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MARSBÉLI KRÓNIKÁK (THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES)

Solaris

Symphonic Prog


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Solaris Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles) album cover
4.24 | 211 ratings | 33 reviews | 50% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Marsbéli krónikák I. (The Martian Chronicles I.) (3:34)
2. Marsbéli krónikák II.-III. (The Martian Chronicles II.-III.) (6:32)
3. Marsbéli krónikák IV.-VI. (The Martian Chronicles IV.-VI.) (13:15)
4. M'ars poetica (6:39)
5. Ha felszáll a köd (If the Fog Ascends) (3:58)
6. Apokalipszis (Apocalypse) (3:44)
7. E-moll előjáték (Prelude in E Minor) (0:29)
8. Legyőzhetetlen (Undefeatable) (2:46)
9. Solaris (4:53)

Bonus tracks on 1995 and 2010 releases:
10. Orchideák bolygója (The Planet of Orchids) (3:17)
11. A sárga kör (The Yellow Circle) (4:54)

Total Time: 54:01

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Istvan Czigman / electric & acoustic guitar, synthesizer, keyboard effect, percussion
- Robert Erdesz / piano, organ, synthesizer, keyboard effect
- Laszlo Gomor / drums, percussion, synthesizer
- Attila Kollar / flute, recorder, synthesizer, keyboard efect, percussion, vocals
- Tamas Pocs / bass

Guests:
- Casaba Bogdan / guitar
- Gabor Kisszabo / bass
- Ferenc Raus / drums, percussion
- Vilmos Toth / percussion

Releases information

LP Start SLPM 17819 (1984)
CD Start SCDM 17819 (1988)
CD (RE) Gong HCD 17819 (1995)
CD (RM) Belle Antique BELLE 101711 (2010)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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No release results - showing artist results instead
Martian ChroniclesMartian Chronicles
Import
Periferic 1999
Audio CD$22.39
$16.00 (used)
Nostradamus-Book Of PropheciesNostradamus-Book Of Prophecies
Import
Studio Kft 1999
Audio CD$21.39
$14.95 (used)
SolarisSolaris
Import · Soundtrack
Edel Eur/Zoom 2008
Audio CD$20.98
$18.88 (used)

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SOLARIS Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles) ratings distribution


4.24
(211 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
50%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
35%
Good, but non-essential (11%)
11%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

SOLARIS Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles) reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars "Marsbeli Kronikak" (Martian Chronlicles) is one of the greatest symphonic prog albums of all time. SOLARIS provide some great swirling keyboards (and lots of them), injected with some incredible flute, bass and guitar, surrounded by complex drumming . This recording moves in and out of many different moods throughout the recording taking on many different personas. This is some of the coolest space instrumental prog you will ever hear. The intro is quite psyched out and has some alien child like voices throughout providing an very uneasy feeling. After the "Martian Chronicle Suite" we are treated to a couple of extra tracks which seem to blend in quite well actually. This recording is essential in my books and I am sure all lovers of space symphonic prog will be drooling over this one.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#6615) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004

Review by Steve Hegede
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars "The Martian Chronicles" was released in 1983, and quickly became a hit in Hungary. But, it wasn't until about 1995, after SOLARIS played Progfest '95, that the rest of the prog world got a chance to discover this Eastern European gem. The album starts off with a side-long epic entitled "The Martian Chronicles Parts 1-6" which mixes Klaus SCHULZE-like synth work, with overly melodic interplay between piano, guitar, and flute. Nothing here gets too complex, rather the band seemed to have focused on creating beautiful, and playful, themes. After the side-long epic, things get a bit more aggressive with my favorite piece called "Mars Poetica". In my opinion, this sounds like a progressive, and instrumental, version of IRON MAIDEN with flutes, and Moog synths thrown in. The album goes on to end with a few more shorters tracks that feature aggressive synth solos, melodic flute interludes, and metal-guitar riffing. A classic!

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Send comments to Steve Hegede (BETA) | Report this review (#6616) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004

Review by Hibou
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album was written over twenty years ago, smack in the middle of the 'boring 80s'. Consequently, its production does have a sort of 80ish ring to it. But the music is so original and infectious I can't help but love it. Think TANGERINE DREAM that actually rocks, with real themes and an incredible variety of inspired musical phrases; then speed the whole thing up about ten times and add a little classical twist to it all, and you'll get an idea of what "The Martian Chronicles" sound like.

