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AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS)

Symphonic Prog • Russia


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Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) biography
AVIVA is part of the new wave of Eastern European prog bands (particularly Russia). With some help from other musicians, it is the project of pianist / multi-instrumentalist Dimitri A. Loukianenko. On the debut, "Rokus Tonalis," Influences of classic artists such as Yes, Genesis, Mike Oldfield, and especially Keith Emerson can be heard. There is even a bit of Gerard influence. It is a concept album based on Saint John's Apocalypse. However, this is not retro. He has successfully integrated more modern sensibilities. Polyphonic styles, voice effects, and heavy rock are prevalent, along with programmed drums and percussion (which may be a negative to some listeners). It is an interesting mix, and indicative of the direction modern Symphonic Progressive music is heading.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Aviva has all of the aspects of classic Symphonic Progressive, and more. They are helping to map out the future of the sub-genre. In the continuous effort to encourage the future of prog, bands like this must be represented.

Note: Since the second release of the band (Nutcracker in Fury) Aviva changed their name to AVIVA OMNIBUS, but due to the fact that there's identity between the two bands, we decided not to create a separate entry.

Iván Melgar Morey - Symphonic Team



Discography:
Rokus Tonalis (2007)
Nutcracker in Fury by AVIVA OMNIBUS (2008)

Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) official website

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

3.69 | 33 ratings
Rokus Tonalis
2007
3.53 | 12 ratings
Nutcracker in Fury
2008
3.47 | 11 ratings
Peer Gynt In Favour
2010

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AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rokus Tonalis by AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.69 | 33 ratings

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Rokus Tonalis
Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Another one man & his keyboards band from Russia/Eastern Europe which sounds like a crossover between Camel, Ekseption and ELP.

I am not a big fan of this wave of nerds from Eastern Europe. But their second album, the follow up to this album, is a great album.

The mainman in Aviva, Mr Dimitri A. Loukianenko has a background from the metal scene before he quit and became a classical music trained tangent player/keyboardist. That shows on this album. Some of the music here is claustrophobic metallic and not too far away from zeuhl either. The music is pretty hard at times. The unnamed guitarist also adds some heavy guitars to the proceedings. The result is a pretty heavy, but still introvert album which really does not open up to the general public. This is hardcore classical music, played with rock instruments and with an metallic edge.

The music is good throughout. It does require a heck of a lot from the listener. I like the zeuhl like pieces here. But I feel most of this album is most definate classical music and not rock. This is a good album, but nothing more. I am not sold on Aviva by this album.

3 stars

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 Rokus Tonalis by AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.69 | 33 ratings

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Rokus Tonalis
Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Dmitry Lukianenko is a Russian pianist/composer,who was interested in rock music since his childhood.He had been keyboardist for the metal bands Dorian Gray and Ars Band,before returning to class,studying this time composition.In 1999 he was parts of the metal band Masquerage,which released only one sinle.From this point Dmitry focused on composing his own work with elements from classical and rock music.Under the name AVIVA his first album ''Rokus Tonalis'' was released on Musea in 2007,based on Paul Hindemith's Ludus Tonalis.

With only a slight help by a guitarist,all keyboards,bass and drum programming is responsibility of Lukianenko, and, listening to this work, this is quite an achievment.It is obvious that Lukanienko wanted to create a long yet modern work influenced by the likes of the far past composers.The dominant instruments are obviously synths and pianos along with the drum programming,but the album contains also plenty of voice and sound effects.So ''Rokus tonalis'' is an alternating beast between highly complex dramatic contemporary Classical/Rock Music and atmospheric passages close to Avant-Garde Music but also often with an almost Ambient feeling.Jazz elements are also present at some moments with a relaxing feeling.Melody is an unknown work for Lukianenko and the album could be a milestone in dissonant music.I admit the first couple of listenings were a hard experience,the more I heard to the album,the more it grew on me.Everything here changes in a blink of an eye,like some attractive harmonies which are constantly interrupted by the monster synths' attack.These ones are the main characteristic of this work,while the only thing I totally dislike are the pre-recorded voices throughout the listening.

