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SUNCHILD

Crossover Prog • Ukraine


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Sunchild biography
Founded in Kharkiv, Ukraine in 2008

SUNCHILD is yet another prog project from talented and prolific Ukrainian musician Antony KALUGIN. KALUGIN currently records under three band names, KARFAGEN, HOGGWASH and SUNCHILD. Under the SUNCHILD name, he brought together a plethora of other Ukranian musicians to supplement his impressive keyboard and writing talents. The music is an all out prog feast with many varied tempos and loads of keyboards washing over everything. A wide array of horns and woodwinds are used to great extent as well. KALUGIN does the bulk of the singing (in English) with perhaps a slight accent. He also brings in guest vocalists, both male and female to add even more dimensions to the proceedings. The debut album is a double that features three songs over 16 minutes.

KALUGIN is young (born 11 Feb 1981) but his already wide experience as a professional musician has propelled him to a high place among young artists recording prog today.

biography by John Mattern (johnobvious) with thanks.

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SUNCHILD discography


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

4.03 | 131 ratings
The Gnomon
2008
3.95 | 104 ratings
The Invisible Line
2009
3.95 | 121 ratings
The Wrap
2010
4.06 | 236 ratings
As Far as the Eye Can See
2011
3.89 | 142 ratings
Isolation
2012
3.72 | 69 ratings
Synesthesia
2015
3.93 | 147 ratings
Messages From Afar - The Division And Illusion Of Time
2018
4.09 | 57 ratings
Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream
2023

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

4.50 | 8 ratings
Sunchild with Karfagen and Hoggwash: Live In France 2012
2015

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

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

4.80 | 5 ratings
Sunchild & Hoggwash: Gnomology
2015
4.88 | 8 ratings
Time and the Tide
2023

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

4.00 | 3 ratings
Glimpse of Love
2015
3.50 | 2 ratings
Outer Space
2015
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Reason Why
2015
4.00 | 3 ratings
Searching Diamonds
2018

SUNCHILD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream by SUNCHILD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.09 | 57 ratings

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Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream
Sunchild Crossover Prog

Review by runciblemoon

3 stars The absurdly prolific Anthony Kalugin returns with the eighth album under his Sunchild moniker. Musically, the differences between Sunchild and Kalugin's best-known project Karfagen are pretty slim, the chief one being an increased emphasis on vocals, and with it, a penchant for radio-friendly melodies (albeit often presented in far from radio-friendly forms).

On this one we have just two lengthy suites (plus a couple of short bonus tracks), that immediately transport the listener with dreamlike fluidity. These are not just long songs, but purposefully unhurried ones. Yes, there's a little bite to the electric guitars at times, but for all its implied grandeur, this album is for the most part a serene, meditative listening experience - comfort prog at its absolute comfiest.

If you're looking for something revolutionary and challenging, this ain't it. But if, like me, you sometimes need an album just to get you through another dreary day in the office - something that's light and reassuring, but with just enough proggy heft to hold your attention - then "Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream" might just do the trick.

 Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream by SUNCHILD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.09 | 57 ratings

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Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream
Sunchild Crossover Prog

Review by Drmick1971

5 stars 'Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream' is the first Sunchild album since 'Messages from Afar: the Division and Illusion of Time' in 2018 which was the first of Antony's projects I ever pre-ordered. Antony has mentioned that this new album took him four years to make. We have been lucky that other many releases from his solo and Karfagen projects have come out in the interim. From the start, I think this album shines and shines and shines. The production is clean and crisp, every instrument and note can be clearly heard. Igor Sokolskiy provides another rich and fantastic challenging piece of art for the cover.

The album consists of two epic songs, 'Life Lines' (26.26) and 'Northern Skies' (14.14) followed by shorter excerpts containing Single editions. The lyrics written by Will Mackie and Antony Kalugin have the ability to be interpreted by the listener in whatever meaning they perceive. I myself find the meaning of freedom prevalent. The freedom of action, the freedom of choice and the freedom of thought. The lyrics also seems to be a continuation from the Karfagen album 'Land of Green and Gold'. 'Life Lines' begins with cinematic and symphonic keyboards followed by the full impact of the band including lightning electric guitars, thunderous drumming and full throttle keyboards. The singing starts at about the 2.30 minute mark with the first theme. The singing reminds me of the same tone as the 'Seven Gates' song from the Karfagen album '7'. This has interludes of wonderful instrumentation of impressive keyboards, layers of synthesiser and classical piano. As with epic songs, there are waves of ebbs and flows with portions of elegant calmness, exquisite acoustic guitar, deep drums and bass lines along with the flows of driving Hammond like organs and soaring electric guitars. A welcome staccato guitar comes in amongst further singing and bombastic drums and I must give credit to the nylon guitar playing of Alexandr Pavlov. Beautiful undertones of electric guitar and accordion succeed with the classy use of saxophone with three minutes to go leading into the climactic finish.