This is simple music where the beat rarely goes beyond the 4/4 pattern, but that doesn't take anything away from the fine woven melodies and the originality of the arrangements, where the band clearly favours an overall-effect over individual play - although the ever-present flute lends a light touch to it all, as do the mischievous little 'martian' voices that spring up here and there. With lots of synths and fiery guitars, the music races at the speed of light and hardly lets up until the end. Many passages are bound to accelerate your pulse rate (check out "The Martian Chronicles parts IV, V and VI" and especially "M'Ars Poetica"), whereas a few mellow ones (such as the track "Solaris" and parts of some others) provide a welcome interval between the raunchy guitars and the speedy synth flights. Overall, this a fine space-rock album made by classicaly trained musicians who obviously had lots of fun doing it.

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Send comments to Hibou (BETA) | Report this review (#6618) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 03, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well except on the scientific fiction-based upon such an unknown Bradbury's book- an important font of inspiration (being quite inspiring), their music is a normal mix of an electronic/symphonic music-genre, with a few tunes in the vein of Jetro Tull (talking about the most "folk rock-oriented" albums of these latter), which are very interesting but not so extraordinary in my opinion. Of course it depends on my own tastes, but however the futuristic elements are almost totally absent here and well replaced by the melodic acoustic lines created by the guitars. Their concept is enriched by means of some skillful music passages and this feature alone is able to make the whole album a recommended opera to be collected. Stanislaw Lem (have you ever heard about "Solaris"?) gave the idea for the band's name, while Róbert Erdész was the main composer and always present in the development of their instrumental songs (think of his "spacial" synthesizers which actually represent their unique true approach to be regarded as "sci-fi oriented"):after all his immediate harmonic solutions make the role of the other members a secondary task,nevertheless -despite of his melodic and simple concept- at the end the output is memorable anyway; but naturally the team work is good and the ideas by Erdész excellent... to me that's enough!

Not equal to the best albums by After Crying,another great Magyar band, but it can complete your European Prog collection in a remarkable way!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#6620) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 03, 2004

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The Hungarian formation SOLARIS was originally founded by some school friends in 1980. The band's name was derived from the title of book by SF writer Stanislaw Lem. In '84 SOLARIS released their first album "The Martian Chronicles", it sold almost 40.000 copies. On "The Martian Chronicles" SOLARIS creates a very dynamic and compelling progressive mix of classical and rock music. It's build upon sensational interplay between fiery electric guitar, tasteful keyboards and a powerful flute with lots of changing climates, surprising breaks and bombastic outbursts. Although SOLARIS sound rather unique, elements of JETHRO TULL (flute), MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND (Mini-moog solos with pitch bend) and JEAN MICHEL JARRE (electronic intro in the first part of the title track) can be traced. For me this CD is one of the highlights in progressive rock. What a powerful and great prog rock!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#6621) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 27, 2004

