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erik neuteboom
3 stars This is a very special musical project that started on the Internet where singer Will Mackie (from a pastoral village in Wales) and multi- instrumentalist Antony Kalugin (from a busy city in the Ukraine) got in touch with each other. They shared a love for progressive rock and this has resulted in the release of this debut album by Hoggwash. The name is derived from a spirit that helps people to come from the dark into the light if they are desperate or feel broken, this symbolizes that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

The sound of Hoggwash is more symphonic prog but less adventurous than Antony his other project Karfagen. Nonetheless, Hoggwash has succeeded to make varied and interesting music with flowing shifting moods and good breaks, often topped with strong solos on keyboards and guitar. The first composition is the long and captivating Out Of The Darkness: lots of variety (from compelling and dreamy to mid-tempo and bombastic) and a lush instrumentation featuring fluent synthesizer runs, heavy guitar riffs, wah-wah guitar, powerful vocals, mellow hobo, warm classical guitar and some accordeon. The colouring with the keyboards is wonderful with the sound of brass, Hammond and Mellotron. The other seven tracks also manage to keep my attention for the full running time like in Road Of Many Challenges (from dreamy with soaring keyboards, flute and Mellotron to compelling with howling guitar and mid-tempo with sensitive guitar and flashy synthesizer flights), Like A Miracle (strong interplay between varied keyboards and guitar along good solos), Another Friday Night (beautiful mellow atmosphere with acoustic guitar, a slow rhythm with howling guitar and bombastic with Hammond, synthesizer runs and wah-wah guitar) and the dreamy final song The Last Horizon delivering a slow keyboard solo, flute and acoustic guitar. This CD is a strong calling card by Hoggwash!

The special bonus CD contains five tracks: Seashell is a bit spacey, Rainbow Part 1 delivers both swinging Fender Rhodes piano as xylophone, Rainbow Part 2 has a tight mid-tempo with exciting keyboard work and the final two songs (from Antony his New Age solo albums) sound ... quite mellow. It also contains video footage from a Karfagen rehearsal including the previously not released song Waiting For A but this 'Caveman reviewer' cannot play it on his computer... My rating: 3,5 stars.

Report this review (#150415)
Posted Monday, November 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was introduced to this band by a friend, and I've taken a keen interest in Ukrainian keyboardist Antony Kalugin and his various projects (among them, Sunchild, Karfagen and The Spacious Mind), and I find Hoggwash to be a nice eclectic blend: symphonic prog laced with rocking guitar riffs and nice keyboard runs, an occasional folksy feel, and even at times a bigband-like swing. There's alot to like here, and I glean occasional musical references to the like of Mike Oldfield and Bo Hansson. Above all else, melodies are very strong and central on the CD's (as well as the bonus disc's) tracks.

My personal favorite is the track Another Friday Night. It takes a couple of minutes before the musical direction of the track is unveiled, and it becomes highly contagious, with a brillian chorus sung of the words Dirty money's money no matter where it's been.

I find this work and its mastermind highly commendable and recommend it strongly to anyone who enjoys longer pieces fleshed out with nice guitar and keyboard runs. The vocals are strong and lyrically compelling. I anxiously await the next work Kalugin sets his energy to.

Report this review (#174012)
Posted Sunday, June 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hoggwash. What can you say about the name? I have to admit that it immediately turned me off and they were relegated to the heap of new bands that I was not going to invest any time or effort into investigating further. Just because of the name. But I have to tell you, do not be put off by the name because this is some very fine, mainly keyboard driven prog that should appeal to a lot of neo/symphonic listeners here.

Thanks to Erik Neuteboom for helping me get past the name and listening to some samples on the Hoggwash website. I deemed it worthy of purchase and have a very fine album with loads of melodies. The band is the brainchild of Welshman Will Mackie, founder of the Caerllysi Music label. From what I can tell, he wrote the music and brought in Ukrainian sensation Antony Kalugin to be the man to get the music played. His keyboards are the main force but there are quite a bit of very nice guitars throughout and that are given the spotlight with some lovely solos. The rest of the band complements the proceedings professionally. The flute, oboe and strings are also featured. The best comparison I can make to another band is Satellite and this album should be a no brainer for fans of that Polish outfit. Even Kalugin's vocals have a bit of that Satellite sound. Low and husky, they are not as powerful as some others out there, but they certainly fit well with the music here.

As far as the Satellite comparisons, I think this album is a bit more adventurous. After the first listen, you may be underwhelmed but further spins show that there is a lot going on and there is more meat on the bone than you might think. The tempo varies and the sound is full, with the main instruments standing out and providing great melodies. Guitarist Roman Philonenko really shines both in backing up the bountiful keyboards and when given one of his many solos. They range from slow and tasteful to occasionally blazing. They do not overstay their welcome as there are many more keyboard runs to get to.

