wistful, then slowly growing track as viola de gamba, then violin enter. This ties in to 'Broken Consciousness', which continues to develop with the vocal arrangements leading to the infectious line, 'Find the way/to meet somebody'', and that synthesizer/guitar interplay in the instrumental passage.


My impression is that generally the lyrics deal with the permutations and perversions and problems of love. I thought they played second-fiddle to the vocal arrangements.

Minor quibble (and one important proviso)- the proviso is that I thank my lucky stars I don't need to write lyrics or sing in Bulgarian. Therefore, this humble opinion:

The minor quibble is that lyrics could have been made clearer and better in consultation with a native-english speaking person.

In conclusion

This is a masterful debut from Daniel Eliseev Project. Night Shadow is a fine example of engaging, high-quality heavy- progressive rock music.

Report this review (#2184602)
Posted Sunday, April 21, 2019 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars First of all, thank you to Daniel for sending me his CD to preview.

The Heavy Prog band know as "Daniel Eliseev Project" (or d.e.p.) was founded by Daniel Eliseev from Bulgaria in 2017, during which time he got together a line-up of musicians to help him record his first album called "Night Shadow", which was released in 2018. The album consists of 8 tracks which all span a total time of 44 minutes. Daniel provides most of the guitars, some keyboards and some backing vocals throughout the album, but also utilizes other musicians on various tracks. Most of the lead vocals go to Konstantin Djambazov who also plays some of the keyboard solos. Most of the drums are handled by George Varamezov. Other musicians appear on other single tracks also.

"Alter Ego" begins with a definite heavy sound mostly driven by guitars and keyboards. The sound is complex, yet melodic with definite progressive elements. Vocals start after a minute with a melody that jumps around in a wide range while a the background alternates to a softer sound to a heavy sound, yet melodically remaining complex and some very nice and different harmonies through the layered vocals and instruments. The guitar work is a s great as you want it to be with the right amount of heaviness. The title track "Night Shadow" comes next. This one has a nice progressive jazz/fusion feel to it. Again the vocals jump around in a crazy wide range with non-standard melodies. Some of the background vocal layers are processed with nice effects. At 4 minutes, progressive passages take us into a guitar solo with a faster, yet still smooth tempo.

"Pandora and Epimetheus" is a much more complex and progressive track with a combination of male and female vocals, tricky rhythmic patterns and changes in tone, meter and structure. There is a really nice synth solo at the 5 minute mark that morphs into a guitar solo. "Awakening" is a short 2 minute track that features an acoustic guitar and chirping birds. Later, a viol (or viola da gamba) and violin join in to make a nice sound. "Broken Consciousness" continues with a mellower, acoustic sound with laid back vocals and some nice harmonics in the background vocals. The melodies are still progressive and there are some short, heavier passages, but it mostly stays in a laid-back mood until a more upbeat guitar solo takes over.

"Hidden Voices" utilizes an electronic, almost droning sound and processed vocal layers that bounce all over the place in a playful manner, sounding very much like "Gentle Giant" including the progressive folk style. It's actually quite a nice surprise. "A Song for You" features Anilia Toteva on lead vocals. Starting with a pensive, acoustic guitar introduction, her vocals are a nice switch up to add to the variety on this album. The music continues with it's sparse guitar and voice sound with occasional harmonic vocals. The melody still remains on the complex side, staying away from any standard style. The album ends with "The Journey Along", the longest track at almost 10 minutes. It begins with atmospheric synths supporting a slow guitar solo, first electric, then switching quickly to acoustic, and then to a heavy guitar riff that brings in the other instruments. The tone switches back and forth, complex vocals finally come in and the Heavy Prog sound is back. It takes a special vocal talent to sing these complex melodic lines that have some crazy intervals. Next, there is a great solo section that alternates between guitar and synths, then a music box sound from a glockenspiel takes center stage until the bass brings the vocals back in. After a while, the heavy sound comes back in, things intensify, and the vocalist continues with his vocal acrobatics. Again, this track has quite a variety of moods throughout, but it till sounds concise.