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Solaris' official debut album is one of the most precious prog albums to come out in the 80s, and it certainly deserved a major amount of attention back then. Fate had another plan: it was determined that the worldwide acclaimed had to be postponed until the 90s, during the second phase of this incredible Hungarian band's career. The band's musical proposition is symphonic, full of the splendour and majestic colorfulness that only well-educated musicians like these can bring. But don't expect a modern band that simply emulates their 70s heroes. On the contrary, their repertoire gives room to a variety of refreshing ideas that serve to refurbish the symphonic prog ideology in a peculiar manner. Here you'll find passages of massive synthesizer paraphernalia, hints to Eastern European folklore, and even some hard rocking powerful guitar riffs - although, the rockiest passages feel more like a hardened UK than actual hard rock. The band functions beautifully as an ensemble, where team work usually sets the rules for the performances and arrangements of the musical ideas: nevertheless, it is fair to note Erdész Róbert's relevant labour on his keyboard orchestrations as a harmonic support for the band, and of course, Kollár Attila's impeccable flute playing, which turns out to be the main focus of the band's sound most of the times. The three part namesake suite kicks off the album: it filled the whole A-side of the vinyl edition. Part 1 feels like something out of an early J.-M. Jarre album, which serves as a proper introduction to the sci-fi theme mentioned in the suite's title. The following five sections are more frontally emblematic of Solaris' symphonic prog approach. The band make their transitions from one theme to another and from one mood to another with consistent fluidity, helping the succession of diverse motifs to remain cohesive. 'M'ars Poetica' follows with a focus on the most intense side of Solaris, while 'Ha Felszáll a Köd' brings us to a more serene realm, both with an accurate level of progressive complexity. Later on, 'Apokalipszis' and 'Legyözhetetlen' stick to the rockier side, with a brief, eerie interlude played by Kollár's overdubbed recorders sandwiched in the middle. The title track closes down the album's official repertoire with full epic splendour: this is prototypical Solaris. The two bonus tracks are pretty interesting, but IMHO, they should have been placed somewhere else, in order to keep the effect created by the climax of 'Solaris'. Anyway, let's go on with the review - 'Orchideák Bolygója' is a Vangelis-like synth excursion with some occasional interventions of lead guitar and flute, while 'A Sárga Kör' is a labour of constant reconstruction of a basic gypsy-inspired motif. Overall conclusion: a hidden treasure of the 80s that now can be appreciated as what it is and has always been - an opus that revitalized the legacy of symph prog for the 80s.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#6624) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars SOLARIS is often regarded as one of the finest prog rock bands to come out of Hungary. I personally find "Marsbeli Kronikak" a tad overrated, but I can forgive that: 1. it was the 1980s, 2. Hungary at the time was still under communist rule, meaning anyone performing music and recording albums always had to meet with government approval before allowing the album to be released. I am totally convinced there would have been many more prog rock bands coming from that country had it not been communist (ditto for Poland and what was then Czechoslovakia), but of course more prog rock bands started surfacing in post- communist Hungary, the best-known example being AFTER CRYING.

OK, "Marsbeli Kronikak" is an album inspired by Ray Bradbury's book, The Martian Chronicles. The first half of the album consists of the side-length title track. It starts off rather electronic, with funny martian sounds speaking in Hungarian. As the music progresses, it then becomes more dominant by guitar and flute. The second half of the album consists of shorter tracks, many of them heavier pieces. The 1995 CD reissue also contains two bonus cuts, of unknown origin, but they seemed to be recorded in the same era, the last cut having a rather strong Eastern European-ethnic bent. I think my biggest complaint of the album is the band's use of synthesizers, the synth sounds are, no doubt about it, early '80s synths, but I guess in 1983 (when the album was recorded, it was released the following year) not too many bands, even west of the Iron Curtain, were too interested in still using the Mini Moog, ARP 2600, etc. (besides Moog and ARP had already went under by that time anyway). Still, this is definately one the better Eastern European prog albums I've heard.

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#6626) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars I have to thank the Prog Archives for introducing me to so many Hungarian bands, and especially After Crying, Rumblin Orchestra, and Solaris. While each of them has their own distinctive style, all three share a strong emphasis on classically-inspired music that is heavy on piano and keyboards, complex arrangements with elaborate progressions, and cerebral themes.

Solaris is one of my more recent discoveries, and this is the album that really got me hooked. The album is named after Ray Bradbury’s old collection of science fiction stories about the human colonization of Mars and the predictable and symbolic cultural, moral, and physical struggles that resulted from this space-age version of the age-old theme of occupation and cultural conflict. Like Bradbury’s stories, these tracks are loosed coupled by a general theme, but each also encapsulated and has its own sense of cohesion.

This is one of the few bands that managed to make music that is dominated by not one or two, but four keyboardists, with even guitarist the late Istvan Czigman logging time behind a moog. And speaking of the moog and ARP sounds, these were pretty dated instruments by the time Solaris recorded this album, but the sound remains appealing and pleasant to experience even today.

I think one of my earliest introductions to the moog synthesizers was through Gerry Rafferty’s epic release ‘City to City’ very early in 1978. And there are a few arrangements here that remind me a bit of some of that album’s tracks, particularly on the opening three-part “Marsbéli Kronikák” and “Apokalipszis” (apocalypse). And speaking of that track, here again is a song that is supposed to be about a devastating and destructive battle that doesn’t quite come off that way. This is a flute and electric guitar- laden tune that is really more suspenseful than actually devastating, but that’s okay in the context of this album since it is only one of many compositions, and not the underlying theme of the entire album.