'Northern Skies' starts straight away with Antony's calming vocals and piano. Glorious orchestral moments pervade and phenomenal background vocals by both Maria Panasenko and Olga Rostovska with strength and grace. There's a heavy softness to this song that I love. A lovely paradox that enhances the musical experience.

Antony's many layers of varying keyboards delivers not only a strong foundation but also announces his flare of improvisation and genius musicianship. The other band members have to reciprocate at this highest of levels to complete the successful recording of this album. Of which they do achieve.

This may not only be the best of all the Sunchild albums but maybe the best of all of Antony's other projects. This really is a stunning. It is melodious, flowing effortlessly with waves of all colours and tones to the ear. The whole album is a positive light that transcends.

 Time and the Tide by SUNCHILD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2023
4.88 | 8 ratings

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Time and the Tide
Sunchild Crossover Prog

Review by CAERLLYSI

5 stars WOW ; This is magnificent Four great Sunchild albums remastered and complete with over 80 minutes of bonus tracks in a beautiful digipak format presentation, three of the albums have been out of print for more than two years with two of them for more than four years, by popular demand Antony is now via Caerllysi Music offering them in a five star deluxe limited edition set.

The outstanding live performances recently across western Europe by Antony and his musicians besides receiving plaudits galore from fans and event organisers alike there was constant praise for songs they played that have been out of print for several years, as it happens Antony and Will had already been talking during the working of the new studio release 'Exotic Creatures' the need to repress once again these four excellent and very successful releases so that fans of Antony's music who have come on board in recent years could own the physical CD's themselves as they were only available via download, so Antony set about the time consuming task of remastering all four original albums as well as working on over 80 minutes of bonus material alongside some stunning new artwork and a high quality presentation digipak, the outcome is everything they wished for and a fabulous gift to you his fans They remind us of the continuing crazy high standard of music that he has put together now for almost two decades be WARNED its limited edition so make sure you get yours before its too late 5 stars .

 Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream by SUNCHILD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.09 | 57 ratings

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Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream
Sunchild Crossover Prog

Review by MalenaRoss

5 stars It's an excellent and successful return of Sunchild by genius Antony Kalugin. Despite such a terrible time for Antony's native country, he continues to create such an amazingly bright and light pieces of art. The album consists of two main tracks ? Life Lines and Northern Skies and four bonus tracks, 2 of which is a Single versions of basic pieces. Life Lines ? 26 minutes epic ? possibly one of the best Kalugin's art works with its own face, power and identity. Northern Skies can be listened endlessly. As Antony reviewed, this song is dedicated to our beloved ones, who has passed away. This is proper powerful melodic prog rock ballad without a doubt. Magnificent emotional song with great Floydian Kalugin's vocal. Also its a nice surprise to hear an appearance of Maria Panasenko on vocals. Without a doubt 5 stars album and my recommendations for listening.
 Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream by SUNCHILD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.09 | 57 ratings

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Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream
Sunchild Crossover Prog

Review by SilverLight59

4 stars "AND there is a chance that one day you might write a standard lads, so churn them out quick and fast". Antony Kalugin certainly subscribes to this school of thought. Under his own name, as well as the projects Hoggwash, Karfagin, and Sunchild, he turns out consistently elevated music at an incredible pace. While prog isn't likely to turn out any 'standards', there is always the potential to create a work that will stand apart in his catalogue and be especially memorable. In my opinion, this may be the one for Antony.

Why so? As other reviewers have already stated, it picks up all the influences of symphonic prog that drew most of us to the genre to begin with, great guitar work, fabulous keys, and numerous other supporting instruments. The main tracks are lengthy and full of twists and turns, ups and downs, power and delicateness. While the two main tracks are constantly evolving there is a nice cohesiveness. There is a sense that you pick something new out with each listen which keeps you coming back for another play.

