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Arlekin Disguise Serenades album cover
3.34 | 48 ratings | 6 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

Digital release:
1. The Lost Path (8:22)
2. Dance of the Jester (8:45)
3. Romance (4:56)
4. In This Puzzled Roundabout (15:01)
5. Old Father East (3:59)

Total Time: 41:03

CD release:
1. The Lost Path (8:22)
2. Dance of the Jester (8:45)
3. Romance (4:56)
4. In This Puzzled Roundabout (15:01)
5. Old Father East (20:03)

Total Time: 57:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Igor Sidorenko / all instruments and vocals

Releases information

Digital/CD digipack (2014)

The limited CD digipack contains an untitled hidden bonus track, 10 min. 2 sec. long, following "Old Father East" and 6 min. 2 sec. of silence.

Thanks to apps79 for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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Buy ARLEKIN Disguise Serenades Music

ARLEKIN Disguise Serenades ratings distribution

(48 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ARLEKIN Disguise Serenades reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
3 stars So we finally have Ukrainan Igor Sidorenko's (a.k.a. Prog-Jester) recording project ARLEKIN in our database, deservedly. This recently released album was very long in the making. There was no shadow of a doubt that the artist belongs to the Neo Prog category; the album screams Neo Prog right from the MARILLION-inspired artwork. That band, its earliest era to be more precise, has been Igor's strongest musical influence. He sings and plays all the instruments himself, but don't be alarmed by that. The musical performance and the production are of professional level. Only the vocals I find a bit unsatisfactory.

'The Lost Path' starts gloomly with depressed vocals backed by synths only. "They say come join us - no, I won't." It's a rather long intro before the proper music enters, but the PINK FLOYD -like long instrumental section with soaring electric guitar soli is very enjoyable. 'Dance of the Jester', that contains several changes in tempo and dynamics, shows very clear Script-era Marillion influence. The vocals work better than in the opening track. They resemble not only Fish but also Dave Cousins (STRAWBS), even more than Fish does. But I wouldn't say Igor has the same expressionistic power as those two artists.

'Romance' follows in the similar dark mood. It's a fairly good, economic, 5-minute Neo Prog song, but at this point the album starts to feel a bit single-minded. Just think of Script For a Jester's Tear without the hilarious 'Garden Party' and you know what I mean. The 15-minute epic 'In This Puzzled Roundabout' makes me think of the Marillion song 'Fugazi' (actually I had an idea for a review headliner: "The world is still totally Fugazi"), not that it would musically much resemble it. There's a nice balance between vocals and instrumentalism. The composition, maybe the best of the album, could be compared to some IQ epics too. In my country Finland it's the band AGENESS that most shares the Genesis-originating Neo Prog style of Arlekin. 'Old Father East' is a good instrumental - and I'm really glad that there was one.

Especially for fans of early Marillion this is surely worth checking out. I'm hesitating between three and four stars. The vocals are not quite as good as I would wish, and despite many strong moments the album doesn't quite reach the majestic heights it seems to run after desperately. The air is a bit stuffy, so to speak. As I listened to the CD for the first time there was a silly surprise in the end: after six minutes of silence there comes another 'Dance of the Jester' as a hidden track. Gosh, I don't like hidden tracks that start after minutes of silence in general, and whatever differences those versions have, to me it's just useless repetition. 3― stars rounded down!

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Throughout the listening experience of Disguise Serenade I was flooded with reminders of 1980's one off wonder BABYLON. It's that kind of sound, that kind of engineering, that kind of showman vocals, that kind of musicianship, that kind of naiveté. Like Babylon's eponymously titled album, I like this album very much.