Other standout tracks include “E-Moll Elöjátëk” (Prelude in E minor) with its energetic synthesized strings and keyboard effects that are a bit reminiscent of Alan Parsons Project’s own sci-fi themed album “I Robot”; the lush and lively “Legyözhetetlen”; the majestic and almost totally synthesized “Legyözhetetlen”; and the flute-lover’s dream “A sárga kör”.

This is a great album to listen to while reading a good science fiction novel on a quiet Sunday afternoon, which I plan on doing myself today. If this album would have been recorded twenty years later, I suspect it would have made its way into the soundtrack of a computer game somewhere, since it sounds a bit like gaming music but with a much higher caliber of technical skill than most of that type of music usually demonstrates.

There isn’t a bad track anywhere on this album, and for fans of synthesized keyboards, science fiction-themed music, and modern treatments on classically styled arrangements, you really can’t go wrong with this recording. The production quality is excellent as well, so there’s no distractions as there can be with some older recordings of this type. Highly recommended for symphonic music fans, and very close to being a masterpiece. The only thing missing for me personally is that connection to past experiences and memories that I tend to feel for classic albums of the days when I first discovered progressive music. Since I happened upon this band and this album later in life, those connections may well come in time, and I may revisit this one and give it that bump when they do. But for now I’ll give this a very high four stars, and return it to near the top of my heavy rotation list.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#120142) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 29, 2007

Review by Gooner
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Think of Canadian band SAGA, especially the "Silent Knight" LP without Michael Sadler's vocals. Toss in Ian Anderson-like flute...and you've got the entire Solaris - "Marsbeli Kronikak" LP, along with some interesting sound effects (aliens?). A tad overrated this one, but still recommended.

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Send comments to Gooner (BETA) | Report this review (#127613) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 05, 2007

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Solaris' Marsbéli Krónikák is one of the few shining lights that got unnoticed during that bleak 1980s period of progressive rock, not to mention the fact that very few people in the West ever heard this album. It wasn't until the 1990s and exposure on the Internet, plus someone taking the time to reissue this on CD that the West finally got to hear this amazing gem from this five-piece instrumental band from Hungary. I first discovered the band by reading their entry in the GEPR in the late 1990s.

Marsbéli Krónikák is an entirely instrumental album inspired by Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. The music is highly synthesized (Moog and ARP), extremely energetic, with amazing interplay involving lush synths, electric guitar, and flute. Not one member of the band is a standout, but together they achieve some brilliantly constructed symphonic progressive rock where each part plays an enormous role in the overall sound. The melodies are very catchy and I find myself humming them in my head, not just days, but months later. The closest description alluding to other more popular Western bands I can come up with is 1970s Camel on steroids with a skilled flute player (references to Jethro Tull I feel are erroneous, at least for this album).

One of the few masterpieces to come out of the 1980s and an absolute must-have for fans of symphonic progressive rock (especially those that love lush synths). Probably the best 1980s prog rock album, definitely the best from Hungary of all time, and perhaps in the top 20 of all progressive rock albums. Easily five stars and highly recommended.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#152805) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 26, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars My favourite release by far from this band is "Nostradamus Book Of Prophesies". "The Martian Chronicles" and "Solaris 1990" while both impressively played just don't suit my tastes very well. The classical flavoured sound with the flute leading the way ala JETHRO TULL doesn't grill my cheese. I can see why there are so many high ratings though as these guys really impress with their top notch playing. I always smile when I hear about a concept album that is all instrumental, but they often work if you pay attention to the titles of the songs or read the liner notes.

"The Martian Chronicals" suite is about 23 minutes of music,including Star Wars type sounds, and aliens speaking in Hungarian. Oh my ! Lots of electronics as well as spacey soundscapes. Heavier sections are contrasted with these. "Mars Poetic" opens with a short spacey section that quickly becomes an uptempo melody. "If The Fog Ascends" has some great reserved flute in it. "Apokalypse" is another uptempo track with lots of synths, drums and flute. "Prelude In E Minor" has a folk vibe to it. "Undefeatable" is another uptempo track with pounding drums as flute and guitar come and go. "Solaris" is one of my favs. It's a more laid back, mid-tempo tune. The tempo does pick up 2 1/2 minutes in followed by a blistering guitar solo. It calms back down again with synths and flute. "The Planet Of Orchids" is a return of the aliens. It's an ok song. "The Yellow Circle" features nice warm flute melodies before they are blown away by the guitar and heavy drums that arrive before a minute.This is a good one. It closes with the sounds of someone whistling.