Another item of interest is the cover art which is very nice. For me, the art, if it is engaging, and meaningful (even if open to interpretation), always affects my perception of the music. In addition, this work does not overstay its welcome. It is an old-fashioned album length of about 40 minutes. Absolutely no filler here! Definitely leaves you wanting more, not wondering when it's going to end.

This brings me to my next thought. There has been some question as to the differences between his self-named works, and his other projects. I am not familiar with Hoggwash so won't touch that one, but it seems that the difference of the others as I see it is as follows. His self-named Antony Kalugin works, to me, come across as mostly instrumental, generally very mellow bordering at times on prog ambient and or light prog jazz rock.

Karfagin, which was my initial introduction to Antony's music, namely the "Dragon Island" suite, tends to come across more symphonic but leaning heavily on denser and more prog rock themes with more lyrics, but still sparsely interspersed.

Sunchild, on the other hand, while still symphonic, is definitely more prog rock oriented, even prog pop at times, with a considerably more extensive amount of lyrics. This appeals to me the most as I tend to be more song (with lyrics) oriented and I think this makes albums more accessible to those that may be checking out Antony's work for the first time.

Clearly, many find Antony's singing to be a bit of a weakness, citing a bit of an accent, and perhaps a bit limited range, but personally I like his voice a lot. He has his own sound, not at all unpleasant, and at times sounds a bit (or even a lot) Floydian. And, as has been noted by other reviewers, he shares the vocal duties with others that rounds out the overall sound and emotion of the music quite well.

For anyone not familiar with Antony's works (is this actually possible?) this is a great place to start. As some may say, there may be a certain amount of safety in his work, a certain amount of familiar ideas and themes, but they are spun around and presented in a way that is fresh and never boring. You will hear nice influences from the past and modern embellishments that will be most enjoyable. Give it a spin. You won't be disappointed! So, no new standard here, but one of Antony's best for sure. A solid 4 stars without question.

 Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream by SUNCHILD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.09 | 57 ratings

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Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream
Sunchild Crossover Prog

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well Crafted, Classic Prog Vibes with Few Surprises

Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream is a wonderful chance for lovers of classic prog to sink themselves in new material. Chief architect Antony Kalugin is clearly a very skilled craftsman of song and instrumentation. This album hits all the usual boxes - epic length compositions, lots of keyboards, soaring guitar solos, extended storylines, theatric delivery, you get the picture. Others have mentioned Flower Kings and Spock's Beard and this album definitely sits in that range of the genre. I also get some Phideaux vibes (though I find that artist a lot more evocative.)

The album is essentially two epics. The longer first track, "Life Lines" shoots straight down the middle in so many ways. Mid-tempo, relatively mellow moods, no big risks. As a result I find the composition extremely pleasant but not very memorable. While very well executed, everything we get has been done before. The second song, "Northern Skies" is more brooding, a little slower, and I connect with it emotionally to a much greater extent. Female vocals (both lead and backing) feature more prominently and definitely add depth. The breadth of moods in the music is much broader here as well, and hold my attention to a greater degree. (As a complete aside, there is a little melodic element that quotes the theme to "Cheers" which cracks me up every time it goes by.) Some of the sections are little more quirky, more whimsical. Still epic, it's a much better song, but still doesn't take huge risks or present anything truly surprising.

I could see myself putting "Northern Lights" on a Prog 2023 Playlist. Scratches the classic prog itch well.

 Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream by SUNCHILD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.09 | 57 ratings

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Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream
Sunchild Crossover Prog

Review by alainPP

5 stars SUNCHILD was born in 2008, another project by Antony KALUGIN, showing the extent of his talents as a composer. A sound at the crossroads of stored sounds of yesteryear, reworked to leave for flowery bucolic lands; varied tempos where the keyboard takes the lion's share; a symphonic sound more fruity rock than on KARFAGEN, more MINIMUM VITAL, less TRANSATLANTIC, less folkloric, with 3 guitarists to take up the keyboard battles. 4 years of work and this two-part album comes out on various reminiscences of YES, CAMEL, SUPERTRAMP and GENESIS in the background. Progressive, luminous, light, airy and catchy music.

