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SOLARIS

Symphonic Prog • Hungary


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Solaris biography
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. After they made impression on a talent contest at The Budai Park for a massive crowd (mainly youth) the band was offered an opportunity to make a record. In '80 SOLARIS released their first single entitled "Rock Hullam" (actually this was a split single, SOLARIS got the B-side). The line-up in the early Eighties was Ferenc Raus (drums), Gabor Kisszabop (bass), Csaba Bogdan (guitars) and the remaining schoolfriends Istvan Cziglan (guitars), Attila Kollar (flute) and Robert Erdesz (keyboards). They released the second single "Eden/Counterpoint" in '81. In '84 SOLARIS released their first album "The Martian Chronicles", it sold almost 40.000 copies. In those days progrock was popular in Hungary: OMEGA had crowds of 100.000 spectators! The classical SOLARIS line-up' between '83 and '85 was Attila Kollar, Istvan Cziglan, Robert Erdesz and newcomers Laszlo Gomor (drums) and Tamas Pocs (bass). In '90 the controlled Hungarian record company was finally willing to release early SOLARIS recordings entitled 1990 (a 2-LP). Then the members of SOLARIS went their own way and joined or founded new bands.

In 1995 SOLARIS was invited as the headliner of the Progfest Festival in Los Angeles by Greg Walker, mastermind behind the USA progrock label-mailorder service Syn-Phonic. He succeeded in persuading the band for a reunion concert (recorded on a 2-CD and partly on a video with other progrock bands ARS NOVA and WHITE WILLOW). The band got a standing ovation by a bunch of real "symphomaniacs"! A year later SOLARIS performed on the Rio Art Rock Festival, organized by the Brasilian "proghead" Leonardo Nahoum. On December 27th 1998 guitarplayer Cziglan died of an incurable illness but he can be heard on the surprising new SOLARIS CD entitled "Nostradamus" ('99), perhaps we will hear more from this marvellous progrock band. The Hungarian label Periferic Records released in 2000 "Back to the Roots - Solaris Archive 1" (a great introduction to the band's history but with a bootleg sound) and the solo-albums "Musical Witchcraft" by Kollar Attila (1998) and "Seven Gates of Alhambra" by the late Istvan Cziglan (1999).

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 (Minimoog solos with pitchbend) and Jean Michel JARRE (electronic intro in the first part of the titletrack) can be traced. The 2-LP 1990 contains typical SOLARIS songs: dynamic and propulsive with spectacular synth runs, fiery electric gutiar and beautiful flute-play. Remarkable is the spacy keyboard sound in some songs and the obvious classical influences. The tracks from the mid-period (1986) sound rather accessible: a catchy and often funny combination of classic, pop and rock. But the most impressive composition is their magnus opus "Los Angeles 2026" (almost 24 minutes long): lots of changing climates, bombastic synthesizers, exciting interplay, compelling crescendos and halfway a long and alternating pianosolo. The songs on the live 2-CD "Live in Los Angeles" sound even more powerful and exciting than on the studio-LP's and the bonus material is great: Bonus Game (14 minutes) includes lots of solos on guitar, drums and bass and "Beyond" (12 minutes) is a typical exciting SOLARIS track.

"Nostradamus - Book of Prophecies" is a captivating album in the vein of SOLARIS but with fresh ideas and a modern sound. The titletrack contains outstanding sonic paintings: a howling electric guitar, fat Moog Prodigy runs ("Mark Kelly meets MANFRED MANN"), native North-American indian chants and the Aboriginal didgeridoo. The other songs includes elaborate and dynamic compositions with many changing climates, spectacular breaks, splendid solos and sensational interplay. A "killer-comeback" by SOLARIS!

Erik Neuteboom

UPDATE: Lately some sites like Allmusic and even Prog ones, have been promoting the release of a new album by SOLARIS called "Jelaia", but don't be mistaken, this album was released by a Heavy Metal Bulgarian band.

This sites describe the career of the Hungarian Symphonic band listed in Prog Archives but add the album by the Bulgarian Metal band to the discography, leading to mistakes.

