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Psychedelic/Space Rock • Hungary

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Sonar biography
Sonar is a Hungarian threesome, consisting of guitarist Bálint Szabó, bass player Balász Csáky and keyboardist/programmer Marcell Kovács. Together they mix electric and acoustic rock with electronic beats - usually accompanied by guest drummersand occasional guest vocalists. The result is a sound that merges psychedelic rock with post rock (just listen to the guitars) into something quite enjoyable.

The band was founded in 2004 and released a first EP in 2006. In parallel to playing live, they started writing more material, which finally resulted in the full album release 'Celluloid' in June 2008.
Live performances of the band are a visual feast to the eye, as can be seen on concert pictures. For this, the band co-operates with effects maestro VJ Lab.

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3.98 | 10 ratings

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SONAR Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Celluloid by SONAR album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.98 | 10 ratings

Sonar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars The other dark half of the moon is a black Monofob...

In 1973, Pink Floyd released one of the most (in)famous records ever, with Dark Side of the Moon. 35 years later, a Hungarian trio called Sonar released Celluloid, an album that shows the other half of the moon is just as dark and, more importantly, that Psych is not dead.

This album may not be, and however unfortunate will likely never become, as well known as Dark Side of the Moon, but it definitely shows that psychedelic progressive rock is not dead. With slow, long weaving melodies that are sometimes carried by the bass guitar, sometimes by the guitars and sometimes by the keyboards or programmed synths (and a rhodes, not to be forgotten) make acid and everything that came after it unnecessary. Just let this trio with their guest drummers and vocalists carry you through space - on a musical trip that you won't easily forget.

Peloton could've fit on Dark Side of the Moon, Kalamar has a great pounding rhythm underneath the guitars (which sometimes bring a hint of The Wall), Weloce brings you to distant planets - every track has something new to offer. In some places the influences of old Floyd are very clear, but Sonar definitely has it's own style, which blends classic psych with more modern (progressive) rock sounds.

Listening to this album makes it very easy to imagine what a concert might be like - when they cooperate with VJ Lab for the visual effects. The album is hard to get outside Bulgaria, but ways to the rest of the world are opening up thanks to for example Let's hope this will allow more people to enjoy this great band and bring us more reviews.

A 4-star debut - for a band that we first learned about through the Unsigned Bands forum.

 Celluloid by SONAR album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.98 | 10 ratings

Sonar Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions

4 stars Another band hailing from Hungary with a similar sound to KORAI ÖRÖM and the early COLORSTAR? ... well, this holds only for the primarily impressions. First of all - prog musicians from that country have a very groovy attitude I have to state. After two promo EPs they have released a full album in 2008 with some danceable songs respectively parts readily recommended for your (prog) party. It's instrumental nearly all the way through where the first three tracks can be treated as one epic song which is divided in parts for what reason ever.

Intro is initiated by a sonar similar tone - probably pointing to the band name - but also preparing the launch of two of the finest songs Peleton and the following Kalamar. Here we have a compelling groove accompanied by spacey guitars and diversified synthesizer and piano extras - backing with a repetitive theme as well as soloing a lot - really excellent! Even though I pointed out some similiarities to other bands this is still a unique modern sound. The emphasis is more on guitar/electronics and less percussion loaded in the whole compared to KORAI ÖRÖM for example. By way of variaton the eclectic Weloce appears somewhat mysterious with spacey elements where you are not able to say if this is caused by a distorted guitar output or by synths.

What comes up with the first three songs ends with the last three - the next convincing epic with tracks fading into each other - this time dominated by guitarist Bálint Szabó . Popp starts with a Pink Floyd 'Run Like Hell' reference but soon gets independent though because developing heavier more and more over the course of time. Szabó is on the top here with an eclectic style. Fading into Dubai it all changes to an uptempo rocking attitude with a lush riffing guitar which is forwarded to Abstro but coming up very trippy relaxed here on the contrary.

'Celluloid' definetely needed some rounds to unfold its real beauty to me - there are many many nuances to find out. The more I listen to this the more I like it! This is not that typical psychedelic or space rock - rather an art rock bordering sound evolved by a sophisticated songwriting and provided with some excellent groovy sweets.

Thanks to Angelo for the artist addition.

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