1. "The Lost Path" (8:26) opens with quite a dramatic feel, with the incredible emotion packed into the vocal like Peter Gabriel or Matthew Parmenter or BABYLON's Doroccus. After the vocal opening The music takes over in more of a DISCIPLINE and then PINK FLOYD way. Excellent emotional lead guitar play with perfect band support make this song a sheer masterpiece--that is until the bouncy 80s drum beat and chord progression that takes over at the 6:20 mark. During this section the vocal matches less well. Excellent guitar play almost saves this song. (9/10)

2. "Dance of The Jester" (8:47) has so much of a Peter Gabriel-era Genesis feel to it. The dramatic vocal 'storyteller' presentation is so much like Peter Gabriel's--and Fish's--'in character' approach to performance vocals. However, the song on its own has nothing really new to add to the prog lexicon.(8/10)

3. "Romance" (5:00) is a bare-bones blues-based song almost like a DOORS song--in which, unfortunately, the vocal is rather weak and almost over the top in its dramatic affect. Again this song seems to lack anything new or fresh to make it very interesting. It might even be called dull. (7/10)

4. "In This Puzzled Roundabout" (15:04) begins very powerfully like a classic DISCIPLINE song with some very simple instrumental support to the dramatic vocal performance. The spaciousness in the instrumental support is perfect for this vocal opening. At 2:05 an awesome instrumental section ensues in which an eerie keyboards solos while the background instruments build in intensity and volume. A minute later the rhythm section kicks it up to overdrive for thirty seconds before a gap of stillness opens the way for a very GENESIS sounding organ-led section. At 5:00 the vocal--now doubled up--returns with a strong melody to mirror the guitar arpeggios preceding and following it. This guitar-vocal cycle repeats a couple times before a brief TONY BANKSian solo bridges the way into a heavier almost BLACK SABBATH-section begins at the seven minute mark. Organ and then very fluid electric guitar solo lift us out of the dirge and back into the more upbeat realm of Foxtrot-era GENESIS--complete with Steve Hackett-like guitar work. Suddenly, at 10:05, a militaristic drum style takes us into a kind of "Get 'em out by Friday" section--except an awesome wah-treated guitar solo plays over the top. Awesome section! All too brief as at 11:52 the organ again leads the listener back into GENESIS/BABYLON land. Definitely my favorite song on the album--an "epic" for the ages. (9/10)

On the album has a fifth song that is not listed in the liner notes of the official album release. 5(??). "Old Father East" (20:02) on progstreaming this song comes up as a 20 minute song but with a six minute gap of silence after the first instrumental song ends at the 3:59 mark, a second song begins at the ten minute mark--and it turns out to be an alternate (demo?) version of song #2, "Dance of The Jester."

Overall there is something lacking in the recording/engineering/mixing of this album that is again quite reminiscent of early Genesis and the 1980 Babylon release. Is this intentional? I do not know. But the musician's performances--including the vocals--are quite good and usually quite engaging. The album's two bookends, "The Lost Path" and "In This Puzzled Roundabout" are quite good.

3.5 star album.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Disguise Serenades" is the debut full-length studio album by Ukrainian progressive rock act Arlekin. The album was independently released in August 2014 (both as a digital download and as a CD digipack). Arlekin was founded around 2005 by Igor Sidorenko, who handles all vocals and instruments on "Disguise Serenades", and a demo was recorded and released in 2008. Sidorenko got preoccupied with some of his other projects like Stoned Jesus and Krobak though, and Arlekin was put in the vault until this year when he found some time and inspiration to record the material in a professional studio.

Sidorenko is known for a wide varity of musical projects and styles (among others stoner rock and post rock), but on the Arlekin project, his focus is on playing neo-progressive rock, greatly influenced by 80s artists like Marillion and IQ, but also by later neo- progressive artists like Collage, Red Sand, and Shadowland. Like on most neo-progressive releases there are also nods toward mid- to late 70s Genesis and even Pink Floyd in the music.

The sound of the music on the 5 track, 41:03 minutes long album probably wonīt surprise you if you are familiar with some of the above mentioned artists, and Sidorenko does nothing to hide his influences. Itīs not to a point of the album being a tribute release though and the material on the album are generally well written and catchy. Itīs keyboard heavy, but the rhythmic playing is solid too and there are also some pretty great guitar playing on the album. Both rhythm and lead. Sidorenko proves to be a pretty good vocalist with a pleasant and relatively convincing delivery. He pretty much sticks to safe ground, and doesnīt make excursions into wild theatrical territories, and itīs always good to know your limits. Thereīs a slight bit of Peter Gabriel (Genesis, solo) and Fish (Marillion, solo) in his voice and in the way he delivers his vocal lines, but again this is not a tribute, and he does manage to add his own vocal touch to the music.