Iván Melgar-Morey

Solaris official website

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Martian ChroniclesMartian Chronicles
Import
Hungaroton 1999
Audio CD$19.39
$26.75 (used)
Marsbéli Krónikák / Martian Chronicles - LiveMarsbéli Krónikák / Martian Chronicles - Live
Import
Solaris
Audio CD$19.99
19901990
Extra tracks · Import
Hunga 1999
Audio CD$23.89
$143.64 (used)
Nostradamus-Book Of PropheciesNostradamus-Book Of Prophecies
Import
Studio Kft 1999
Audio CD$18.19
$27.27 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Blue Album by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (CD, Oct-2014, Solaris) USD $12.95 Buy It Now 5h 39m
The Lonely One * by Special Delivery (R&B)/Terry Huff (CD, Feb-2014, Solaris) USD $12.95 Buy It Now 5h 39m
Lowrell [EP] by Lowrell (CD, Jan-2014, Solaris) USD $12.95 Buy It Now 5h 39m
Comin' Back for More by William Bell (CD, Feb-2014, Solaris) USD $12.95 Buy It Now 5h 39m
The Burning Of Atlanta * by The Spirit of Atlanta (CD, Jan-2014, Solaris) USD $12.95 Buy It Now 5h 39m
Creative Source by Creative Source (CD, Feb-2014, Solaris) USD $12.95 Buy It Now 5h 39m
The Great Pyramid by Charles Earland (CD, Oct-2014, Solaris) USD $12.95 Buy It Now 5h 39m
Solaris Photek UK CD album (CDLP) CDQED6724384983123 VIRGIN/SCIENCE USD $15.89 Buy It Now 10h 54m
808 State Don Solaris CD album (CDLP) UK ZTT105CDX ZTT RECORDS 2008 USD $22.40 Buy It Now 11h 20m
808 State Don Solaris Japanese CD album (CDLP) promo WPCR-770 WEA 1996 USD $42.65 Buy It Now 11h 52m
SOLARIS ORIGINAL MUSIC BY CHRIS MARTINEZ [NEW] 140 GRAM PICTURE DISC (12-INCH) USD $36.15 Buy It Now 16h 18m
Comin' Back for More by William Bell (CD, Feb-2014, Solaris) USD $9.49 Buy It Now 17h 24m
(CP64) Sawnoff Dali, The Thoughts of Don Solaris no 2 - 1996 DJ CD USD $3.54 Buy It Now 21h 32m
SOLARIS / JAPAN Mini LP SHM-CD x 2 titles + PROMO BOX Set!! USD $160.20 Buy It Now 23h 52m
CANVAS SOLARIS Cortical Tectonics CD Prog Metal on Sensory, in Digipak USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Don Solaris (deluxe edition) (2CD) 808 State Audio CD USD $22.45 Buy It Now 1 day
EDWARD ARTEMIEV Tarkovsky - Solaris Original Soundtrack Vinyl LP MINT shrink USD $34.00 Buy It Now 1 day
808 STATE Don Solaris CD 12 Track Promo UK Ztt 1996 USD $7.58 Buy It Now 1 day
SOLARIS Space Invaders 7" B/w I Tried US Dana 1971 USD $7.58 Buy It Now 1 day
Elliot Minor -`Solaris`,12 tracks,2009,AS NEW(Alternative/Indie Rock/Pop) USD $2.88 [0 bids]
1 day
ATOMIC KITTEN Follow Me 12" 3 Track Solaris Mix Promo UK Virgin 2000 USD $7.58 Buy It Now 1 day
BASSOMATIC In The Realm Of The Senses 12" 3 Track Fantasy Mix B/w Solaris Mix An USD $3.76 Buy It Now 1 day
808State: Don Solaris (mini LP) Deluxe Edition [Ltd] CD (Japan) USD $40.64 Buy It Now 1 day
SOLARIS HEIGHTS elementis 12" Mint- GDR058 House Vinyl 1999 Record USD $12.00 Buy It Now 1 day
DANIEL BEDINGFIELD, FRIDAY SOLARIS VOCAL EDIT, M/M, 1 Track, Promotional CD USD $2.57 Buy It Now 2 days
Elliot Minor - 3 Promo CD bundle - Solaris - I Believe - Time After Time - VGC USD $7.21 [0 bids]
2 days
photek solaris 2x lp USD $39.99 Buy It Now 2 days
CANVAS SOLARIS - SUBLIMATION NEW CD USD $14.51 Buy It Now 2 days
