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HOLLOW MOON

Vespero

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Vespero Hollow Moon album cover
3.93 | 68 ratings | 3 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Watching The Moon Rise (3:36)
2. Flight Of The Lieutenant (8:28)
3. Sublunarian (7:56)
4. Moon -Trovants (8:39)
5. Mare Ingenii (3:19)
6. Feast Of Selenites (11:05)
7. Watershed Point (2:01)
8. Tardigrada's Milk (7:12)
9. Space Clipper's Wreckage (8:39)
10. Watching The Earth Rise (3:26)

Total time: 64:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Alexander Kuzovlev / guitars, mandolin, mixing
- Alexey Klabukov / keyboards, synthesizer
- Vitaly Borodin / violin, accordion
- Arkady Fedotov / bass, synthesizer, noises
- Ivan Fedotov / drums, percussion, сajon, wave drum

With:
- Pavel Alekseev / tenor saxophone

Releases information

Artwork: Julia Novikova

CD Tonzonen Records ‎- TON042 (2018, Germany)

LP Tonzonen Records ‎- TON042 (2018, Germany)

FLAC download - bandcamp.com

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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VESPERO Hollow Moon ratings distribution


3.93
(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
37%
Good, but non-essential (31%)
31%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

VESPERO Hollow Moon reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars All I Can Do Is Watch The Earth Rise Every Lunar Night ...

As already known probably, when it comes to the band VESPERO, there's usual practice to deliver concept albums which are picking up arcane themes from the human history in a wider sense. While leaving the Abyssinian Tales trilogy behind with bravura, 'Hollow Moon' then goes for a new dare. Maybe one can say dealing with hypotheses by early scientists and sci-fi authors about the moon's condition as such, and, of course also, how to get there possibly. And that surprisingly even goes back to the 17th century! Just to mention Edmond Halley, or Francis Godwin, who published the novel 'The Man In The Moone', considered to be one of the first works of science fiction ever.

This story is describing a space travel via special flying machine. No, apparently not Apollo 11, because pulled by wild swans as a contemporary choice. The album's front illustration though is showing an alternatively dated means of transport. Somewhat pointing to the H. G. Wells times, reminding me of that Yellow Submarine The Beatles once were using for their album. Nice picture in any case. The band line up remains, is stable over the recent years. Always sharing a jazzy note, guest saxophone player Pavel Alekseev already appeared on several previous albums. First of all, if you should dare to expect some old wine in new skins in the light of nearly 20 released albums in the meanwhile ... well, even music-wise the VESPERO crew define new goals. In the same way like fullfilling their recent mission alongside with Angel Ontalva.

This means nothing more than that they still are refining their uniqueness. Great respect in advance! If you don't step forward, you'll go backwards. Hence, during the album making-of, it was their challenge, but now it's ours, yeah! This is not easy to assimilate, take your time. The more I'm listening it comes more sophisticated. Based on a space rock fundament a step further towards an eclectic approach. Song writing clearly dominates as opposed to some possible jamming character with open end. Consequently there is a wide range of impressions to state. Exemplarily let me point out the clever excerpt Sublunarian. Here we will experience a classical touch in the beginning, due to strings and Vitaly Borodin's violin coming to the point.

Furthermore there is a curious percussion drive to state in some way. Kuzovlev's mandolin playing sounds a bit Ontalva inspired. Flight Of The Lieutenant appears to be a virtuoso affair par excellence, entertaining from the first to the last minute. When the album turns into an ambient respectively melancholic vibe, like on the beautiful Mare Ingenii for instance, I'm feeling great yearning coming up. Equipped with groovy passages Feast Of Selenites seems to be the centerpiece currently. The compelling Tardigrada's Milk evolves into a more folk and world music direction. You see, there's very much to explore, thus it's worth it to eagerly escort them towards the moon (and back).

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars You've got to credit the Fedotov brothers and company: they keep coming, they keep evolving, and they are great musicians. Must be some good stuff in the waters of Astrakhan!

1. "Watching The Moon Rise" (3:36) an unusual item for this band: an atmospheric, spacey intro! Nice though there is nothing very new or exciting here. (7.5/10)

2. "Flight Of The Lieutenant" (8:28) I hate the rhythmic foundation chosen for the first minute of this song. It changes slightly to start the second minute while guitar, violin, and synth do some pretty cool things but then that super annoying drum beat and machine gun bass playing returns intermittently. The third minute gets more interesting as the drumming begins to play more within the spirit of jam band improv that the rest of the band are using. Thinkgs slow down into a near-Rasta rhythm pattern in the fourth minute as heavily-treated funked-up bass is given some solo time. When the music returns to the breakneck pace of the opening sections there are some very cool violin and sax solos with all kinds of interesting stuff coming in from the peripheral instruments! At 6:30 there is return to the slow-down section for some cool guitar work. The tommy gun bass and return for an all-out race to the finish for the final minute. Wow! (17.5/20)

3. "Sublunarian" (7:56) opens with a cool multiple acoustic guitar finger-picking weave before bowed cello, double bass and congas join in. The melody of the bridge has a bit of a "Classical Gas" feel to it. At the two minute mark the song shifts into an early Jean-Luc Ponty sound and feel--gorgeous. This is a side of Vespero I've never heard before-- a jazz fusion side. I love it! The mid-song interlude for the slow synth-saw solo is a little prolonged and distracting, but then some almost-trip-hoppy drums enter to perk things up while a sax wails away. The final minute is a bit disappointing as all of the energy from the start and previous acoustic weaves are removed and an unexciting solo plays out. Still, this is a top three song for me. (18.25/20)