The sound production is very successful to my ears. Itīs professional, clear and detailed, and itīs got the right authentic 80s atmosphere about it too. A journey back to the glory days of neo- progressive rock is guaranteed. Overall "Disguise Serenades" is a quality product by Arlekin, and if you can live with the fact that the album doesnīt exactly bring much new to the genre in terms of an original sound, thereīs no reason why you shouldnīt enjoy the high level musicianship, the well sounding production job, and the inspired and clever songwriting, that are on display here. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Disguise Serenades" is the sole project by Arlekin with all instruments and vocals performed by Igor Sidorenko from Ukraine. Unlike Igor's other band that is Post Rock instrumental, Arlekin have a retro Neo Prog sound familiar to those who have had their ears blessed by the magic of Marillion, especially when Fish was at the helm in the 1980s. Igor's voice at times has a theatrical quality like Fish or early Peter Gabriel in his Genesis art rock phase. This quality in vocal tone is noticeable on 'The Lost Path' and 'Dance of the Jester' and the music is dominated by staccato keyboards, with a Hammond sound. The mix on the vocals is a bit too loud at times, and wavering in melody becomes distinct. However the music is spellbinding with wall to wall passages of flute synth, heavy drums and bass rhythms, along with memorable guitar riffs. Igor is an accomplished guitarist and allows himself room to perform some amazing solos. I actually heard this album earlier before I received the album and did not realise this music was generated by one artist. This in itself is an incredible achievement. There is a great deal of passion injected into the songs, and Igor pours out his heart in the lyrics.

'Romance' has a similar intro melody to Pink Floyd's 'Empty Spaces' but the verses are very different. The vocals are a bit shaky but they improve on 'In This Puzzled Roundabout' the best song on the album. I love the bass on this, and the way that it builds into some aggressive distorted guitar riffs. The simple crashing cymbals are effective, and it really picks up when the tempo changes direction and a synth solo follows along ascending musical phrases. The length at over 15 minutes gives room for Igor to lash out on the keyboards and experiment with varying tempo changes and time signatures. There is a terrific lead break amongst all the prog, and Igor's voice sounds like Gabriel when it is multi-tracked. The twin guitar medleys are particularly effective, with a distinct Neo quality. Overall this song is worth checking out to experience Arlekin at it's best.

Arlekin will appeal to those who enjoy the likes of Babylon, Pink Floyd, early Genesis or Marillion. It is astonishing how one musician can create such beautiful music with so many layers and time signature changes. I can recommend "Disguise Serenades" to those who like their prog with experimental musicianship and lashings of keyboards and theatrical vocals.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ukrainian project ARLEKIN is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Igor Sidorenko, and has been in development since 2005 or thereabouts, albeit without any music released until recently, possibly due to his involvement in other ventures such as Krobak and Stoned Jesus. "Disguise Serenades" is the first CD to be issued under the Arlekin moniker, and was self-released in 2014.

As far as debut albums go, "Disguise Serenade" documents a project with talent, but at this stage, still very much in development. The compositions are pleasant, mix and production are passable, and the vocals are a bit on the weak side. Nothing truly spectacular, nothing truly terrible either, an album that won't expand the interest in the neo progressive rock explored here, but a pleasant addition to the collection of those with a strong affection for this type of music in general and arguably the early '80s type of it in particular.

Latest members reviews

2 stars The majority of tracks of the Ukrainian prog band ARLEKIN "Disguise Serenades" seems to me a unsuccessful project from in attempt to make a tribute or homage to one of biggest Neo-Prog pioneers, the British band MARILLION (this influence, at least in my point of view this is undeniable ). I ... (read more)

Report this review (#1509781) | Posted by maryes | Sunday, January 10, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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