Solaris [Original Score] by Cliff Martinez (CD, Dec-2002, Superb Records) USD $5.99 [0 bids]
USD $9.99 Buy It Now
2 days
Solaris Universalis by Patrick Bernhardt (CD, 1990, Shining Star Music). USD $7.99 Buy It Now 3 days
NEW Eigengrau [digipak] by Reutoff/sal Solaris CD (CD) Free P&H USD $19.02 Buy It Now 3 days
Canvas Solaris - Sublimation [CD New] USD $12.19 Buy It Now 3 days
Solaris - The Question - U.K. 12" VINYL USD $6.98 Buy It Now 3 days
ELLIOT MINOR, SOLARIS, M/M, 1 Track, Promotional CD Single, Plastic Sleeve, REP USD $2.54 Buy It Now 3 days
808 STATE DON SOLARIS CD GOLD DISC FREE P+P! USD $130.11 Buy It Now 3 days
JORGE LUIS SOLARIS - RECORDANDOTE... - SEALED USD $39.99 Buy It Now 3 days
SOLARIS / 1990 JAPAN 2SHM-CD Mini LP w/OBI BELLE-101712-3 USD $67.50 Buy It Now 3 days
Lowrell: Lowrell [f. Mellow Mellow Right On] (CD, Jan-2014, Solaris) NEW SS USD $19.90 Buy It Now 3 days
SOLARIS VS DAVID BOWIE 'Shout' (2002 remix of 'Fashion' UK 12" NEBULA NEBT038)! USD $31.00 [0 bids]
USD $40.30 Buy It Now
3 days
Solaris soundtrack Cliff Martinez - WHITE vinyl LTD still sealed UK IMPORT USD $27.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Solaris - A case of the boogie NEAR MINT USD $12.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Sal Solaris-Outerpretation Of Dreams CD NEW USD $16.51 Buy It Now 4 days
Lot of 6~808 State CDs~Ninety~Tommy Boy~Don Solaris~10x10~TimeBomb~Gorgeous USD $8.99 [0 bids]
4 days
Photek - Solaris (2000) - Used - Compact Disc USD $1.37 Buy It Now 4 days
Cleaner - Solaris (2000) - Used - Compact Disc USD $1.37 Buy It Now 4 days
Canvas Solaris - Irradiance NEW CD USD $14.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Canvas Solaris 4 CD Job Lot. Sublimation, Penumbra Diffuse, Cortical Tectonics USD $43.38 [0 bids]
4 days
Solaris - Solaris (2013) - New - Long Play Record USD $35.20 Buy It Now 5 days
LUMIARY, DARK EYES, M/M, 4 Track, Promotional CD Single, Plastic Sleeve, SOLARIS USD $2.59 Buy It Now 5 days
SOUNDTRACK: Solaris LP (140 gram picture disc, music by Cliff Martinez, reissue USD $45.00 Buy It Now 5 days
Solaris-2003- Original Movie Soundtrack- CD USD $70.86 Buy It Now 5 days
Don Solaris [Audio CD] 808 State USD $7.24 Buy It Now 5 days
Solaris-2003- Original Movie Soundtrack-11 Track-CD USD $35.41 Buy It Now 5 days
SOLARIS right in the middle of falling in love 7" WS EX/ us USD $10.11 Buy It Now 5 days
2nd Resurrection by The Stairsteps (CD, Dec-2013, Solaris) NEW USD $19.97 Buy It Now 5 days
JUNIOR JACK - MY FEELING - PART 2 REMIXES SOLARIS KING UNIQUE (12" VINYL) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 5 days
DANIEL BEDINGFIELD Friday CD 4 Tracks Inc Orig/Solaris Vocal Edit/Video USD $4.90 Buy It Now 5 days
Sublimation - Canvas Solaris (CD Used Very Good) USD $8.75 Buy It Now 6 days
Photek - Solaris - Excellent Electro, Drum n Bass, Experimental - RARE IMPORT CD USD $7.49 Buy It Now 6 days
Canvas Solaris - Irradiance [CD New] USD $14.17 Buy It Now 6 days
Elliot Minor - Solaris (2009) SIGNED/AUTOGRAPHED CD USD $28.90 Buy It Now 6 days
LUCA AGNELLI - SOLARIS NEW VINYL USD $20.35 Buy It Now 6 days