It's so sad that this band had to have all their records approved by the communist government before they would be released. Maybe that's why "Nostradamus Book Of Prophesies" stands out to my ears, because communist rule was over and they could record it the way they wanted to.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#159194) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 19, 2008

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
4 stars Undoubtfully SOLARIS belong among the best progressive rock bands delivering some awesome music during the 80's.They were formed in 1980 in Budapest by students Robert Erdesz (keys), Attila Kollar (flutes,keys), Istvan Czigman (guitars), Vilmos Toth (drums) and Attila Seres (bass).After winning a third place among 137 bands at a local pop/rock contest,their song ''Solaris'' was published on SP after the competition.SOLARIS kept rehearsing and developing,as Toth was replaced by Ferenc Raus and Seres by Tamas Pocs.Their tough efforts were taped on the LP ''Marsbeli kronikak'' (Martian chronicles) in 1984,based on the eponymous book of Ray Bradbury.

It is really thrilling to find out that a band dared to deliver such a non-commercial album during the 80's.Trully uncomparable,''Marsbeli kronikak'' is an unusual amalgam of grandiose symphonic rock, spacey/electronic prog and flute-driven rock.Imagine ANYONE'S DAUGHTER's or ROUSSEAU's sensitivity and JETHRO TULL's power blended with TANGERINE DREAM's effects and electronics and the spacey feeling of ELOY.The musicianship takes the listener to another dimension,as the raw guitar riffs are battling with Kollar's flutes and the keyboard effects bastardize the melodic lines.Numerous intricate interplays in here will leave you speechless,the melody is also present under the solos of Istvan Czigman,while the synthesizers create pictures from another world.80's were a difficult period for progressive rock,but with bands like this one the spirit went one in a fearless way.Absolutely amazing,epic and grandiose symphonic rock with power,beauty and delicacy at the same time.Highly recommended!

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#159332) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 20, 2008

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Knowing this is an instrumental album, Martian cackles notwithstanding, one could be forgiven for offering a comparison to Tangerine Dream after listening to track 1, and simply deferring the remainder to another day. But the group presents its own vision much more clearly as the album progresses.

An Eastern European folk undercurrent can be discerned in subsequent melodies that swirl about, and the feel is much more organic than in typical electronic music. For instance Parts II and III allow for short solos followed by bursts of activity, both dominated by keyboards and flute, with able bass and drums backing. Electric guitar is used to add a measure of force but does not detract. Some choral effects are also employed. Always we return to the captivating main theme.

The centerpiece of the album is parts IV to VI, which total 13 minutes and introduce an even stronger theme on flute around which all other developments hinge. Attila Kollar's playing on woodwind interacts with that of guitarist Istvan Czigman who has more prominence in this part of the proceedings, while the spacey synthesizers keep reminding us that this is all about Ray Bradbury. The band knows how to vary the density of the passages to keep the listener entertained over the long haul.

Unfortunately, "Poetic Mars" and "Apocalypse" pretty much rehash the formula and depend too much on synths, but "In the Fog Ascends" is a dressed up flute ballad that showcases the band's versatility. The finale of my CD is the track "Solaris" is a bit too schizophrenic for my tastes, but still contains some fine ideas, especially as expressed by Kollar.

An instrumental album in which the music reflects the subject, "Martian Chronicles" was a fine debut for this Hungarian group so revered by prog fans, but, like many instrumental albums, chronicles a noticeable decline in the late going as the palate becomes overused.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#165618) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 03, 2008

Review by CCVP
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Life on Mars and on Earth

Solaris is a very important band from Hungary because their most famous release, the band's debut from back in 1984, was one of the few important progressive rock releases during the 80's, a decade that became well known among progressive rock fans as the lost decade of prog or as the recession years. This release was so important because it was a very good one (and still a very good album after over 25 years) when progressive rock was enduring hard times, mainly due to no longer being the trendy kind of music.

Although Solaris's debut is an impressive and original progressive rock piece, besides being a completely standalone album, I don't think that it can be considered a masterpiece. That is because the album have only some pieces that are actually mind-blowing, which are the songs Martian Chronicles parts II-III and IV-VI and M'ars Poetica. The remaining eight songs are just very good songs and do not come close, in quality, to the three songs listed previously, showing that the band, though releasing an amazing debut, still needed to grow.