This is a surprisingly great album for a debut effort, and lovers of not only the heavier prog sound should listen to this, but also those that love music that is a little challenging, that don't mind some variety. Those that loved the Gentle Giant sound should also check this out as the music ventures into complex progressive folk from time to time. This album proves that Daniel is not a one trick pony when it comes to his guitar playing, there are many styles here, and they are handled quite well. He's got some amazing compositional skills also. The constants here are top-notch musicianship, complex melody lines, progressive non-standard rock, and crazy vocal intervals that would throw off even some of the most talented singers. This is definitely an album worth checking out. 4 bright stars.

Report this review (#2189892)
Posted Thursday, May 2, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wow. I am really glad I happened to read a review of NIGHT SHADOW, a 2018 release by Bulgarian musician Daniel Eliseev, and checked it out on Apple Music. It is hard to believe this is a debut album, at least I think it is. This is a highly polished effort consisting of a great mix of heavy, eclectic, and even some folk- like progressive music. Mr. Eliseev has assembled a stellar cast of musicians and he helms the Project with his outstanding guitar work. So what does it sound like? Well, I am hearing some heavy Haken, King Crimson, and, possibly because of the vocalist's range, a lot of Drama era Yes. I can't really pick out any favorite songs yet, as I am still in the process of processing the sum total. But no weak moments, for sure. This release will be on heavy rotation in my car for awhile. Looking forward to Mr. Eliseev's next effort!
Report this review (#2189928)
Posted Thursday, May 2, 2019 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars The Balkan nation of Bulgaria is hardly the most prolific region of the planet that has produced a great number of musical exports so it's quite refreshing to hear an artist or two from this remote nook of the world just north of the much more visited Greece and Turkey. Perhaps the most famous musical export is the internationally lauded Bulgarian Women's Choir which more artistically is known as Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares which displays the intricate sophistication of a cappella polyphonic chant but of more recent notoriety is the progressive metal band Pantommind as well as the experimental metal band Smallman. Joining this small but veritable talented pool of musicians from this bucolic beauty by the Black Sea is the recently formed DANIEL ELISEEV PROJECT (D.E.P.) which formed in the capital city of Sofia.

Catching the prog bug after being blown away by albums such as "Going For The One" by Yes and Gentle Giant's "Three Friends," a young DANIEL ELISEEV felt the calling to drift into the prog universe which allowed him to assemble some of the best talent that Bulgaria had to offer and resulted in the DANIEL ELISEEV PROJECT (D.E.P.) which was formed in 2017. After two years crafting their labor of love, ELISEEV and his army of collaborators release this debut album NIGHT SHADOW which not only captures the zeitgeist of classic 70s prog bands but keeps things contemporary with just as much influence from bands like Haken, Riverside and Porcupine Tree. NIGHT SHADOW exhibits the compositional sophistication of classic era bands while sparkling with the sheen of modern day production values as well as incorporating a variety of disparate sounds from both past and present.

Bursting into action with the opening "Alter Ego," the apparent Haken references emerge with feisty heavy progressive guitar riffs duking it out with virtuosic keyboard workouts that ultimately lead to the high octane vocal dynamics of Konstantin Djambazov whose comparisons with Yes' Jon Anderson do ring true however if you ask me, he sounds like a combination of Anderson along with maybe Don Henley of the Eagles since he has more grit to his voice. One of my pet peeves in heavier prog is that bands craft technical workouts with substandard vocal contributions but in the case of D.E.P. it's obvious from the get go that that is not the case here. Composed of the typical prog rock instrumentation of guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, D.E.P. also utilizes some lesser known instruments to great results. The viola, violin and acoustic classical guitar parts are divinely integrated into the heavier sounds to offer a wide range of dynamics along with a few more exotic sounds from the glockenspiel and guest vocalists.

The beauty of NIGHT SHADOW is how well D.E.P. constructs tracks that sound like Haken's heavier prog antics but decorated with extremely demanding complex harmonies and counterpoints quite clearly inspired by Gentle Giant's most revered works without sounding derivative in any way. The tracks develop easily accessible melodies for the most part and only then once properly nurtured spiral into more off-kilter time signature workouts that implement rampaging guitar riffs, sizzling virtuosic solos and keyboards that unleash the Keith Emerson inspired juggernauts. Another nice touch is the extensive use of the fretless bass which employs a rich tapestry of microtones to be exploited for maximum effect. Generally speaking, the tracks start out slow and soft and lead their way to a more explosive climactic conclusion. Only the opener explodes onto the stage and never slows down.