SOLARIS - A CASE OF THE BOOGIE EX+ USD $7.21 Buy It Now 6 days
PHOTEK - Solaris CD JAPAN VJCP-68245 OBI 2000 USD $53.82 Buy It Now 6 days
ELLIOT MINOR - Solaris CD JAPAN MUCX-1019 OBI 2010 USD $37.57 Buy It Now 6 days
808 State - Don Solaris Japan Import CD - 2 Bonus Tracks - RARE OOP USD $3.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Van Stiefel - Solaris [CD New] USD $15.54 Buy It Now 7 days
REUTOFF - SAL SOLARIS-EIGENGRAU CD NEW USD $15.45 Buy It Now 7 days
Solaris Soundtrack Cliff Martinez - Picture Disc IMPORT sealed Invada Records USD $27.99 Buy It Now 7 days
BEN FROST & DANIEL BJARNASON - SOLARIS NEW VINYL USD $27.27 Buy It Now 7 days
REUTOFF & SAL SOLARIS - EIGENGRAU (DIGIPAK) NEW CD USD $19.75 Buy It Now 8 days
Ben & Daniel Bjarnason Frost - Solaris [Vinyl New] USD $25.05 Buy It Now 8 days
Reutoff & Sal Solaris - Eigengrau [CD New] USD $13.84 Buy It Now 8 days
808 State PROMO CD Don Solaris USD $8.99 [0 bids]
8 days
808 State/Don Solaris/1996 CD Album USD $5.77 Buy It Now 8 days
STIEFEL / SCHULTZ / LIPPEL / PACHT - SOLARIS NEW CD USD $23.66 Buy It Now 8 days
Solaris- The Question 12" USD $2.89 Buy It Now 8 days
Istvan Cziglan- Seven Gates of Alhambra +3 (Solaris) USD $20.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Solaris - Fool Around 12" USD $2.89 Buy It Now 9 days
Solaris - Funk Jet 12" USD $2.89 Buy It Now 9 days
Patrick Bernhardt - Solaris Universalis - CD (IMAGINE ACD-2003 U.S.A.) USD $17.72 Buy It Now 9 days
Andrej Tarkovsky - Solaris Original Soundtrack Vinyl LP Score OST New USD $31.01 Buy It Now 9 days
SOLARIS: A Case Of The Boogie / You And Me 45 (orange label) Soul USD $20.00 Buy It Now 9 days
ELLIOT MINOR Solaris 2008 UK Tour PHOTO Print POSTER All My Life 001 USD $5.05 Buy It Now 9 days
ELLIOT MINOR Solaris 2008 UK Tour PHOTO Print POSTER All My Life 001 USD $7.21 Buy It Now 9 days
ELLIOT MINOR Solaris 2008 UK Tour PHOTO Print POSTER All My Life 001 USD $21.67 Buy It Now 9 days
SOLARIS My Lovin' 12" promo USD $9.25 Buy It Now 9 days
Solaris [VINYL] Ben Frost & Daniel Bjarnason Vinyl USD $27.86 Buy It Now 9 days
Photek ?- Solaris classic 2000 cd album unmixed USD $8.66 Buy It Now 9 days
GRAYSON SHIPLEY presents SOLARIS The Mighty Shari 12" USD $5.78 Buy It Now 9 days
Ben Frost & Daniel Bjarnason ?- Solaris LP Import Ambient SEALED NEW USD $19.99 Buy It Now 9 days
The Burning of Atlanta [1/13] by The Spirit of Atlanta (CD, Jan-2014, Solaris) USD $6.99 Buy It Now 10 days
FREE US SH (int'l sh=$0-$3) ~LikeNew CD 808 State: Don Solaris USD $7.76 Buy It Now 10 days
CLIFF MARTINEZ - SOLARIS OST (PICTURE DISC) VINYL LP NEW+ USD $40.78 Buy It Now 10 days
808 State Don Solaris CD *SEALED* ZTT Techno (Manic Street Preachers) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Rada Solaris CD (1990 Lyric Digital, Venezuela, Disc Made in U.S.A.) USD $17.99 Buy It Now 10 days
CANVAS SOLARIS "PENUMBRA DIFFUSE" CD DIGIPACK NEW+ USD $21.41 Buy It Now 11 days
Komsi; Zagros String Quarte...-Solaris CD NEW USD $17.11 Buy It Now 11 days
Reutoff - Sal Solaris - Eigengrau (NEW CD) USD $17.70 Buy It Now 11 days
EDWARD ARTEMIEV - SOLARIS NEW VINYL USD $44.67 Buy It Now 11 days


