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Kalin Tonev - Machine Years CD (album) cover


Kalin Tonev


Heavy Prog

3.76 | 14 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. Kalin Tonev is a keyboard player out of Bulgaria and this is his first solo album after being in a band called TRAVELHOUSE that is on this site as well. When I think of Bulgaria I can't help of the Prog-Metal band PATOMMIND from that country because they really impressed me, especially their amazing debut. This particular album has a lot of programming in it, so we do get real keyboards and a variety of them at that plus there's three guitarists splitting that duty on this album. The drums aren't real and I'm not sure about the bass but no one is credited with playing it so I assume it's programmed as well.

I do like how heavy this can get but my favourite track is "Dust" one of the mellow tunes, but man the emotion on that one has me asking for more. This is an all instrumental album that reaches pretty high at times but it's not without it's so-so songs too, hence the 3.5 stars. Plus I have so many instrumental albums that blow this one away(just saying).

"Human Not Machine" is a great way to start the album and it opens with sampled words as drums and organ kick in. A calm around 2 minutes then it kicks in again to a higher tempo with guitar playing over top. Organ then leads then synths before it settles back. The synths a minute in recall GENESIS believe it or not. "Short Story About Tanks" has a nice heavy groove to it before a spacey calm takes over. It kicks back in hard just before 2 1/2 minutes then another spacey calm arrives.

"The Short Cut" is an uptempo track with plenty of synths. This is one I haven't liked from the first listen though for some reason. "Beings" has some heavy keyboard sounds and it will continue throughout. Guitar comes in over top mid-way through then it settles late as it winds down. "Dust" is my favourite. Again it's the emotion I feel which is lacking elsewhere. A beautiful tune.

"Man Dancer" opens with electronics which I understand Kalin's other band TRAVELHOUSE uses quite a bit. It kicks into gear a minute in and organ will rise to the top along with synths. It turns heavier before 5 minutes. "Late Again" has a deep groove to it then a spacey calm arrives after a minute. The groove is back a minute later. "Human Not Machine II" is more of the same but I like the calm a minute in although it's brief.

"News From Nowhere" is one I'm not into because of the style of synths at times but but I do like the heaviness and guitar that starts before 4 minutes. "Step 4" is heavy once again with lots of depth. Catchy stuff. "Garden" is mellow with atmosphere, a beat, keys and bass. "This Empty Space" opens with percussion as the heavy organ joins in. It settles back with percussion and atmosphere before kicking back in again. "Later Than Usual" has a catchy and heavy riff which is contrasted with mellow sections led by synths.

A good album as the other reviews will attest to, just not something I'm looking forward to spinning again. It would be awesome if Kalin put a real band together, that I would look forward to.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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