The middle section of the album is much softer than the two tracks that bookend the album's 44 minute run. The short acoustic guitar track "Awakening" is more of an intro for the following "Broken Consciousness" which displays a veritable smorgasbord of softer and heavier passages with Djambazov's vocal style hitting new strides as he effortlessly keeps up with the jittery time signature passages. Perhaps the only surprise and somewhat of a let down is the track "A Song With You" which features Anelia Toteva on vocals. While a beautiful song that focuses on her feminine charm, it doesn't seem to jive with the rest of the album and would've been best left for an album of similar stylistic approach. It lacks the diverse dynamics of the other tracks.

The grand finale and my favorite track of the album comes in the form of the near ten minute behemoth "The Journey Along" which delivers all the prog goods. An atmospheric moody intro on keyboards with a wailing guitar slowly creeping in, an instantly pleasant melodic hook with just enough avant-angularity to give it an edge and plenty of dynamic shifts into classical guitar and then heavy hard rock riffing attacks. It's the kind of track that takes you on a musical journey in instrumental explosiveness before the vocals ever start nearly three minutes in. The vocals and classical guitar parts are exquisitely slightly off pitch from each other and the remaining band members never miss a beat as they drop in and out of the overall schematics, showing the talent on board this one which resulted from ELISEEV hand picking some of Bulgaria's musicals from already established careers. To top it off, the production is flawless and every instrument finds its proper place and the music speaks for itself never relying on gimmicks.

This one is excellent! My only complaint is how the album loses momentum with the misplaced "A Song For You" but other than that minor quibble the DANIEL ELISSEV PROJECT delivers a highly accomplished debut and should be on every progger's radar as this is only the beginning and a sign of great things to come. To me it sounds like D.E.P. picked up where Haken decided to drop the ball after the band abandoned the overt prog leanings on "The Mountain" and went for a more conventional heavy prog sound, however despite all the references to Yes, Gentle Giant, Haken, Porcupine Tree and the rest, most importantly is that the D.E.P. emerges with a fully formed band sound all their own and one that finds no flaws of instrumentalists or vocalists not ready for prime time. While Bulgaria may not be the world's largest producer of great prog bands, this small nation of roughly seven million sure delivers the quality emerging from within its borders. Bravo!

Report this review (#2201019)
Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Good new from Bulgaria, very good news!"

Guitar player, arranger and composer Daniel grew up at a time when Bulgaria was part of the so-called communist Eastern Bloc, in these difficult times rock music was like a semi-legal way of expressing yourself and standing out of the communist system. When Daniel was 10 years old he listened to The Beatles, his mother loved to play their music, and he started to be interested in music. When he was 13 a friend gave him an acoustic guitar for one night, he was enchanted and arranged on the first three strings of the guitar a popular melody of a movie, then his musical adventure started. Classic progressive rock played a huge role in his development as a musician, especially the albums Going For The One by Yes and Three Friends by Gentle Giant. He also got inspiration from Genesis, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson, The Beatles, Van Der Graaf Generator, Kansas, UK, Rush, Allan Holdsworth, Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips. And more modern favourite bands are Echolyn, The Flower Kings, Enchant, Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson, Cairo, Tears For Fears, Frost, Spock's Beard and Magellan. Bulgaria is a country where progressive rock is not very popular. FSB is one of the most successful Bulgarian bands but 'it's not easy to be a non-commercial musician, you are like a lone wolf' Daniel says. Progrock concerts are rare but there is much more attention for world-known bands like Dream Theater, Riverside, Steven Wilson and Steve Hackett. In 1995 Daniel started his professional carreer with the band Avalon and their eponymous debut album, followed by playing with the bands Travelhouse, Arx, Insight, Led Zeppelin Tribute Bulgaria, Prog-Rock Tribute Bulgaria, Sekta, Modus, Surbahar, TubeFx and Samodelia. Since 2013 he focused on one side writing and producing his own author's music, and on other side in developing his own private music school Infinity. In 2018 he released his first solo album under the name Daniel Eliseev Project (D.E.P.) entitled Night Shadow. In the autumn the first single will appear, and in the first half of the year 2020 the second album of Daniel Eliseev Project (D.E.P.) can be expected. Meanwhile, in parallel with the second D.E.P. album, he is also working on an entirely instrumental album, which will appear in 2020.