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SOLARIS shows & tickets


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SOLARIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SOLARIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.26 | 259 ratings
Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles)
1984
3.63 | 76 ratings
Solaris 1990
1990
4.16 | 172 ratings
Nostradamus Book Of Prophecies
1999
4.06 | 186 ratings
Martian Chronicles II
2014

SOLARIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.23 | 31 ratings
Live in Los Angeles
1996
3.50 | 22 ratings
Back to the Roots (Official bootleg)
2000
4.33 | 18 ratings
NOAB (official bootleg)
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Chronicles
2014
4.00 | 3 ratings
Martian Chronicles Live
2015

SOLARIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.38 | 8 ratings
Archive Videos
2006
2.82 | 12 ratings
Nostradamus - Live in Mexico (DVD+CD)
2007
4.41 | 13 ratings
Live In Los Angeles 1995 (Official bootleg)
2010
4.00 | 3 ratings
Martian Chronicles Live
2015

SOLARIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SOLARIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 6 ratings
Rockhullam
1980
4.00 | 3 ratings
Ellenpont / Eden
1981

SOLARIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live In Los Angeles 1995 (Official bootleg) by SOLARIS album cover DVD/Video, 2010
4.41 | 13 ratings

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Live In Los Angeles 1995 (Official bootleg)
Solaris Symphonic Prog

Review by HarmonyDissonan

4 stars A VERY GOOD SYMPHONIC GROUP FROM HUNGARY CAUGHT LIVE!

I Just finished watching this dvd for the first time. I won't lie to you and tell you the video is up to modern standards. As a matter of fact, it can to some extent, be broken down into two parts-the first 40% approx. and the last 60%. Now if I had to describe the video in a poor/acceptable/good/very good range, I would say that the first 40% is acceptable(-) at times very grainy and the last 60% is good(-) somewhat less grainy and the focus is better. I say this first since I'm sure that the average person will be slightly disappointed in the video and I think a fan or not, one should be forewarned. Now that I've got that out of the way, where to begin on the positive? I'll start will the audio. That is much better than the video! The disc I bought is not a region free disc, so I couldn't watch in my surround sound system. I had to watch it on my region free dvd player and my soundbar. It sounded very good consistently though! Another positive thing that I enjoyed very much as well was the Interview of the band in the extra. I watched that first and found it to be very entertaining; quite a bit of fun, especially the drummer and the beginning where they (a member of the band) received a phone call out of the blue from Greg Walker inquiring whether they'd be interested in performing in LA at Progfest '95. It is just too amazing to believe that they hadn't played together at that time for almost a decade! What an f***in' mind trip that must have been for them! I myself, as a fan of Solaris and having only discovered them in 2012 or so, would like to extend my gratitude to Greg Walker for his efforts in resurrecting this band and giving them the opportunity to notice the international fan base and subsequently producing the latter works in their repertoire. Thank you, Greg! Also, if anyone is interested, Greg is the proprietor of the recorded music outlet - Syn-phonic Music. A great symphonic music outlet, not to mention that he's very fair in his pricing and a nice guy. Next time you're looking for something, give S-P M a try. Back to the dvd. I would say that it falls in the category between 3 and 4 stars, if you don't like the band or their symphonic music much, you probably would drop to 3 stars, but because I like their music quite a bit, I will have it just squeak by to the 4 star position -even with the video grain issues. I am so looking forward to hearing Nostradamus Book of Prophecies, Martian Chronicle II and 1990 which I have on order from Greg as I write this critique! I'll end this by saying that if perfect video is a must for you, I would stay away from this dvd! It is grainy throughout, but better in the last 60%. As some of the only stuff by Solaris on dvd and if you might be considering purchasing this sometime, especially if you like their music, I would say pick it up and enjoy an imperfect dvd by a not perfect band-come on we all know what they said at Sunday school-though I got it first hand in perochial school from some of the original antique seeking nuns! Thanks, take care and enjoy God's gift of music!

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 Martian Chronicles II by SOLARIS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.06 | 186 ratings

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Martian Chronicles II
Solaris Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

5 stars I did quite many reviews last year trying to find out what modern prog was and see if the music could compete with the seventies' prog. I am not finish with last year yet and one album I have longed to hear for a long time is the Hungarian band "Solaris" fourth studio album "Martian Chronicles II" and this week I have finally heard it sometimes and I can't wait to say: listen to it, it gives us a fantastic musical experience that is very unusual nowadays. "Martian Chronicles II" can absolutely compete with the old prog and does it successfully.

The cover shows us a martian landscape in red. I love the cover and its colour and the musicians on the record are Csaba Bogdan(guitars), Robert Erdesz(keyboard), Attila Kollar(flute), Laszlo Gomor(drums), Attila Seres(bass) and Ferenc Raus(drums). Together they have created such a wonderful musical web that I would like to hear it many times more. Every minute it happens something new and lovely and the album also is a great whole which starts, keep you interested and ends with splendor. I don't exaggerate when I tell you how unusual this record is. The instrumental unity could be compared with Harmonium's flowered record, Camel's The Snow Goose or other gems of melodic and symphonic prog rock. I had'nt heard Solaris before I played this record, but of course I will hear all of their music now. Together with Clearlight and Ian Anderson this is 2014's best record.