4. "Moon -Trovants" (8:39) Another interesting weave kicks in straight out of the starting block with synth master Arkady Fedotov having fun with his signature noises. A King Crimson "Discipline" weave establishes itself while a heavily treated violin solos. The violin's three note arpeggi used within the support weave thereafter become a little annoying as I think they are mixed a little too loudly into the soundscape. The bare bones fabric of the sixth minute unfortunately destroys some of the momentum and engagement established in the first five minutes. A little too staccato and repetitive--but I get it from the point of view of a band's exercise in discipline. Luckily it fills in again in the eighth minute so electric guitar and then sax can solo. (16.5/20)

5. "Mare Ingenii" (3:19) sounds like an outtake from an early 1980s Bruce Cockburn studio jam session with Hugh Marsh's electric violin, Bruce or Hugh's mandolin and Fergus Marsh's bass/ChapmanStick. (7.5/10)

6. "Feast Of Selenites" (11:05) opens with two minutes of playful experimentation with weaving muted string instrument pickings. At the three minute mark the structure becomes heavier--the rhythm section falling into a Mahavishnu Orchestra like groove while searing electric guitar, chunky bass, and violin take turns in lead and supporting roles. At 5:00 the rhythm structure again shifts, this time into a groove much more familiar from previous Krautrock-influenced Vespero albums. Within the next two minutes there are more subtle yet distinct stylistic shifts over which violin and synths take turns managing the leads. I like this song for its interesting twists and and turns and strong melodies while also wish a few of the sections could have been returned to or explored further than they were. The final minute sees a return to the Mahavishnu jazz fusion theme in a bit of a slowed down, watered down way--though the lead guitarists work is really fun. Another top three song for me. (18/20)

7. "Watershed Point" (2:01) another space interlude performed by synths and strings (synth strings?) Prettier than the album's opener but cut short. (4.5/5)

8. "Tardigrada's Milk" (7:12) another attempt at an acoustic-based jazz fusion piece, this one using more familiar Vespero melodies for the first two minutes. It opens with an acoustic guitar-led melodic "hook" that just doesn't work for me. Sounds like LOST WORLD BAND's Andy Didorenko's guitar! The Hugh Marsh-like violin work is nice. The third minute sees a rather radical shift into carnivalesque music laden with Arkady's frequent synth ejaculations. The fourth minute opens with a complete breakdown of all musical accompaniment while an accordion/harmonium-like instrument takes on as the sole companion to Arkady's synth spews. The end of the fifth minute sees a breakout into a kind of folk jam with chunky bass the only instrument that would not fit into a great MIKE OLDFIELD weave. This is actually quite a remarkable Oldfield imitation! Great song despite being a bit disjointed. My third top three song. (9/10)

9. "Space Clipper's Wreckage" (8:39) more attention grabbing but ultimately annoying drum work. The STEVE HILLAGE imitation guitar wanderings in the third minute are spot on and awesome but then the band decides to shift into some kind of blues rock territory. NO! I was so liking the GONG work! The countrified drum sound and beat is really bothering me. Luckily there is a break in the fifth minute--a weird GOBLIN-PULSAR type of piano-based wonky-bass and Arkady frenzy-fest. At 5:48 this explodes into a kind of MAGMA/KING CRIMSON heavyiness over which Alexander Kuzovlov's obvious "Ship of Fools"-like Robert Fripp work wails emotionally. This is cast aside at the seven minute mark for a rollicking punk-rock-ish section over which sax wails which is then replaced for a return to one of the earlier themes for a frenzied dance of frenetic cacophony exiting for a slow barebones piano arpiggi ending. Whew! What a ride! (17.5/20)

10. "Watching The Earth Rise" (3:26) is the album's final ambient space exploratory--this time using treated accordion, synths, and violin. (8/10)

Four stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection. Though I really enjoy the adventurous spirit Vespero has displayed on this album--an album that is, in fact, quite different from their previous work precisely for this diversity--this is is the album that has made me decide to say that I have not enjoyed the progression of drummer Ivan Fedatov's stylistic choices nor do I enjoy the sound engineering choices the band has made for recording/presenting the kit drums. In my opinion, the Vespero drums are to often at odds or even detrimental to the cohesiveness of the songs. And I say this with great disappointment as Ivan's drumming and drumming potential were the first thing about this band that drew me in and one of the things that have kept me coming back for ten years now.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Vespero are Ivan Fedotov drums, percussion, сachon, wave drum, Arkady Fedotov bass, synth, noises, Alexander Kuzovlev guitars, mandoline, Alexey Klabukov keys, synths, Vitaly Borodin violin, accordion, piano, synth with Pavel Alekseev tenor saxophone. The sound they generate is nothing short of inspired mayhem with textures of space rock floating throughout. The time sigs are chaotic, the musicianship is innovative and every track differs from the next in style and substance. There are flavours of King Crimson, Hawkwind and The Ozric Tentacles combined.

I am not going to pull out any specific track on Hollow Moon as the instrumental album as a whole has a transfixing power that just flows from track to track as a composition. I love the spaciness of the atmosphere and the way that various instruments chime in and out of the wall of sound. There are some outstanding passages of music that are sublime.

There are lead breaks to savour with wah wah pedal and effects, occasional keyboards and weird spacey effects. there are haunting piano motifs and an odd percussion meter played with astonishing, engaging effect. The drumming on this album are played with an incredible ferocity, on another level from your average drummer.

Hollow Moon is dominated by lead guitars with gorgeous saxophone and the violin thrown in for good measure. There are quirky time changes that would keep any respectable metronome swinging wildly.

The overall album is a spaced out psychedelic journey of innovation and unusual soundscapes. It certainly grows on the listener as the more I heard it the more I was entranced by the mesmerising music. An outstanding Psych Prog album keeping the Space Rock lamp burning.

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