This album also seems to be inspired by the novel 1950 The Martian Chronicles by the american writer Ray Bradbury. Maybe these kinds of novels that did not made any reference to the capitalist lifestyle were accepted by the socialist governments behind the Iron Curtain, but I don't know for sure. The fact is that the novel is named The Martian Chronicles, the album is named Martian Chronicles and the band said that they were influenced by sci-fi.

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

Solaris is known for their all instrumental albums with terrific music. However, unlike other progressive rock bands, Solaris's music is not very challenging to be played and does not have any main or soloist instrument. Their music is the final product of a whole band effort at both composing and playing and that makes their songs incredibly balanced, I mean, the songs don't have a pinnacle or a best part, they are good as a whole.

Another interesting characteristic of Solaris's is that their songs have few ideas that are very well worked. I mean, instead of just throwing lots of separate ideas, the band focus on some handful of them and develop them throughout the songs, what makes the songs flow very smoothly. The outcome of such development of their musical ideas is just great, specially in the longer songs.

The highlights go to Martian Chronicles parts II-III and IV-VI and M'ars Poetica.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Although the album have some pretty good qualities and some awesome songs, the final product is not as good as it should be. Some problems would be fixed in their next album, called Nostradamus Book of Prophecies, but, still, here those problems worsen the album. However, it does not get too bad at all, but I still think that the masterpiece grade would be too much, so I will give to this fine album 4 stars then.

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Send comments to CCVP (BETA) | Report this review (#186214) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 18, 2008

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars I suppose that this record earns one star more just because I'm from Central (Eastern by opinion of some) Europe, while Hungary is quite close, had similar political situation here and also the same. We simply understand each other. Back then, our nations were very close, now we could easily be on the other sides of the world, but never mind it, now we're in 80's.

Listenin' (hehe) to these tunes, I feel quite strange. Like hearing melodies that I have known all my life. So, first side would be something like 4.75/5 (with first track being the worst) and second side will get 4.5, because even it's good, it's overshaded by this melody line present in tracks 2 & 3. Marsbeli Kronikak, listening this album fifth time in a row, still looking for something to write, but unsuccessfully. There's a strong flute line, duelling with synthesizers with nice guitar pickpocketing (or tapping). Oh yeah, these songs are instrumental. But the beauty of these Martian landscapes (I love this book) are even better this way.

5(+), wonderful way how to have poesy without words. Just beautiful factor remains.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#249047) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 08, 2009

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Martians and spaceship included.

Oh little album, where have you been all this time? How could you slip between my careful fingers when I was lingering for a new rush of progressive music? Now I got you, and I'm not letting you go.

Boy am I h-a-p-p-y to own this record. Blend Camel, Eloy and Sinkadus together and still you have something 100% original at the time. The flute is really good, and I mean melodic. Not spitten like Jethro Tull or Focus but gentle and serving the melody, not doing a feverish solo. Each song is not following the last one, but every time to have the urge to press the repeat button; they're all good but going in the same direction; which means you have your main ingredients repeating but each song is a beauty. Never bored.

25 years ago, Solaris gave birth to a classic with punch, grace and cosmic factor...without the Marillion syndrome! Since Eloy and the Floyd were out of fuel, in the 80's Solaris gave the listener a great sci-fi time, with Andy Latimer guitar riffs and Clive Nolan keyboards.

Recommended like barbecue ribs in Georgia.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#255670) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, December 11, 2009

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars One of my top 5 albums from the 80's

I always believed that one of the most important aspects in a miusical work is versatility, I'm tired of listening bands that have one sound and all their songs sound as if they were cloning themselves, well SOLARIS is the opposite, but most important, they are not only versatile but also coherent and their music flows perfectly, something that boosts the merit.

Their debut "Marsbéli Krónikák" is a perfect example of what Prog was meant to be, even when they fit more comfortably in Symphonic, the album presents us an incredibly beautiful and fluid mixture of several genres which go from the expected Symphonic, to Folk, Electronic and even Psych Space, but also good old Rock & Roll.

