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Sedmina - Stekleni Cas CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.55 | 4 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars As far as I know this is the last album from Sedmina. Too bad, as I’ve enjoyed listening to their evolution from the austere debut more than twenty-five years ago, to this very mature and rich-sounding swan song from the end of the nineties.

The accompaniment has been trimmed back a bit from the previous two albums. Gone are the string section, as well as several of the violins, woodwinds and brass that appeared on the band’s 1998 release. But no matter really, since what remains is put to good use. A complaint I have of the band’s two previous albums is the abundance of talent in the guest musicians, much of which was underutilized.

That is not the case here, and right from the start with the reworked version of “Balada o Gospeh Minulih Dni” (Ballad of the good gentlemen of yore, or something like that), the attention to the instruments is more noticeable. The acoustic guitars sound as if their recording mics are either higher quality, placed better, or mixed cleaner; but in any case the guitar is crisp and acoustically vibrant. Dolenc and JovanoviŠ still provide virtually all the vocals, but for the first time really we hear JovanoviŠ ranging out from her expected harmonies into melodic passages and seductive verse. The result is the most folk-sounding album Dolenc has fronted since the 1981 debut with his former wife.

Cello and viola are still present here, but as near as I can tell there is no trace of violin, so the mood becomes a bit deeper and more melancholy than the ‘Onkraj Reke’ release, but not quite as much so as 1998’s ‘Rojstvo Idola’.

The piano returns with a vengeance, filling in where string quartets and samples and recorders and multiple violins and the like failed to take root on the previous two Dolenc and JovanoviŠ albums.

The tracks here tend to be quite short, most only around two or three minutes. One exception is the nearly eight-minute long “Omen”, but despite its length it turns out to be rather uninspired with too-long extended vocals and mildly jazzy piano backed by moody strings.

Many of the shorter works are more adventurous, or even just more folk. “Žerjavi” is a rather unexceptional cello/piano slow number with JovanoviŠ fronting on vocals, but at least its well-done and very much in keeping with what one expects from this band. “Coprnica” on the other hand launches into a flamenco-like rhythm and narrative vocals between the two spouses that I’m sure tells some sort of amusing story. “Grad” focuses on percussion to yield an ethnic feel steeped in mystery and adventure. And “Daljave” is drenched in wispy flute and 12-string guitar. So the songs, though short, do give evidence that Dolenc was still experimenting with sounds and finding the drive to introduce new things even as the Sedmina project was fading away.

This album is a definite improvement over the last, and I would say ranks with the second Sedmina album as their best. Hard to believe that Dolenc and JovanoviŠ never found their way to release another of these, but my understanding is both are involved in solo careers and other projects. I would say this is yet another Sedmina album that is highly recommended to prog folk fans, as well as to those who enjoy strings and piano behind mature and vibrant vocals. Four stars.


ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |


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