1. Alter Ego (5:27) : The album kicks off with powerful and dynamic Heavy Prog (Rush inspired) featuring Yes-like vocal harmonies, a captivating contrast with the exciting heavy guitar riffs and blistering guitar solo, topped with subtle Supertramp- like electric piano runs. An impressive start!

2. Night Shadow (7:06) : This track is more song-oriented with a blend of electric ' and acoustic guitar, and a strong vocal performance by Konstantin Djambazov. It sounds very melodic and harmonic, like Eighties Yes. Halfway a break with spectacular keyboard runs and heavy guitar riffs, then a tight mid-tempo with exciting heavy guitar solo, I enjoy the huge tension between the mellow and heavy parts. The bombastic final part delivers thunderous drums.

3. Pandora And Epimetheus (7:12) : First a mellow intro with soft fretless bass runs by Venci Pavlov, and subtle work on guitar and keyboards. Now the climate turns first into bombastic with powerful guitar, lush Hammond rhythm, and then into catchy beat with male and female vocal duet. The second part is Heavy Prog Extravaganza with lots of strong musical ideas: from a break with acoustic guitar runs, Mellotron violins, Hammond and a vocal duet to flashy synthesizer runs and a fiery guitar solo. The interplay between the musicians is awesome and I am blown away by the bombastic atmosphere featuring heavy riffs, lush Hammond and powerful guitar, top notch Heavy Prog!

4. Awakening (2:18) : After lots of Heavy Prog this composition is dreamy with warm classical guitar and nature sounds, then wonderful violin and a viola da gamba (rooted in Italy), simply beautiful.

5. Broken Consciousness (5:09) : The first part contains twanging acoustic guitar, a mellow mid-temp with pleasant vocals, song-oriented, embellished with viola da gamba and acoustic guitar. Halfway the mood shifts to an accellaration with sensational soli on guitar and keyboards, fuelled by excellent rhythm-section, wow!

6. Hidden Voices (3:50) : This one is a tribute to the distinctive Gentle Giant vocal harmonies, with tasteful synthesizer layers. Then an accellaration with spectacular synthesizer sounds and vocal harmonies, the music sounds very dynamic and powerful, with hints from Rush.

7. A Song For You (3:01) : This mellow piece is a personal song, dedicated to Daniel his mother, she died too early, the fairy tale-like atmosphere evokes an imaginery world, with voices of children, and celestial female vocals by Anelia Toteva. Daniel puts his emotion into the music with outstanding twanging acoustic guitar, and a few words, very moving.

8. The Journey Along (9:58) : This epic final composition begins with spacey synthesizer and sensitive electric guitar. The lots of shifting moods, between mellow and bombastic, the one moment acoustic guitar (twanging and flageolets), the other moment heavy guitar work (from propulsive riffs to biting runs) or sensational synthesizer flights, and a powerful Hammond solo, I love that distinctive sound! In the final part the music alternates between dreamy with a ticking clock sound and exciting heavy guitar (again Rush comes to my mind), topped with strong vocal harmonies. Finally subtle guitar work with the volume pedal and strumming acoustic guitar, slowly fading away, what an awesome and elaborate composition!

