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Karfagen - Solitary Sandpiper Journey CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.96 | 132 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Prog fans may certainly be forgiven if they feel like they need a scorecard to keep up with the various projects of ANTONY KALUGIN. Sunchild is the 2008 double CD project in which he recruited various Ukrainian musicians. And Kalugin is an intregal contributor to Will Mackie's band Hoggwash. Despite how important those ongoing projects are to him, KARFAGEN is Kalugin's "flagship" Progressive Rock Band, the one he instituted and has been working with ever since deciding to pursue a music career back in 1994.

For 2010's " SOLITARY SANDPIPER JOURNEY", Kalugin recruited tasteful guitarist ALEXANDR PAVLOV and ethereal vocalist MARINA ZACHAROVA.

This music includes various textures ranging from cello, oboe, bassoon, flute, violin, viola and even accordion. Throughout the project, the aesthetic is smooth and beautiful. Think Pink Floyd's "Division Bell" and Camel's "Snow Goose".

The album begins with "Spirit of Revelation", a very tastefully and tunefully performed guitar oriented catchy, even downright hum-able tune. Musicianship is flawlessly executed. One curiosity, however, is the subtle integration of a certain hand-clap sound that I'm most familiar hearing only within the context of disco songs. Of course, this music has nothing to do with disco - except those oddball little handclaps. At first I was a bit "put off" by them, but now I'm warming up to them if for no other reason than their oddball quirky appearance out of nowhere. Right when I was beginning to think I had "heard it all"?;-)

Magic Moment begins with acoustic piano. We hear our first leave vocal from Marina. Her voice is sweet, strong and Celtic. Silent Anger (part two) is our next extended instrumental piece followed by "Searching for Love", another vocal tune this time with Antony on lead vocals. Marina is an excellent choice for vocalist. Her voice blends and fills the spectrum very well on the passages in which both of them sing in harmony. The addition of accordion is very nice on this song. The saxophone and free dancing bass lines have a very smooth texture. Nothing is rough around the edges on this music. Envelope filters abound! This song ends with a pensive and moody (yet ever so smooth!) solo saxophone.

Carpathians is a keyboard led song that sound like it would be right at home on a Hoggwash album.

Ode to a New Life begins with a very bouncy intro and clean guitar. We are provided a strong melodic statement from electric guitar, reminiscent of the albums opening track. Synthesizer takes the melody for the next round. Bass guitar gets a moment in the spotlight before handing off for the synthesizer to break free from the melody with a bit of improvisation, (yet always remaining very close to the stated melody). Synthesizer and guitar play a harmony lead section together before breaking down in the middle for an excellent acoustic guitar solo section in the middle. Wow - I wish he did more acoustic sections like this on the album. Perhaps on the next KARFAGEN album? Keys take over followed by electric guitar. A symphonic string section enters for the fade out of electric guitar at the end.

Kingfisher and Dragonflies flows into Mysteries to create a 24 minute extended duet. Instrumental passages dominate. During the brief passages in which they sing together, Marina's vocals blend with Antony's very nicely again.

A very solid 3 stars for this high quality album. There are more than enough magic moments to go around indeed!

progpositivity | 3/5 |


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