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Sunchild - Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.16 | 76 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Well Crafted, Classic Prog Vibes with Few Surprises

Exotic Creatures and a Stolen Dream is a wonderful chance for lovers of classic prog to sink themselves in new material. Chief architect Antony Kalugin is clearly a very skilled craftsman of song and instrumentation. This album hits all the usual boxes - epic length compositions, lots of keyboards, soaring guitar solos, extended storylines, theatric delivery, you get the picture. Others have mentioned Flower Kings and Spock's Beard and this album definitely sits in that range of the genre. I also get some Phideaux vibes (though I find that artist a lot more evocative.)

The album is essentially two epics. The longer first track, "Life Lines" shoots straight down the middle in so many ways. Mid-tempo, relatively mellow moods, no big risks. As a result I find the composition extremely pleasant but not very memorable. While very well executed, everything we get has been done before. The second song, "Northern Skies" is more brooding, a little slower, and I connect with it emotionally to a much greater extent. Female vocals (both lead and backing) feature more prominently and definitely add depth. The breadth of moods in the music is much broader here as well, and hold my attention to a greater degree. (As a complete aside, there is a little melodic element that quotes the theme to "Cheers" which cracks me up every time it goes by.) Some of the sections are little more quirky, more whimsical. Still epic, it's a much better song, but still doesn't take huge risks or present anything truly surprising.

I could see myself putting "Northern Lights" on a Prog 2023 Playlist. Scratches the classic prog itch well.

Negoba | 3/5 |


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