''Rokus tonalis'' can be easily a love or hate album,it will be definitely not appreciated by fans of the softer and more melodic side of prog,but it will be a great addition for fans of highly complicated Progressive Rock and of course lovers of Classical Music.For me it is a very good album but only for specific moments,when I am looking for something trully challenging.Recommended.

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 Nutcracker in Fury by AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.53 | 12 ratings

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Nutcracker in Fury
Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars I have gotten a huge dosage of scepticism towards Russian symph prog projects. Most of them, if not all of them, contains one nutty professor on tangents which creates symphonic music based on old classics. Sooner or later.....make that sooner, one of these nutty professors is going to blow this planet to pieces. You have all been forewarned.

Aviva is one of these bands with a nutty professor at the tangents. Or rather a massive talented musician who has got good training in the excellent Russian music environment. Russia probably has the best musicians training in the world and that shows. Well, at least in the symph prog genre. The name of the excellent musician and tangent player in Aviva is Dmitri A. Loukianenko. He may be or may not be a nutty professor though. If you read this, that is a compliment and not an insult.

The name of this album gave me impression that this was another "rock up a classic" album with minimum input from the band. My enthusiasm for this album from the outset was not present. I am glad, very glad to report that I was in for a huge surprise.

Yes, the play from Tchaikovsky get some decent feature during the forty minutes long album. But Aviva spins their own take or even own music around this world famous and much loved piece of music. Aviva's own music takes up 70 % of this album and they only returns to Nutcracker now and then as they use Nutcracker as the narrative, the story teller on this album. That certainly raised my eyebrows and made my sit up an take notice.

Aviva treats Nutcracker with due respect and I have nothing but praise for that. So let's move onto Aviva's own composed music. Let me point you to the name of the album. The album title Nutcracker in Fury describe the music here almost perfectly. The music is very heavy at times and Dream Theater is a good reference to some of the music here. There are also others more tender, pastoral themes and melody lines here too.

The end result is a great album with a lot of intricate details and melody lines. It is an album with a long longviety and life in my stereo rack. It is also the best Russian symph prog album I have ever heard too and that by some country miles. Aviva and Dmitri A. Loukianenko deserve a lot of credit and admiration for this great album. 4 stars

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 Peer Gynt In Favour by AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.47 | 11 ratings

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Peer Gynt In Favour
Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) Symphonic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Russian project AVIVA is the creative vehicle for composer and keyboardist Dmitry Lukianenko, and first came to prominence in 2007 with the release of "Rokus Tonalis." Since then a band version of the project named Aviva Omnibus issued "Nutcracker in Fury" in 2008, and then in 2010 the next stand-alone Aviva project appeared in the shape of "Peer Gynt in Favour". As with the other CDs named, this latest venture was handled by the French specialist label Musea Records.

"Peer Gynt in Favour" is a production that appears to be a tribute to the late and great Edvard Grieg first and foremost. Themes and motifs from his Peer Gynt suite are explored in a distinctly electronic setting, ranging from tranquil new age to energetic and close to industrial in scope. Cold and synthetic material, but also vital and refreshing as long as you have a soft spot for electronic music made with a clinical contemporary sound. An estimated target crowd for this CD would be those who enjoy Vangelis just as much as Nine Inch Nails, and I'd guess that those with a soft spot for artists such as Isao Tomita might find this one enticing too.

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 Peer Gynt In Favour by AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.47 | 11 ratings

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Peer Gynt In Favour
Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg is a part of mine and my countrymen's DNA profile. In other words; I know it well and I love it. In other words; the music here is so familiar territory that I will automatic compare Aviva's version to other versions. Read: Traditional orchestral versions.

Aviva is threading the same paths as Little Tragedies and Senmuth is walking down. This is not the type of walk in the wild I enjoy. The landscape is cold and desolate, draped in plastic and synthetic material. In short; the sound is anything but organic. And yes, this is a one man band from Russia. A country that has given our world a lot of fantastic big orchestral music and other fantastic art.

My big gripe with this album is the synthetic sound given the exceptional good Peer Gynt Suite. It kills the good in this piece of music. Yes, the Peer Gynt Suite is much molested by bands and keyboards fanatics alike. In particular, In The Hall Of The Mountain King. But Aviva has taken this molestation to another level. There are some good pieces of artistic creativity scattered around this album. But I would mostly say that this album is pretty bad. I also regard this type of music as muzak. That means music for airports and shopping malls. I am not impressed by this album at all.