I am impressed by Daniel his first solo project, he delivers a very dynamic album with lots of exciting work on guitar and keyboards, strong vocals and inventive and varied musical ideas. He is surrounded by outstanding musicians. Highly recommended, especially for the Heavy Prog fans

Report this review (#2202734)
Posted Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars When I was running Feedback fanzine a million years ago, I somehow came to the attention of a Bulgarian label who used to send me material to review and was aware there was a burgeoning and impressive scene over there which often included different influences than Western bands. So, when I was contacted by guitarist Daniel Eliseev who asked if I wanted to hear his debut solo album, I was certainly intrigued, as I no longer had any idea what was happening musically in his home country. If this is an example of the style of music being produced, then I need to discover more. Firstly, it needs to be understood that this isn't an instrumental album, even though one may get that impression from the cover, and secondly it is packed full of great songs. Real songs, with hooks and choruses, something which is often missing from this style of hard rock prog.

Take for example the title cut, I find myself singing the chorus even when I'm not playing the album! This isn't supposed to happen! Singer Konstantin Djambazov comes across as a combination of Jon Anderson and Derek Shulman, while musically it is more towards Gentle Giant than Yes, although much heavier with guitars often at the fore. 'A Song For You' is totally different, starting with the sound of children playing and gently picked acoustic guitar, giving way to the warm female vocals of Anelia Toteva. Unlike many Bulgarian albums I have hard in the past, this comes across as a very Western release, and apart from the names of those involved it would be difficult to ascertain this came from Eastern Europe. From start to finish this album is a delight, a real discovery, and one which I have had difficulty getting past on my ever-growing lists as it is such fun to play.

The name of Daniel Eliseev, and the band Daniel Eliseev Project, may be new to many of you but it doesn't deserve to stay that way. Self-released, here is an artist who should be discovered by those who wish to hear heavy prog at its finest.

Report this review (#2241842)
Posted Sunday, August 4, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars Review Nº 287

As many of us know, we are often contacted by many groups and artists to review their new albums. But, as we all know too, we can't review all those albums. I understand that in a world like this, it's important to them to have an advised opinion to promote their new works. But, they must understand that is impossible to review all those albums.

So, why I was interested in this new project? Sincerely, I was impressed with the way Daniel addressed me. Besides praising my work here, he praised the work of Progarchives. He said: "I am grateful to all the members of the PA who are working to keep the spirit of Progressive Rock still alive! Progarchives is the largest and most invaluable database for anyone interested in everything related to the so-called Progressive Rock (and not only)". And he is absolutely right.

Daniel grew up at a time when Bulgaria was part of the communist Eastern Bloc. Daniel listened to The Beatles and started to be interested in music. The classic prog rock had a huge role in his development as a musician, especially bands like Yes, Gentle Giant, Genesis, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson, Kansas, Van Der Graaf Generator, UK and Rush. Bulgaria is a country where prog rock isn't very popular. The prog rock concerts are rare but there are some.

"Night Shadow" is the debut album of Daniel Eliseev Project (D.E.P.) and was released in 2018. The line up on the album is Daniel Eliseev (backing vocals, electric, acoustic and classical guitars, bass guitar, programming and keyboards), Konstantin Djambazov (lead and backing vocals and keyboards), Anelia Toteva (lead and backing vocals), Kalin Tonev (keyboards), Emil Mihov (viola da gamba), Sara Panosyan (violin), Pavel Stoychev (tambourine), Venci Pavlov (bass guitar and fretless bass) and George Varamezov (glockenspiel, fretless bass and drums).

For me, one of the standouts of this debut album is the vocal work. The clear, high vocals of Konstantin Djambazov are compelling. There is an attention paid to harmonies with lovely arrangements. There is an intricate vocal complexity with precision timing, harmonies, and stylings attempted with an amazing detail. Immediately comes to my mind my beloved Gentle Giant. And I think it isn't a coincidence. About the music, there are numerous invigorating instrumental passages led by the crisp, soaring guitar work of Daniel. The keyboard textures throughout the album are perfectly coordinates with all instruments. The rhythm section is masterful, drums and bass combining to set a forceful, yet never overdone foundation. In this case, it comes to my mind my beloved Yes. In this case, maybe it's a coincidence.