"Life Lines" begins at the crossroads of a YES and GENESIS, symphony on the ubiquitous keyboards, a calmer voice than on a KARFAGEN, which refers to the works of the FLOWER KINGS above all; yessian break from 5 minutes with a squirian bass and a piano worthy of a SUPERTRAMP; horns, oboe, it comes from everywhere on a fresh air, modern and vintage at the same time, quite disconcerting; Antony on the vocals avoids getting lost in his meandering notes, the twirling air with choirs and borderline hard guitars suddenly brings back the scent of PINK FLOYD. The last quarter is intended to be more folkloric, however, with accordion sounds, then sax, then guitar solos that we must not forget, which give depth to this river title. "Northern Skies" from its intro reminds me of David GILMOUR that's how it is; the piano flirts with the SUPERTRAMP sound, that is to say the progressive intention, warm female choirs and an epic tune, I read 'stage anthem', I easily confirm; it goes up on grandiloquent progressive, like a bouquet of artifice with a Charisma label sound all of a sudden, between SHELLER and GENESIS, stunning because I hear a bit of MAY's guitar there just before returning to a more oldies sound; last third with a dark vocal break, phrasing voice and cozy atmosphere with plaintive sax and again the frenzied choirs of Olha and Maria for the soft finale, to listen to again!

4 bonuses including 2 tracks taken from major pieces and "Timeless Motion" for? the cover with sax, syrupy intro on OLDFIELD, YES with the guitar of Steve HOWE. "Northern Lights" title oh so located on the ambient, the melody; moment of cinematic musical space with the magic synths of Antony, a counterpart to the following single, "Northern Skies" taken up as a short title to play on the radios?. Ah no, I had forgotten that in France good music no longer has its place; Enough of palaver, the sound la William SHELLER who also worked well in the prog, a title where the choirs warm the air. "Life Lines" as a short title for new prog fans who are looking for the prog soul without wanting to immediately plunge into its meanders, to help glimpse the sub-chapters of the flagship title in which one can get lost if one does not fix not the right light.

SUNCHILD releases a prog album on two long titles leaving, returning, bifurcating, surfing on the oh so controversial era of the progressive movement. Symphonic and melodic pieces with long breaks in a luxurious digipack with posters, for fans of the old days when time was taken. An album that is piling up in the demonic catalog of Antony, a true goldsmith of the 10 fingers. More voices that irremediably differentiate it from KARFAGEN, more lyrical sense and melodies that show that today's prog, while gorging on old reminiscences, can still move people. I who think that prog owes its survival only thanks to metal, I understand that there are exceptions like this superb album, messy but melting, remarkable. To see if it will hold the road during the year.

 Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream by SUNCHILD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.09 | 57 ratings

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Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream
Sunchild Crossover Prog

Review by Yubal

5 stars Sometimes, lists of musicians related to your favorite bands include some that you listen to but don't quite connect with. And you try, but you don't succeed.

Fortunately, when they are musicians with a musical universe as varied as Antony Kalugin's, sometimes it's just a matter of time before there is a song, an album that serves as a key to enter that musical universe. And then, from that moment on, you adapt to his way of making music, and you end up enjoying other previous works with which you had not been able to click.

For me, the key to Kalugin's universe has been "Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream". I remember listening to the Northern Skies single for the first time and falling completely in love with the song. I liked everything about it, from the melodic progressive rock it proposes to the combination of a soft male voice and a powerful female one. Then, the second preview of the album arrived and I had no choice but to pre-order it.

And once I have finally been able to listen to it in its entirety, with the two main songs more developed, I can only say that I think it is a wonderful album, and that it has been a golden brooch for 2022. It is a melodic album, made with very good taste and able to put in a single song very good variations that make them very enjoyable. Really, for me it is one of the best albums of last year.

And the best of all is not that, the best of all is that this album is now helping me to enjoy Kalugin's music much more, and it is possibly only the first of several of his works on my CD shelf. I know this album has just been released, but I'm already looking forward to hearing what he's going to release next, as I continue to explore his discography.

 Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream by SUNCHILD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.09 | 57 ratings

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Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream
Sunchild Crossover Prog

Review by CAERLLYSI

5 stars Before I talk about this magnificent album I feel the need to put on record a comment I see from time to time made by reviewers "kalugin is prolific "as a negative statement

for god sake the man is amongst the very few prog musicians who are full time dedicated to making new music he is first and foremost a composer sadly for most working in our genre its a hobby they deeply care about but have a day job .

plus being based in eastern europe his ability to play live is hugely restricted by the red tape and costs involved so hes left with just his ability to compose to warm his heart musically.