When we listen read the names of Robert Erdesz and Attila Kollar is logical to expect that this virtuoso musicians are the center of the band, and even when their performances are crucial, there's not a weak point in the formation, each and every member gives is best, from the official members, to the guests and even the people recruited to make the wonderful choirs, something not so common in Prog bands where virtuoso musicians are so important.

Despite this fact, it's clear that the keyboards and flute are the visible leaders of a well oiled machine, because the music is clearly Synth oriented and the flute adds that unique touch that became SOLARIS trademark, but I recommend to play special attention to the acoustic guitar passages by "Istvan Czigman" which are absolutely breathtaking and also to the impeccable rhythm section....Well, better play attention to the whole band, because I couldn't find a weak spot.

Being ."Marsbéli Krónikák" (Martian Chronicles) a conceptual album based in the famous "Ray Bradbury novel, I won't dare to make a song by song review, because the album must be heard and discussed in it's integrity, being that only in that way it makes sense.

So, if SOLARIS presents us solid composition, flawless performances, versatility and coherence, is evident that we are before one or close to a masterpiece, but if we also remember that "Marsbéli Krónikák" is without doubt one of the top ten albums of the 80's, there's no other alternative than to rate it with 5 stars.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#396417) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 07, 2011

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Make sure to get a thorough physical and stock up on the Tang before you get pulled into this deep space nebula and its nods to Grainer/Derbyshire, Tangerine Dream, Goblin, and Vangelis circa Cosmos but still with enough hard rock to form an edge. Not exactly Spacerock, Electronic or Symph per se, this is closer to the death knells undoubtedly played between flameout rounds at Carousel for the impatient crowd. Solaris' The Martian Chronicles is absolutely unashamed astro-rock spectacle, and that's pretty cool if derivative and impure.

The nearly vocal-less set is a continuous sprawl of oft-changing but always focused numbers that are both simple and developed, and you don't have to be an electronic rock fan to enjoy it thanks to Istvan Cziglan's fine neoclassical guitars and the well-suited drums of Laszlo Gomor. The title cuts bop the galaxy, Rob Erdesz's concert hall pianos taking up the empty space over the gargling foam of the band's synths. 'Ha felszáll a köd' is when Solaris may begin to remind of anyone from Tull to Eloy to Saga, but this is more an incidental byproduct of the music than direct influence. 'Apokalipszis' is a solid bit o' prog that covers all the bases beautifully with the wailing squeal of hardcore synths and driving rhythms, great heavy metal bluster on 'Solaris' and a return to the black matter of 'Orchideak' with overtones of Goblin and John Carpenter. Nice. I paid ten bucks for this and it was well worth it.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#511712) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 29, 2011

Review by GruvanDahlman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars From way down in Eastern Europe comes one of the most atmospheric, enchanting and captivating prog albums ever recorded in the 80's. Solaris album "Marsbeli kronikak" is a mostly intrumental piece of music, with only occasional vocals adding spice.

The opening trio of songs is quite enough to make any prog fan happy. These are truly ambitious and well crafted pieces of music, capturing the essence of the bleak 80's and the apocalyptic, sometimes truly terrifying, threat of nuclear war. The contents of the remaining album are of extremely high quality, making "Marsbeli kronikak" a joy to listen to.

The music could be described as symphonic with hard rock edges. While there are enough keyboards and symphonic soundscapes to make any prog fan insane from pleasure, the guitar provides a great hard rock feel to it, making the music diverse and always interesting. It is a sort of symphonic, space rock close to Eloy (of the 80's) and even some of Hawkwind's contemporary output.

Conclusion: "Marsbeli kronikak" is one of the most prime examples of symphonic prog of the 80's but could well be one of the highlights of all time. It has a retro feel to it, yet the music is firmly rooted in the 1980's. It is a pleasure, a delight and an experience of great worth. Do give it a chance and be amazed at what these guys produced 30 years ago. From the opening, creepy sound of childlike voices to the majestic, pompous sound of keyboard orientated prog, "Marsbeli kronikak" delivers in spades. Gloriuos.