It is hard to pick favourite songs but the suite "Martian Chronicles II Suite" is of course one of the hightlights(10/10). The music there is so marvelous. You van hear things that reminds you of Oldfield, perhaps Japan and such many other things. "The world without us" too is a totally beautiful song(10/10) and the closer "Alien" where they try to whistle couldn't become better than it is(10/10). Well every song is much more than mediocre and the album is best if the songs are heard in a row, a 45 minute music experience. This is an obvious five star record in my book(4.7). A must hear record!

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 Martian Chronicles II by SOLARIS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.06 | 186 ratings

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Martian Chronicles II
Solaris Symphonic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Solaris have created a beautiful album in "Martian Chronicles II" that warrants attention for those who enjoy symphonic music with a majestic atmosphere along the lines of Pink Floyd, Focus, Camel or early Eloy. The music is uplifting and cinematic with layers of keyboards and scintillating instrumentation with sax, flute and glorious strings. The female vocals at times may remind one of the style on 'The Great Gig in the Sky'.

The atmosphere is dark and brooding on the '2nd movement'. 'The Martian Chronicles II Suite' is an epic in itself that moves from light shades of flute to the darkness of dramatic tension. The flute is absolutely captivating, the violins stir the soul and the guitars have that Mike Oldfield sound. At times the instruments are played with aggression but ever present are the lush keyboards and an overall conceptual treatment as one section segues to the next seamlessly.

Acoustics open the '7th Movement' reminding me of Roger Waters style and then the female vocals enhance the Pink Floyd style as they are kind of wailed over soulfully so it's impossible to not sense an influence from "Dark Side of the Moon". It is very moving and emotionally charged augmented by a blazing guitar solo.

'Voices from the Past/ movement 1st' is melancholy synth and guitar quietly building to 'movement 2nd'. This section has a joyous rhythm and powerful lead guitar soloing.

'The World without us' is gorgeous flute lines over 12 string acoustics. The beauty in the music is incredible. It builds with heavier lead guitar and launches into Ian Anderson style flute chirps then back into a sound reminiscent of Snow Goose by Camel. A mesmerising piece of music.

'Pride of Human insects' is a quirky track with guitar and flute over a layer of synths. The violin is played with enchanting flair and later some female vocal intonations sprinkled over enhance the beauty. A scorching lead break lifts the track joined by strings and a heavy rhythm section. This is music of the highest quality.

'Impossible, 'We are Impossibility in an impossible Universe' Ray Bradbury' has tinkling piano at first until an onslaught of organ and blazing guitar dominates. The wall of sound is saturated by layers of keyboards over a frantic cadence.

'Alien Song' closes the album as whimsical as Focus gets with weird whistles and spacey synth sweeps. A Tardis sound is heard and trade offs between flute and guitar until A Klaxon goes off and it's over. A nice way to end the album that had been so serious up to this point. The tension is broken admirably with this last track.

Overall this is a dynamic album with par excellence musicianship and some memorable melodies. Solaris are a band that demand attention. This is one of the great instrumental albums of 2014. I recommend it to those who enjoy adventurous music with a sci fi edge.

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 Martian Chronicles II by SOLARIS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.06 | 186 ratings

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Martian Chronicles II
Solaris Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

5 stars After 30 years from their debut this album is an Impossibility in an impossible Universe

It's hard enough for a band to maintain the level after an outstanding first release, but it's almost a suicide to attempt doing a sequel from that album after three decades, despite the difficulties implied SOLARIS dared to release Marsbéli Krónikák II and managed to keep the same level.

Of course is an advantage to maintain almost the same lineup and specially two extraordinaire musicians as Robert Erdesz and Attila Kollar, but to recapture the magic of a masterpiece is a test that SOLARIS passed with the highest grade. So after the praises, let's go to the music.

The album starts with Marsbéli Krónikák - 1. Tetel, a pompous and brilliant opener with Robert Erdesz creating a magical atmosphere, enhanced by Attila's aggressive flute and the beautiful choirs. The Eastern Europe folksy sound is perfect to capture the mystery involved in the concept, and the guitar solos by Csaba Bogdan (Who was also present in the original record as a guest) are strong enough to capture the interest of the listener with heavy rock riffs.

Marsbéli Krónikák II - 2-6. Tetel, is a 12 minutes epic where the band returns to their roots with that marvelous Eastern European atmosphere, but this time with the voice of Zsuzsa Ullmann and a magnificent violin passage, which blended with an amazing rhythm section traps the listener in the wizardry of this band. In part two Erdesz adds his keyboards to make it more mystifying if this is possible, but a heavy guitar solo by Csaba Bogdan makes us remember this is Progressive ROCK.