That status quo for some 20 years now is hopefully about to change as he is based now in poland due to you know what happened in his home city of kharkiv last year

so be warned because in the last couple of months his " a message for peace tour "has rocked whatever parts of western europe reached out to him. So in 2023 he can light up a stage near you

now ive got that off my chest its onto the album

ALMOST FOUR YEARS IN THE MAKING

I can remember so well the first demos of these two beasts with live drums added way back in the early part of 2020 WOW this was going to be something very special

two monster progressive tracks that remind us so much of the hey day of our genre

music that weaves its web from one musical section to another and back again seamlessly with melodies and passages that tear at the heart of all prog heads

lifelines at 26 + minutes passes so quickly its almost an illusion in time and will be a strong contender for best prog track of 2023

the second epic northern lights will be a stage anthem for decades to come kalugin is a stage master craftsman and has been wooing audiences across western europe in recent months and

this latest track will be on the play live roster from now on for sure.

as ever antony has called upon his mighty small army of top musicians which include three very different styled lead guitarists maximising the colours of the music and sound that is sunchild

musically sunchild is prog rock with strong lyrical content whilst karfagen is art rock mainly instrumental thats the very clear and basic soul and identity of both

as ever the packaging is classy The cd comes as a glossy digi-pack with 2 big full colour posters as well as a booklet with artwork by the talented artist igor sokolskiy

Its time now for the rest of you to enjoy a master craftsman at work like I am able to

happy days

will caerllysi music

 Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream by SUNCHILD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.09 | 57 ratings

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Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream
Sunchild Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Yesterday was the official release date for the latest offering of Ukraine's No. 1 prog maestro Antony Kalugin. In the last few years he has operated productively under his own name and KARFAGEN. This is the first SUNCHILD album since 2018 when "Messages from Afar - The Division and Illusion of Time" was released as some sort of sequel to a 2017 Karfagen album.

It's not so easy to see any major differences between various Antony Kalugin projects, but perhaps one could claim Sunchild to be slightly more song-oriented. On previous albums there has often been a certain pop sensibility as well, and the soundscape is a bit more electrified and modern compared to Karfagen's tradition-friendly Symphonic Prog. This album doesn't show a strong attempt to emphasize the differences: I suppose in theory this could be a Karfagen album, and the compositional structure surely follows the tendency of recent albums. That is, two long pieces served with some bonuses that recycle the material of the main work. Can't say I'm thrilled by this habit of the bonuses (I do see the practical point of including the single edits and such), because naturally I'd prefer the CD to contain more than two equal pieces instead.

'Life Lines' (26:26) is a bold and ambitious multi-part modern symphonic prog epic. There's a catchy intensity right from the start, a feeling of grandiosity ' la The Flower Kings or Spock's Beard. Antony does the lead vocals which admittedly are more present than on his recent instrumentally oriented releases, backed beautifully by Maria Panasenko. The dynamics are well thought in the composition full of tempo changes and alterations between power and delicacy. Both the composer's array of keyboards and the electric guitar of Alexandr Pavlov build spectacular melodies, and of course all the other musicians are excellent, too. Accordion and soprano saxophone have their appearances. A detail I'm not fond of is the use of vocoder a couple of times, not a big deal though. To a middle-aged proghead there's hardly anything brand new in this fairly accessible epic, but it's very enjoyable, one of the finest and the most powerful Antony Kalugin has ever produced.

'Northern Skies' (14:14) has much more melancholy and sorrow -- just listen to the daily news, need I say more -- woven into it, but in the optimistic spirit, with a faith for a better tomorrow. Being notably shorter, 'Northern Skies' contains surprisingly plenty of wide dynamics, including also some rollercoaster instrumental sections. It's nevertheless the moodier vocal sections that make this piece so emotionally strong. The dual (male + female) vocals are used to a great effect, and Maria Panasenko even has her own portion of lead vocals.

'Timeless Motion Reprise' (1:24) recycles the first movement of 'Life Lines' in an instrumentally oriented way, giving a big role to Yan Vedaman's soprano sax. Rather esoteric 'Northern Lights' is also mostly instrumental. The single editions of the two main pieces (4:51 and 7:07 in length) function pretty well, but in the end they're insignificant to the album whole. With or without taking the bonuses into the equation, Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream is a strong and finely produced four-star prog album warmly recommended to everyone ever having enjoyed the works of Antony Kalugin. And if you haven't yet, why not give this one a chance!

Thanks to dean for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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