Eclectic Prog • Romania

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Alternativ Quartet biography
ALTERNATIV QUARTET are a promising new band from the Transylvanian town of Bistriţa, Romania. Formed in 2007, they have consequently grew a name by playing live with other Transylvanian bands such as the stoner-psych band THE :EGOCENTRICS and or the popular post-grunge/alternative band LUNA AMARĂ. The turning point of their career was playing the Stufstock festival in 2009, which brought them to national wide attention in the independent scene. The band's debut album, titled Silence Fills the Holes (in translation), was released in 2010 as a self-production (available as both a beautiful digipack and a free digitial download) and achieved unanimous critical acclaim.

The music of ALTERNATIV QUARTET is a difficult to define progressive, psychedelic alternative rock. The many influences range from classic space rock kind of atmospheres, with a modern, TOOL-like sound, and a post-metal songwriting style. Vocal harmonies, trumpet and flute enrich the guitar-based sound. The consistency and flow of musical ideas are successfully implemented to make the album a homogeneous musical work, like a suite, a loose conceptual album. The lyrics are highly poetic and contribute to the general state of enhanced mood. The band's stated influences are PINK FLOYD, LED ZEPPELIN, MIKE OLDFIELD, TOOL, A PERFECT CIRCLE, NINE INCH NAILS and MOGWAI.

Bio provided by Alex (harmonium.ro)

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

3.92 | 6 ratings
Linistea Astupa Goluri
3.33 | 6 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Linistea Astupa Goluri by ALTERNATIV QUARTET album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 6 ratings

Linistea Astupa Goluri
Alternativ Quartet Eclectic Prog

Review by Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Forging atmosphere from sound and sound from atmosphere

Alternativ Quartet is a Romanian quartet that could certainly seem alternate. The band formed in 2007 from the remainder of a few popular Romanian post-grunge and alternative bands. The band soon blossomed into a promising new act, fusing the post-grunge, alternative, psychedelic, and post-rock influences the members come from. Their debut, Linistea Atupa Goluri (Silence Fills the Holes), presents the band as a promising new addition to the modern progressive scene and a band to watch out for in the coming years.

The album has a very strong post-rock atmosphere about it. From ambient guitars to slow, pulsing bass lines to back them to the atmospheric drumming and spacey melodies, the ambience of the album is that of a very energetic post-rock album. One might note that I have no love for the traditional post-rock genre, but the band is able to forge a delicious atmosphere saturated with post-rock influence by insinuating many other influences, including that of psychedelic rock, jazz fusion, a twinge of doom, and many other tastes that truly make this music unique.

The vocal harmonies are strangely dissonant yet alarmingly beautiful, augmenting the wonderful music in such a way that while on the fringe they may seem repelling but once you delve in they are truly inviting. And although I may not speak Romanian, the theme and melodic mood can be construed just from the melodies and atmospheres they craft. This atmosphere is certainly an essential part of the album's sound, and is a fantastic aspect of this album's greatness.

Of course melody is not the only aspect that has been put into this album. The four instrumentalists are adept at weaving the instrumental aspect of the album, which is quintessential to the atmosphere and mood discussed above. A seemingly post-rockish background is also an aspect of these men's playing, with very slow and pulsing styles forging at atmosphere of almost doomy proportions. Whether it is the melancholic offerings of "Hopus" or the near post-metal atmosphere of the title track, the entire album is dripping with the delicious ooze of a post-whatever mood, enticing the listener with their mastery of an almost minimalistic approach to music. Even when playing a very small amount of notes, the guys are still able to craft that unique atmosphere that will most likely define their sound into the future of their productions.

Another thing that is great about this album is the fact that this self-produced album is of such incredibly good quality. It's obvious that the band members' experience in other bands has paid off, as even self-recording has procured a truly masterful production. Production is always an essential part of an album's credibility, and this album has duly passed with flying colors. The spacy reverberation added to the songs give the music that signature psychedelic quality, aiding the ambient effect of the music soar into the high flying echelons of sonic beauty ? which this album has certainly achieved.

Overall, Alternativ Quartet has produced a truly masterful debut. I always give kudos to bands whose debuts are of good production quality, and not only is it that, but it is a spectacular display of music prowess. Whether it's the band's fantastic post-rock "fusion" esque style, their wonderful use of mood and atmosphere to make the music wonderful, or the band's overall compositional prowess, the whole album is truly a blast to listen to. The tag of eclectic prog is truly appropriate, because the band has shown that they have mastered combining dozens of identifiable styles into this great work of art, from post-metal to psychedelic to post-rock to jazz fusion to grunge to alternative and so much more. Overall, this album has truly shown itself as being a gem of the year, and I look forward to listening to their future releases (of which there is one already!). 4 stars.


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