2 stars

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 Peer Gynt In Favour by AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.47 | 11 ratings

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Peer Gynt In Favour
Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars It takes quite a lot of abstract imagination to hear Symphonic Prog elements here. This is because Aviva sounds quite different from what most of us are used to call Sympho.

Combination of new elements with strong electronic feeling (but not like synthesized 80s), putting together melodic & disharmonic sounds, Peer Gynt in Favour (continuing pun tradition of naming as last album did, Nutcracker, which had "In Fury") actually shows some interesting interpretations of classical compositions of the original work. It's not electronic-ization of it, it's interpretation. I would say completely new, but it can never be true, so it's as "original" as possible, given the purpose.

Pleasant it is, no problem there. I think that more than Nutcracker, which had some rather disappointing moments. Not that there aren't these, but in general, it flows nicely.

4(-), just don't expect that it will be "normal" Symphonic, OK ? Lowered rating, because I suppose it may take some time to get what people here (some of them at least) call "acquired taste".

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 Nutcracker in Fury by AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.53 | 12 ratings

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Nutcracker in Fury
Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Psychedelic take on classical Cajkovskij opera (or ballet by Tchaikovsky if you please), "Sisoethepa" is, by my opinion, quite strange intro. Sets the mood for entire album, indeed, but could be better. From this album, I expected rock approach to classical music, something more like metal perhaps, but result sometimes don't please me much.

"Overture in Fury" is well played (for a classical-rock song). Maybe too much of electronic sounds, but I can get over it (first seconds for example), but I understand that it can be for better psychedelic atmosphere. "Heavy March" is also without bigger flaws, but it's quite sad for me, because I would rather see something less artificial, this kind of modern synths using, but something so big like this project doesn't exist. It's just 70s prog lover in me who wants it back. After these two tracks, main theme ends and gets here less known ones.

"Children of the Damned" starts as groovy track, in slow rhythm, with 3:07-3:27 done on modified voice and clear to see use of samples. This reminds me that this record is little bit oversampled, but as I said for many times, in the end it doesn't matter too much. "The Frozen Dolls Town" shots (amongst other things), at 3:42-3:58 beautiful example of synth strings. These high tones are well performed. But when I hear name "Dance of Tea Giants", I imagine something different, much softer and weaker (like tea) than this fury (fury as name of the album, of giants (as the name of the song). Are these sounds in the middle monkey screams ? Or is someone from band so creative that he done it himself ? Applaud, very playful song. Even in Porcupine Tree style, sometimes heavy, sometimes psychedelic, sometimes tender.

"Flower Fever" melody was my favourite as classical "Waltz of the Flowers", now it's remade into combination of electronic themed song, some parts sounds like they're combined with sounds of the tavern and then, something, are these strings ? Well, more like synths, but it sounds so faithful reproduction. "Coda Cold" leaves synths almost completely and enters more rockingly sounding music, which I welcome. In last third it again returns to take its toll. "Apotheosis" is something of calm outro, where we can think about wonderful musical (box) show we just heard.

4(+) stars for crazy (furious) Nutcracker.

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 Nutcracker in Fury by AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.53 | 12 ratings

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Nutcracker in Fury
Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars Since I listened the AVIVA debut called "Rokus Tonalis", was expecting a second album that could ratify the quality of the band, or better said Dmitry Loukianenko, who except for an uncredited guitarist played all the instruments

Last week I found he had released "Nutcracker in Fury" so, bought the album and was impressed by the radical changes, in first place, the band's name is changed to AVIVA OMNIBUS, he's supported by Yurij Molodoy and Andrew Pruden in the guitars, Mamina on he bass and drums plus Vika who plays a second keyboard and violin.

But more important, his time Loukianenko forgets all the Emerson influences and presents a much more radical album which combines not only the well known Symphonic component,. but also a strong Heavy Prog element, Fusion and even traces of Avant.