Marsbéli Krónikák - 7. Tetel caught me by surprise, because after a beautiful acoustic guitar and bass intro they leave their typical Hungarian sound for some sort of Space Rock with clear influence of "A Great Gig in the Sky". Not a copy but obviously inspired by the Floyd.

Hangok A Multbol Tetel - 1-2. (Voices from the Past), is the only track where the two parts are clearly different, the first one is basically a collection of sounds created by Erdesz upon an hypnotic melody, but in part 2, the band moves towards electronic music with an acoustic guitar that creates a delicious clash of styles, and to make it more complex, Attilla Kollar plays a killer flute. The finale is so pompous and excessive that made me remember with nostalgia the early years of Symphonic Prog.

A Vilag Nelkulunk (The World Without Us) represents one of the best team efforts by SOLARIS, even though the musicians have the chance to show their dexterity in several passages, it's a beautiful melody that flows gently from start to end with a couple of strong sections, specially provided by Bogdan's aggressive guitar and Kollar's flute in a style that resembles Thijs Van Leer.

In Az Emberbogarak Buszkesege (Pride of Human insect) the band returns to the mood of the original 1984 album with that mystical Hungarian sound with a nice chorus to enhance the effect, but again Bogdan is in charge of some really heavy moments.

Lehetetlen ("Impossible" but translated as "We are Impossibility in an impossible Universe Ray Bradbury") is one of the strongest tracks of the album because of the radical changes from melodic to frenetic, SOLARIS pushes the pedal to the metal and offers us one of the tracks that we progheads love so dearly.

The album is closed by Alien Song, a catchy melody where Erdesz and Kollar feel free to add all the effects that they want crafting a track that works as a tension reliever after a strong album. Some people find it silly, I believe that humor has a place in Prog Rock (Ask Keith Emerson about "The Sheriff" or "Benny the Bouncer") and this track reveals brilliantly and with class this underrated side of music.

To finish this review will only add that I like Marsbéli Krónikák II even more than the band's debut, so I will rate it with 5 solid stars and propose it as the best 2014 album.

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 Martian Chronicles II by SOLARIS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.06 | 186 ratings

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Martian Chronicles II
Solaris Symphonic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Solaris - Martian Chronicles II (2014)

Thirty years ago Hungarian eclectic progressive rock band Solaris recorded one of the finest progressive records of the eighties behind the Iron Curtain, Martians Chronicles (1984). The release of the fourth record of the band sees the band combining the 'Nostradamus' and original 'Martian Chronicles' styles in yet another mostly instrumental album - all vocals are without lyrics. The band has a broad pallet of sounds; the standard symphonic progressive rock instrumentation alongside with flute, violins, modern electronic sounds and vocal styles of different origins. One vocal solo even reminds us of Pink Floyd's 'Great Gig in the Sky'. Apparent is also the use of the Hungarian musical influences, which adds to the authenticity of the band its sound. The recording quality is very good, I haven't heard a better production with the major 2014 releases.

The opening tracks of the 'Martian Chronicles' suite are all very well composed and eclectic in nature. The sound is great, the musicianship varied and the integration of the different stylistic elements works fine. After this we get a continuation of style with the two 'Voices of the Past' tracks. Then something strange, yet familiars happens (for frequent listeners of the band that is). The excitement and originality of the opening peaces wears off and a string of increasingly less interesting compositions follows. This has also been the case with the 'Nostradamus' (1999) album and in a lesser way with the debut. The final song 'Alien' is really strange with collections of strange sounds and boring composition. This is a pity, because otherwise this could have been one of the major albums of the year 2014.

Conclusion. Well recorded and well played album by Solaris that will please fans of the symphonic and eclectic genres, but the second half is (yet again) quite weak. Four stars for the first halve, two for the second halve ? which makes up for three.

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 Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles) by SOLARIS album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.26 | 259 ratings

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Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles)
Solaris Symphonic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Solaris - Martian Chronicles (1984)

Released in the age of comminism, with the necessary approval of the Hungarian regime, comes one of the finest progressive rock records of the eighties, Martian Chronicles by Solaris. A combination of spacey electronics, symphonic prog, flute and heavy rock guitar that sounds unique and exciting! Solaris aims for the larger-then-life progsound, bombastic and intense, and succeeds brilliantly! Moreover, all musicians are deeply involved in all the compositions. All tracks are instrumental.The recording sound is great and time doesn't seem to have gotten any grip on it.

