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Solaris - Martian Chronicles II CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 293 ratings

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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.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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