But lets go directly to the album, which is opened with a weird introduction called "Sisoehtopa" that after 58 seconds of strange sounds leads to the surprising "Overture in Fury", that makes honor to it's name, because hardly anybody has reinterpreted TCHAIKOVSKY with such rage. The track starts very close to Heavy Metal and Avant, strong vibrant and full of dissonances that remind me clearly of FANTOMAS, the elaborate violin performance adds complexity to an already complex song, what a change from the formal Symphonic debut.

"Heavy March" is the strangest version of "Nutrocker" I have ever heard, being that from the well known chorus they jump to different conclusions as if selected randomly (well only the effect, because nothing is left to luck in the album), really spectacular, specially for the keyboard work.

"Children of the Damned" has more than evident Electronic touches, not really my cup of tea, but being as impartial as possible nobody can't deny the excellent arrangements done by Loukianenko. The vocals are pretty decent and sound well despite the distortion and..........some growls!!!!!

"The Frozen Doll's Town" starts as I expected all the album to sound, with a sober piano introduction that grows in intensity as more instruments keep joining, some sound effects add a bit of mystery and the usual dissonances collaborate with the complexity required not to break the atmosphere. Around the middle again AVIVA OMNIBUS gets closer to Prog Metal but jumps again into Electronic passages, seems Loukianenko and his band are trying experimenting, another good track.

"Dance of the Tea Giants" is even more contradictory, but by this point nothing surprises me anymore and this is good when you talk about a Prog album, the capacity to present something radically new is one of the bases of Prog, and this guys are able to do it perfectly.

The only thing missing is an acoustic track, and "Flower Fewer", provides it, most surely the strangest version of the "Waltz of the Flowers" I ever heard, with sound effects, shouts, conversations, but the soft atmosphere is respected despite all the strange things that happen in the background, breaks all my schemes, but that's also good.

"Coda Coda" is more Jazzy (Is there anything this guys don't include in this album?) and flows perfectly from start to end....well almost perfectly, because some radical changes and changes of style are really mind breaking.

When I read the name "Apotheosis", I expected a strong and vibrant closer, but no, this is the most calmed and softest track in the album...well at least until the band prepares the "grand finale" which makes honor to the name.

If I dared to say this an absolutely original album, many people would jump to the roof and ask how in hell can a new version of ·Nutcracker" could be original...Well, I suggest this people to listen i"Nutcracker in Fury", I'm sure they will be surprised, being that this album is absolutely different to anything you could expect. Something more dramatic if you heard the sober and formal debut, probably one of the most radical changes a band has tried from a debut to the second album.

Three stars for the music and one extra star for the unique sound and capacity to blend genres makes four solid stars.

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 Rokus Tonalis by AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.69 | 33 ratings

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Rokus Tonalis
Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

5 stars Not a long time ago, when AVIVA was brought to the Symphonic Team for addition, I was not sure if they belonged here, because if it wasn't for some electronic keyboards, they would had been a great candidate for the Neo Classical charts, because he structure is something totally different, with echoes of Rachmaninoff and Bartok.

Being that nobody else would accept them, we believed that they deserved to be added, and even though when I have some doubts, I am glad that they are here, because their music is simply outstanding, no matter if they are a pure Symphonic band or not and of course the most important component for their inclusion is Progressive Rock, and it's clearly present.

Before I start my analysis of "Rokus Tonalis", I feel the need to say we are not talking about a proper band, AVIVA is the brainchild of the virtuosos performer and excellent composer Dimitri A. Loukianenko, who plays all the instruments with an uncredited guitarist.

The main theme is the "Apocalypse of Saint John", but being instrumental we have to trust in the word of the author, even when the dramatic and mysterious atmosphere is a good indication of the concept, so without more to say, lets go to the songs

Prelude is a short introduction to the fabulous music we are about to review, the first impression is the excellent piano and the obvious dissonances, there's obviously a Modern Classical influence that makes it extremely interesting

Prima - Blessed Paul's Phantoms starts absolutely violent, the organ shows an ELP influence that most reviewers talk about, but I respectfully find secondary, the center of everything is the extremely complex composition and the aggressiveness with which Loukianenko attacks the piano and keyboards, the changes are dramatic, passing from modern synths and organs to classical piano with an Avant Garde feeling in the background. Exquisite combination of sounds and atmospheres, around the middle I find a very strong resemblance to Carl Palmer's "The Enemy God Dances with the Black Spirits", but the development and conclusion is absolutely unique.