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Send comments to GruvanDahlman (BETA) | Report this review (#951016) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 28, 2013

Latest members reviews

5 stars Another priceless gem from the eighties. 1984 was dominated by Metallica with their 'Ride The Lightning', 'Powerslave' by Iron Maiden, Prince, The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen, Springsteen and Lloyd Cole, among others. Most importantly, from the progressive side, were two works superlative, the f ... (read more)

Report this review (#1017268) | Posted by sinslice | Monday, August 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The 80's was a tough period for prog and good music in general. But in the middle of this decade comes the symphonic extravaganza of Solaris' The Martian Chronicles. Though rather obscure, the musical merit in this album speaks for itself. These guys play with the same symphonic prowess that Genesis ... (read more)

Report this review (#880135) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, December 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Marsbéli Krónikák is a great, all-instrumental symphonic prog album inspired by Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. It came out against the odds: it was recorded in the eighties in Hungary, which was still a communist country at the time, so it's a miracle an album like this was allowed ... (read more)

Report this review (#520181) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Sunday, September 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A 1980s masterpiece?!! A rare thing, indeed, for the prog world post-punk and amidst the techno revolution. A difficult album to obtain--I'd been trying for over two years since I first read reviews and heard a song of theirs--and I am so glad I did! Though its sound is, obviously, a bit dated, ... (read more)

Report this review (#401513) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have two CD's of this original group, both music oriented only, with instrumental outings. This one is older than 'Nostradamus', and you can feel it a little bit. Nevertheless, it is a mix of modern and older styles, and the result is very interesting. The voices of the Martians, in the first tra ... (read more)

Report this review (#276515) | Posted by Progdaybay | Monday, April 05, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Nice album made by this Hungarian band. A nice electronic sintetizer with some spacial noises but very balanced, create a special work very harmonic. The flute and some guitar sounds, give a progressive soul to this album. I like very much the East Progressive and Solaris is a good band. I don' ... (read more)

Report this review (#240967) | Posted by Joăo Paulo | Wednesday, September 23, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars OUT OF THIS WORLD I decided to review this album motivated by a thread i saw today about this band, wich reminded me how amazing they are. This band truly could be from Mars, the way they managed to create sounds is beatiful and you can really feel like if you are traveling in space. The m ... (read more)

Report this review (#128288) | Posted by FranMuzak | Thursday, July 12, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Im sorry...who said prog rock died in 1977? I am absolutely convinced that this album tops any of the prog releases (those that should be considered) of the 80's and maybe even the late 70's. SOLARIS presents maybe not a new sound per say, but an extraordinarily refreshing combination of sound ... (read more)

Report this review (#108206) | Posted by le orme | Saturday, January 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Beautiful from first to last note!! Totally symphonic, maybe is one of the best prog albums that I ever heard. Based on Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles" the truth is the first 3 songs of the album are based directly on this book but who cares! The album is almost totally instrumental but with ... (read more)

Report this review (#75508) | Posted by progadicto | Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I found this Hungarian jewel thanks to Prog Archives, and I don't know much about the band itself. So I thought I'd better be humble in my words about this album, and describe it to those not yet discovered it. As you know, 1984 wasn't really a time of appreciation of pretentious music, and t ... (read more)

Report this review (#74657) | Posted by 1971 | Tuesday, April 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have always had an ambiguous relationship with Neo-Prog, but this is the first LP of the Neo-Prog era 1979-88 (approx) that I consider an outright classic. Hungary's SOLARIS are a special band in the firmamnet of East European Prog and, unlike other NeoProg acts that sound diluted, this is p ... (read more)

Report this review (#6622) | Posted by mandrake2 | Friday, January 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars One of THE symphonic rock albums from the eighties,coming from East-Europe.A lot of electronics and rhythm-aparature is used all over the disc.Could be slightly influenced by Tangerine Dream,but has the roots from those typical Hungarian bands,such as Omega,East in a very symphonic way.Call it elect ... (read more)

Report this review (#6613) | Posted by | Wednesday, February 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Martian Chronicles are one of the best concept albums I´ve ever heard, it really impressed me. The mix of synths sometimes will remind Jarre or Tangerine Dream, but on the other hand when they come with those guitars they really knock you off, particularly in Mar's Poetica. It's a must specia ... (read more)

Report this review (#6612) | Posted by | Tuesday, February 17, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Just listen to Mars Poetica to enjoy Solaris at their best . The title track with its cheesy synths sounds dated now , but this is overall a great CD. However nothing on this CD really compares with LA 2026 found on their 1990 CD. That track is awesome ... (read more)

Report this review (#6609) | Posted by platform | Friday, January 02, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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