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Smak - Zasto Ne Volim Sneg CD (album) cover



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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1981 saw the explosion of new wave scene in ex-Yugoslavia, which for that matter was one of the strongest scenes in Europe at that time, so the old prog guys including SMAK were largely forgotten by the media and the public. Following the lack of success of their last album "Rock cirkus", Mihajlovic decided to disband the group. Before doing that, he entered the studio with idea to make a solo album dedicated to his late brother, and for that purpose he gathered SMAK members for studio work. The label company insisted however that the record should be issued under SMAK name. Packed in the black cover sleeve, the album carries a dark, menacing fusion sound with mostly instrumental tracks. The original vocalist Arandjelovic did not rejoin the band so in the title song their old friend Dado Topic jumped in as a singer. This album is a very good swan song to the progressive career of SMAK, Mihajlovic is in top form as guitar soloist, especially in the popular cover of Macedonian traditional "Zajdi, zajdi", Ristovski's organ is back in place, while Milanovic's bass actually carries the music throughout the album. There is practically not a weak moment on the album with overall impecable arrangement and instrumentation, and the whole sound is well balanced from the starting furious tempo rocker "Juzni voz" to the ending ballad "Nebeski splav", both featuring the guest vocalist Z. Zivanovic. This album is a hidden gem in the catalogue of the ex-Yugoslavian progressive music and is highly recommended to prog fans.
Report this review (#34477)
Posted Friday, March 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is Smak's last great album. Made just before their split in '81, it sees them explore little familiar terrain, that of alternative, avant garde music. Best examples are the title song, "Talisman" and "Maht pustinja". The title song, sung by Dado Topic who is one of the best singers ever to bless the ex-Yugoslav rock scene, is particularly strange. It is incredibly silent and slow paced but has a strong rephrain which livens things up a bit. Zoran Milanovic's excellent bass carries the song, as well as some others. "Talisman" and "Maht pustinja" are among the best and strangest instrumentals Smak has ever produced and benefit from Laza Ristovski's comeback behind the keyboards. Ristovski shines here as well as in "Balet", another nice instrumental. Tocak does more soloing here than on "Crna dama" and "Stranice naseg vremena" as well.

"Juzni voz" is the most uncharacteristical song on the album because it is the only pure rock song, with riffs so heavy they can be placed under the hard rock category. "Zajdi zajdi" is a wonderful cover of one of the most beautiful folk songs from Macedonia and "Nebeski splav" is a strong ballad with good solos from Tocak and Ristovski and a worthy closer.

This album also benefits from the absence of the screaming Arandjelovic's voice which has spoiled too many excellent moments. This is indeed a very rare achievement that can be compared with very few other records, specially in Yugoslavia and eastern Europe.

Report this review (#39150)
Posted Monday, July 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Originally intended to be Tocak's solo album "Zasto ne volim sneg"(english "Why I don't like snow")became,IMHO,best Smak album in their entire catalogue.Recorded shortly before band split up for several years,album's dark and heavy,fusion influenced sound was very different from what was known as distinctive Smak sound of previous years.Vocalist Boris Arandjelovic is gone,two guest vocalists , excellently skilled Zoran Zivanovic on two cuts and legendary Dado Topic of Time fame giving his,dare I say,best ever vocal performance ever on album title song,which is a highligt,along with heavy,almost doom laden fusion instrumental "Talisman".Stunning!Also,most played song on radio stations at the time from this album "Zajdi,zajdi",instrumental cover of a beautiful Macedonian folk song,is probably best ever reworking of traditional folk song in yu rock history,R.M.Tocak at his best.Every time I hear this song I get highly emotional and nostalgic,remembering good,old times in ex- Yu.Being mostly instrumental,album comes highly reccomended to all prog lovers.
Report this review (#104530)
Posted Monday, December 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars As Seyo mentions in his review the band had decided to call it quits after the disappointment of the previous album "Rock Cirkus" but Radomir the guitarist wanted to make one last record with the guys and put it out as a solo album under his name. This was to be a tribute to his brother who had passed away. Well the label insisted that it be put out under the SMAK name and that wasn't such a bad thing anyway because this album showed the fans that they still had it. Yes this is dark and powerful. A thing of beauty really.

"Juzni Voz" opens with organ then blazing outbursts of guitar and sounds hit us then here we go ! An absolute rip snorter as these guys set the soundscape on fire. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes as we get more of a DEEP PURPLE feel the rest of the way. "Zajdi, Zajdi" opens with the organ floating in as the guitar starts to solo tastefully. Drums after a minute beat slowly. "Talisman" is a top three. This sounds so good ! The drumming and guitar especially. Nasty organ a minute in and the synths start to come and go. Such a powerful song. "Zasto Ne Volim Sneg" is another top three and it opens with atmosphere as sounds build to a powerful soundscape. A calm with vocals a minute in. Contrasts will continue. Amazing !

"Balet" opens with killer bas as sounds come and go. The keyboards and bass really impress. About halfway through the track the intensity starts to build. "Maht Pustinja" is my other top three. An excellent instrumental display early then it kicks in hard before 2 minutes. The guitar then solos as it settles back some. It kicks in again before 5 minutes. It settles again after 7 minutes and check out the guitar and bass ! The intensity is building again. What a song ! "Nebeski Splav" opens with floating organ as tasteful guitar then drums roll in. Vocals follow and it turns intense later on.

With three killer albums to their credit SMAK are my favourite band from Yugoslavia. A must have.

Report this review (#773227)
Posted Monday, June 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Radomir Mihajlovic hadn't meant to make another Smak album - especially after the creative blunder which was Rock Cirkus - but he accidentally did so anyway, as you might expect when the lineup here essentially consists of Smak minus its lead singer Boris Arandjelovic. This means that the album mixes instrumental tracks with ones with guest vocalists, in both cases working a style of jazz fusion which in some respects seems to point the way towards the neo- prog sounds of the early 1980s. An interesting little prog artifact from the years between the decline of the first prog wave and the rise of the next one, with a gloriously moody atmosphere that will appeal to fusion fans and neo-prog fans alike.
Report this review (#1610988)
Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2016 | Review Permalink

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