On side one the six Martian Chronicles parts form the main attraction of the album, creating an side long epic of melodic space exploration. Sometimes the music reminds me a bit of Camel at its best, but Solaris has a bigger sound and a refreshing lack of Englishness - something one can also find listening to the Polish SBB. Side two is a collection of shorter tracks, some mellow and others spacey and heavy. Overall I must admit I find side one a bit stronger and more connected.

Conclusion. Prog at its best, musicianship at its most intense. Five stars.

PS. Solaris has released 'Martian Chronicles II' in 2014. I'm just listening to it myself and I'm really amazed! It can really use some quality reviews.

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 Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles) by SOLARIS album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.26 | 259 ratings

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Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles)
Solaris Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars SOLARIS is a Hungarian symphonic prog band that just LOOOOVES sci-fi novels. Their name comes from the novel written by Stanisław Lem and the title of their debut album MARSBÉLI KRÓNIKÁK (THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES) comes from the famous book by Ray Bradbury. The music is almost all instrumental save an electronic vocal intro that isn't Martian at all but actually highly weirded out Hungarian. The theme of the album is supposed to highlight the plot of the novel where humans flee a trashed Earth and colonize Mars (OK not as creative as Kobaia but still pretty cool.) The band formed in Budapest in 1980 and went through many lineups before releasing this album. This is a strange album in the world of prog for it virtually has no strange time signatures and its focus is squarely on melodic development that sounds like a strange progressive form of 80s synth pop in a way. Although there are scant Eastern European sounds making their way into the mix I have to say that the sounds of the flute, guitar and keyboards make me think more of an album done by a band of the Andes such as Los Jaivas if they had upped their symphonic sound and made it a bit more aggressive.

Much of this album is highly exciting as track by track the unfolding melodies and dancing rhythms pulsate to simulate the colonizing theme and it works for the most part but for me it's the slow tracks that keep this from being a true masterpiece of all time. Those are the ones that make me think more of Peru or Bolivia than Mars. Mars after all has the connotation of being the alter persona of male aggressiveness and this music can cry out more of a feminine Venus at times. There are also times when this seriously reminds me of new agers like Yanni or Kitaro which also doesn't lend itself to the whole Mars thing. I find myself really enjoying much of this album but the slow parts let me down a bit and I feel a disconnect from the intended theme. On my 1995 CD edition with two bonus tracks it is the second of those "The Yellow Circle" that really feels like it was made for this album. It cranks up the guitar and percussion unlike on any other tracks on this album. Overall I dig this album but I feel it should have a bit more percussive oompf to the whole thing. As i'm writing this review it has been announced that the band is releasing a sequel to THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES which will be released in this here year 2014. I hope it kicks some serious Martian butt!

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 Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles) by SOLARIS album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.26 | 259 ratings

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Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles)
Solaris Symphonic Prog

Review by sinslice

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 fantastic Marillion 's Scripts, and this intense, mature and fluent 'Martian Chronicles'. Little known at the time, and it was becoming an essential work of the decade.

Almost entirely instrumental, high percentages of keyboards, flute significant contributions, as well as guitars. Drums and bass make great cooperation when required. What enhances above all are the great melodies, intelligently interpreted. The sound is good, but not excellent, and is influenced by the era.

Later, Solaris produced some acceptable jobs, like Attila Kollar. However, it would never reach the magnificence of this.

4,5 stars.

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 Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles) by SOLARIS album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.26 | 259 ratings

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Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles)
Solaris Symphonic Prog

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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 Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles) by SOLARIS album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.26 | 259 ratings

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Marsbéli Krónikák (The Martian Chronicles)
Solaris Symphonic Prog

Review by Mr. Mustard

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 and Yes did before them by flawlessly interweaving flute, synth, and all of the other instruments into an enjoyable mass of melodies.

This album is practically drenched in synth, as was the custom for many albums in the 80's. Some may not find it to their liking, but being one of my favorite instruments it's a welcome addition.

I won't analyze the album on a track by track basis as I believe most of the songs employ the same overall sound and technique as the last. In general, the songs are usually up-tempo with a plethora of interesting melodies played by a variety of instruments. No vocals are present, but in my opinion that just rids of a diversion to the wonderful music.

Perhaps the only flaw with this album is that there aren't any real standout tracks, and there is a slight lack of variety. I will also note it may have not aged well, but that's just a minor point. Overall, this is simply a wonderful 80's prog album and is great addition to any symphonic prog collection.

8/10

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