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Voyager IV - Pictures At An Exhibition CD (album) cover


Voyager IV

Eclectic Prog

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4 stars Well, it all goes back to Russian composer Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky. In 1874 he developed the piano suite 'Pictures At An Exhibition', which then became an inspirational template for several music artists furthermore. For example fully orchestrated by Maurice Ravel, about one hundred years ago. Or due to ELP even set into prog music for the first time, almost 50 years back. Basically this project is set up by the Marcus Schinkel Trio. Instrumentally comprised of bass, keys, drums, and actually serving sophisticated piano driven jazz music. On this occasion they are enhanced by Johannes Kuchta (vocals, sax). And this expansion goes for the stylistical bandwith in the same way.

It is said, in the first instance they soley planned a tribute concert for Keith Emerson. But then they couldn't release anymore, went on to compose a complete set of ten pieces, which comes close to the aforementioned piano suite in some way, but is also enriched with a modern progressive rock approach. According to their predecessors in spirit they are focussing on the keyboard stuff, electric guitars don't play any role here. Eh, normally a no-go for me according to my taste. This apptly namend by the label Melodic Revolution Recordsl: 'jazz rock meets classical music, grand piano meets distortion synthesizer, singer-songwriter meets freak out'. Yep, prog fans should not hesitate.

And on top they are offering the ELP respectively King Crimson standout compositions Lucky Man and Talk To The Wind in a new outfit. This merely will be successfully accomplished, set into motion by really educated and skilled musicans, they are without a doubt. Johannes Kuchta offers a fantastic singing voice throughout, slightly breathy, a perfect addition to the fold. A great keyboard range is striking, the rhythm section knows how to spin around with ease and precision. But, although announced here and there as such, I would say they are not really a space rock band in a strict sense. It's not an easy task to highlight any particular song, Il Vecchio Castello (Photophobia) and the eclectic and pacey Baba Yaga are my current favourites. Thank you for such an entertaining album - 4.5 stars so far.

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Posted Sunday, January 5, 2020 | Review Permalink

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