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Votchi - Unicorn CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.67 | 12 ratings

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3 stars A Czech band from the capital of the country Praha, which begun life in 1999, apparently influenced by the British than the local Rock scene.After the demo album ''Dreaming'' in 2000 they officially debuted in 2002 with the album ''Scary woman'' on Kmotr Records.Two years later singer Petr Kutheil had surfaced as the leader of the band, which also comprised of Libor Barto on flute, Mirek Muzik on keyboards, Michal Hladuvka and Marty Smejkal on guitars, Pavel Bartos on bass and Tomas Stloukal on drums.The same period Votchi recorded and released their sophomore work ''Unicorn'' on Barrandov Records.

Let's make it clear from the start, Kutheil sings all tracks in English and the apparent influnces from the sound of JETHRO TULL are the basic reasons why I would easily confuse the group to hail from the British islands.But do not the expect to hear the refined and more elaborate JETHRO TULL on their past long suites, things go much into the harder vein of the British legends, dual guitar attacks along with powerful flute drives and lots of vintage echoes, propelled by the variety in tempos and Kutheil's impressive vocals.Of course the flute is not always the leading instrument, it often disappears to give his place to dominant keyboards, such as the synths and Hammond organ, then you will surely meet a flavor close to the likes of DEEP PURPLE, like if JON LORD has been placed behind the keyboard equipment.As you can imagine the material is rocking to the bone, passionate grooves, sharp guitar solos and a nice dose of instrumental diversity with flute and keyboards changing roles.Although the music is fairly straightfowrard, it is also quite demanding, there are plenty of breaks and complex themes in here to go along with an atmospheric diversity, starting from attacking tunes and ending up to more emotional parts with slow tempo songs.And as with every Retro-sounding band they sure have a light Classical background in the instrumental parts, either being a delicate flute theme or an extensive and elaborate full-band arrangement.

Skillful band, great vocals and some really cool and energetic pieces with a Hard Prog background.Originality is an unknown world though, the Jethro Tull and Deep Purple ghosts are all over the place.Warmly recommended, especially if you like Prog Rock's rockier side.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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