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Disen Gage - The Big Adventure CD (album) cover

THE BIG ADVENTURE

Disen Gage

 

Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 31 ratings

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TCat
3 stars 'Disen Gage' is a clever name for a Russian Eclectic Prog band that was formed in 1999. The original members were going to the university at the time and didn't have a lot of time for the music they wanted to play, however, and they could only play a gig every once in a while. Finally, in 2004, 'The Screw-Loose Entertainment' album was released, and since then, they have released 7 full length albums, concentrating mostly on instrumental music.

Their 7th album, 'The Big Adventure', was released in February, 2019. The album cover art is quite clever and makes you want to hear what it is all about. Konstantin Mochalov is on guitars, Eugeny Kudryashov on drums, Nikolai Syrtsev on bass, Sergei Bagin plays both guitars and keyboards. There are also other musicians playing other instruments featured on some of the tracks.

'Shiroyama' starts off the album with a clumping percussive sound with some metallic noises. Soon a solo guitar plays a sparse, yet dark introduction. 'Adventurers' begins with a guitar again, this time playing a more playful solo. This is soon joined by a whimsical rhythm which the rest of the band joins in. On the 2nd cycle of the theme, an accordion joins in to add to the jovial, yet chunky sound. It's all quite unique and interesting. Around 3 minutes things get a bit more serious as an atmospheric solo plays before the original rhythm takes a hold again as the guitar continues to play a really good solo.

'Chaos Point' enters in on a droning guitar that suddenly takes up a thumping rhythmic pattern with percussion. Later a trumpet joins in establishing a melodic theme which is later followed by piano, then things suddenly erupt into a chaotic section with the main instruments going into dissonant improvisation. Things switch from normal to chaos a few times, then the background gets heavier with a churning guitar and the piano playing along with it all. Later, things slip into a jazzy sound with the piano while the guitar continues to churn out dark chords. It's a rather interesting mix of styles. It almost gets into a circus-y feel when a few wordless vocals come growling along, but not for long. The Russian influence is felt in a sort of a traditional dance style, but the heavy guitar continues to churn along without ever overpowering the track.

'Enough' begins with a soft atmospheric sound as jangling effects echo around a soft guitar. There is a quick soft percussion added as things build a bit, then it settles in with a complex rhythmic pattern and Discipline-era KC guitar patterns. There is a guest celloist that adds another nice flavor to it all, and then a sudden heavy guitar solo comes in. 'All the Truth's Meeting' begins with a latin-dance style sound with a jazz flavor. A Spanish style guitar and brass effects from a synthesizer also give it a quasi-mariachi sound. At 3 minutes, an electric guitar plays a solo improvised off of the beat.

'Selfish Tango' has that tango beat, but sounds more like an island flair with the xylophone synth. Later however, it does sound more like a tango with a piano helping along with the guitar. The guitar is a little to metallic for a tango and gives it a clumsy feeling. The rhapsodic feel is a nice touch in some places. The last part of the track actually moves into a more boogie style which gives space for a rousing guitar solo.

'Carnival Escape' starts off with a bass guitar playing a spy-style solo with a mysterious feel. After a little while, you get that carnival style though, and a rather heavy guitar solo pushes things past the lounge jazz feel that threatens to take over. The carnival gets rather dark and dramatic in some places making you wonder if the title hints not about a carnival you might escape 'to' but one you want to escape 'from'. The synths perform an orchestral effect at one point before the guitars come back in and things actually become nicely dramatic. 'Fin' is the last track and begins with a soft piano solo. Later, an electric guitar contrasts with the simplicity of the piano. There is a little snippet of a ragtime jazz style at one point and a rhapsody at another. Then the band kicks in with a moderate rhythm for a short time before piano takes the lead again. Towards the end, the rhythm takes on a march style bringing the guitars back in for the big finish.

The album isn't too bad, in fact, there are a lot of nice surprises and touches of irony throughout the album. The unfortunate thing is the album at times seems a bit clumsy and I'm not sure that was on purpose. On the later tracks that utilize a synthesized brass section, things are a bit 'plastic' sounding because the effect is a bit overused. If there was going to be that much brass in it, it would have sounded much better to use a real brass section. It is a fun album at times however, and other times it is rather dark. The album is inconsistent in the mood it is trying to provoke, and its hard to tell if that is on purpose or not. But, the band is on the right track and maybe with a little more work, they can get the right sound and mix that they are shooting for.

TCat | 3/5 |

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