The first track "Alter Ego" is a great opener to the album. It has some great guitar and keyboard workings. This is a very progressive track very heavy and with some great guitar work. With this track we can clearly see what this album is all about. This is an excellent starting point to the album.The second track "Night Shadow" is the title track song. This is a more conventional track than the previous one. It sounds melodic and harmonic despite its heaviness. It has some nice jazz/fusion feel too. This is a track with some nice complex harmonies. The third track "Pandora And Epimetheus" has a mellow intro with some nice work by all members. This is complex track, very melodic and with some excellent vocal work, both male and female. The interplay between all musicians is excellent creating a fantastic atmosphere. The fourth track "Awakening" is completely different from the previous tracks. It's a short track with few more than two minutes. This is a soft and beautiful track, showing the other side of the band, the soft and mellow side. This is a very bautiful piece. The fifth track "Broken Consciousness" continues the mellower and acoustic sound of the previous track. This track has some very pleasant vocal work. Despite its mellowess it has some heaviness. This is another excellent progressive track. The sixth track "Hidden Voices" is a track that sounds very dinamic and powerful. This is another excellent track with great vocal work in Gentle Giant's vein. It shows the admiration of Daniel by that great classic prog band. The seventh track "A Song For You" is another mellow and soft piece. The vocals of Anilia Toteva are gentle and nice, giving some variety to the album, which is very welcome, I think. The eighth and last track "The Journey Along" is the great epic on the album. It's the lengthiest track on the album with almost ten minutes. This is an awesome composition that closes the album with a golden key. This is, in my humble opinion, the best track here.

Conclusion: From start to finish this album is a delight. This is an original album with an original sound, a wonderful surprise. It has great experienced playing, contrasting moments and great writing. This is an extremely thoughtful release with an emotional content to it. Besides be considered a heavy prog album, I think the eclectic mix of songs on "Night Shadow" should appeal to progressive rock fans of all types. I'm sure that the many musicians in D.E.P. have a lot of experience making music since this album sounds very mature for a first release. I'm really amazed with the professional quality of this debut. It's a project that should be discovered by those who wish to hear prog at its finest.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#2266218)
Posted Friday, October 4, 2019 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Bulgarian venture DANIEL ELISEEV PROJECT is, as the name implies, the solo vehicle of composer and musician Daniel Eliseev. Following more than a decade as a member and contributor to various bands and artists, he decided to create some music of his own as well, and towards the end of 2018 he self-released the project's first album "Night Shadow".

Daniel Eliseev Project strikes me as a venture that as of 2018 had a desire to mix and blend the classic era traditions of progressive rock with the modern era of this style of music, and by plan or accident with something of a focus on the music of Yes as a sort of a leading light in this process. With style elements ranging from folk music and jazz to hard rock and metal, explored within a progressive rock context, this is a band and an album that should interest those who have a wide taste for the more generally appealing varieties of progressive rock that has been made between 1970 and the early 2000's.

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Posted Sunday, December 22, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars 'Night Shadow' is the debut album by Bulgarian producer, guitarist, guitar teacher, and songwriter's newly formed progressive rock project (2017). The two main objectives before him upon the release of this album were to pay tribute to bands like Yes, Gentle Giant, Rush, Porcupine Tree, among others, while also collecting some of the most gifted and experienced Bulgarian rock musicians, and to dedicate this album to his mother. And he obviously succeeded in doing both pretty well.

Now, this album's qualities are obvious but the more impressive aspect of it all is the fact that Bulgaria is not necessarily known for its output in progressive rock, simply because there is so little of it. Still, bands like FSB and Pantommind get some credit but they are definitely not notable acts in the genre.

On 'Night Shadow' one can appreciate a collection of eight songs, spanning across 44 minutes of runtime. This is undoubtedly a progressive rock album with tints of hard rock, alternative, baroque music, and acoustic music.

Among the highlights of the album for me are the opening track 'Alter Ego', the title track, 'Pandora and Epimetheus', the adorable 'A Song for You', and the bombastic 10-minute closer 'The Journey Along'.

Overall, this is a very melodic rock album, really well polished and well produced, with fantastic guitar playing, making Daniel Eliseev himself the standout musician. The rest of the band do their job not worse. Harmonic vocals, great riffs, and lovely interplay between the keyboards and the guitars, all make this album an excellent addition to Bulgaria's progressive rock vault and a surprisingly good discovery for me!

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Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2020 | Review Permalink

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