Secunda - Sliding on the Surface is linked to the previous track, again the dominant instrument is the piano which is plaid with great skill, but then the Prog spirit appears with the synth and organ, as frying to reach to the surface from the ocean of Classical music in which is immerse. But not everything is dramatic to the extreme, some lighter passages with a touch of Fusion give a bit of light to a well developed dark atmosphere.

Tertia - The Destruction of Faena marks a radical change, at this point we are talking about a pure Prog track with incredibly dramatic changes from the dark passages to some more brilliant, in the background the listener can feel a religious Baroque sound that gives some hints about the concept, another magnificent song.

Pastoral as it's name indicates, is a bit bucolic and pleasant compared with the aggressiveness of the previous tracks, the author gives the listener some time to breath and prepare for the strong tortured sections about to come.

From the start of Underwater Sermon the listener can feel the tension, the radio, but not even the radio messages added prepare anybody for the violent crash of sounds and dissonant instruments, even when some jazzy sections relax a bit, the collision of sounds keep the suspense, because with AVIVA you can never guess what's coming next.

The Valse at the End of Times starts with an ELP oriented section with the same dexterity as Keith Emerson, Loukianenko tortures the keyboards but gives us pleasure with one of the most fantastic and elaborate songs of the album, Some passages are contradictory and extremely complex, but with great skills Loukianenko jumps to fluid sections, just to hit us without warning with the heavy artillery, the only word that comes to my mind is flawless.

Molto Largo .- Calm Lightstarts with suspense, the low volume of the organ seems to announce something harder is coming, a mysterious music goes slowly "in crescendo", but only reaches a relative climax at the end, this guy knows how to keep the listener waiting for the unexpected, but suddenly a radical change and we notice it's a new short track called Walking Down the Burning Scores, which is simply brilliant and for the first time flows naturally till the end with a display of skills at the keyboard, the album keeps getting better as the time passes.

Hymn is not what I was expectuing for the end (in this album nothing is as expected), the soft organ with a constant jazzy drumming that again goes "in crescendo" and never reaching the climax, this may be seen as something by many people, but it's what the musician tried to do and achieved success. Special mention for the Moog performance.

The album is closed with Postlude, a weird track that words can't describe with justice, because even when it seems as leading nowhere, the effect of culmination is reached.

There's not much to add, "Rokus Tonalis" is a fantastic album that I hope marks a new era of Symphonic Prog, and even when I hardly give a perfect rating to a debut album, this time I will make an exception and rate it with 5 solid stars.

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 Rokus Tonalis by AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.69 | 33 ratings

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Rokus Tonalis
Aviva (Aviva Omnibus) Symphonic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Fresh, uplifting, dark and brilliant take on modern symphonic rock stylings from Russian keyboard luminary Dimitri A. Loukianenko, who handles most of the instrumentation on this acrobatic first album. Loukianenko's visions exhilarate with blistering lines of piano, delirious meters, haunting melodies, cold passages, compelling atmosphere, weird humor, sound effects, colors previously unseen and directions previously untaken which, in prog rock, is an accomplishment indeed. Also on hand is plenty of screaming organ, cosmic synths and virtuoso playing, invoking the flair of Keith Emerson with the sophisticaton of McCoy Tyner.

Unlike contemporary syn-phonic composers such as Jordan Rudess, Loukianenko brings a worldly elegance to his music which is immediately recognizable on the stunning 'Prima'. Constant movement is Loukianenko's forte, with sudden rushes of emotion, furious lines of tortured piano, synth washes, drums racing to keep up, changes of direction completely uncalled for but perfectly timed, and unforeseen tumbles before getting back on track. It all adds up to the best symphonic rock album of 2007 (so far) and one of the finest debuts in prog history. 'Secunda' takes on a slighly more melodic and traditional synth rock structure but still challenges with polymeters and crystal-clear production. The album is consistently reliable and progressive throughout, as heard in the disturbingly beautiful 'Tertia'.

If Aviva's 'Rokus Tonalis' is any measure, the Russian and Eastern European progressive scene is not only alive but kicking, and ushering in a bold voice of exceptional artistry we should all be keeping a close eye on.

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Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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