I urge anyone with an open mind to check out the samples to get a taste of what is on display here. This is modern prog that can appeal to the old school folks who like their keyboards plentiful and varied. Kalugin is a guy who delivers and bears watching in the coming years. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoy this and look forward to more from Hoggwash. A solid four stars. Now, about that name.

Report this review (#205195)
Posted Tuesday, March 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars It takes a brave band to name themselves "Hoggwash". Quite honestly, I would have fully understood had they selected a name like "Giant Hogweed". But Hoggwash? A name like that invites comparisons that - quite frankly - are beneath this band. I'm must be missing some great joke or backstory here so feel free to enlighten me if you are "in the know".

Anyway, the sound is reminiscent of Camel and the proggier side of Alan Parson's Project. Antony Kalugin is quite adept at creating long and expressively flowing keyboard solos. The sound is lush and the keyboard patches warm and smooth even as they cut through the mix. Far from fading into the background, it is Kalugin's key solos that provide energy and thoughtful movement to this music. As such, I consider them the high point of "the Last Horizon".

Vocals are mellow and competent if a bit on the melodramatic side, which I understand is in keeping with the preference of many neo-prog fans. They aren't "over the top" with hyper-emotion by any stretch. They remind me of a mellow version of some 80's new wave band like Talk Talk perhaps - or a softer version of Saga's longtime singer Michael Sadler.

There is a certain 'sonic sameness' throughout much of this album. It is entirely enjoyable and listenable. Even so, a little widening of the timbral pallate along with the introduction of some more compositionally intense sequences could set the stage for these dreamy sequences to carry a greater emotional weight and impact.

Check out the generous samples at the band's webpage. If you like what you hear, rest assured there is plenty more of the same high quality music to be enjoyed on the album. 3 stars.

Report this review (#280192)
Posted Saturday, May 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This Hoggwash started as a project of Ukranian phenomenon Antony Kalugin and the founder of Caerllysi Music Will Mackie.Mackiee has been a long-time Progressive Rock enthusiast and seller and had the chance to meet Kalugin via the internet.The two started composing together material with an intention to release it sometime.This time came at the fall of 2006, when they entered the Kfg Studios in Kharkiv along with a few guest musicians and recorded Hoggwash'es debut ''The last horizon''.The whole seesion ended in summer 2007 and the album was released in October, of course on Mackies's Caerllysi label.

By the time Kalugin had already started to run the KARFAGEN project and the material of Hoggwash has strong resemblances to Kalugin's first project, although it lacks its extreme diversity.''The last horizon'' sounds basically as an album created by a British Neo/Symphonic Prog group, it features all the dreamy atmospheres of the genre, clean and expressive voices, nice melodies and emphatic instrumental ideas, especially in the longer tracks.The sound is much keyboard-driven with lots of soaring synthesizers and grandiose moves, somewhat reminiscent of early PENDRAGON.Guitars are great, very melodic, smooth and sensitive, but there are also moments of power in the album, featuring scary organ waves and a bit of edge in the electric solos and leads.The main difference from the mass of Neo Prog bands is that the duo has flavored its style with some OLDFIELD-ian, ethnic ambiences, much what Kalugin was doing with KARFAGEN at the time, while the more flashy synth lines have a slight Electronic feel.The album contains also some surprising bits of Mellotron, but forget about any tendencies towards old-styled music, ''The last horizon'' is melodic and fresh Neo/Symphonic music full of synth layers and cinematic atmospheres.

An album, which will appeal to all fans of Neo Prog and melodic, keyboard-driven Symphonic Rock.Warmly recommended.

Report this review (#1198720)
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2014 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars My second Ukrainian review this week: the Hoggwash debut is an album that I have bought as download many years ago, I don't remember exactly when and why, but the singer and composer William Mackie is Welsh, and around 2007, the year of the album's release I was working in North Wales, so it's possible that I've heard of it then.

William's voice sometimes sounds similar to Peter Gabriel, and some Genesis influence is evident, but it's not the main element in their music. The album opens with a sort of an epic: a 15 minutes track reminding more to YES than to GENESIS. Symphonic for sure.

In the days of a bloody and unjustified war the major chords and in particular the sweetness of the closing track can make us regret about the past. The lyrics of "Under A Rainbow Sky", the third track, is what has pushed me to write this review. I hope I'm not making a copyright infringement in putting here four lines:

We're heading west under a rainbow sky On the move at last and I'm feeling high Cause I'm laughing not crying Yes I'm living not dying

Hearing those words while the Ukrainian cities are under the bombs because the Nation was "heading west" sounds weird to me.

But if we can forget the war for a while, this is a good album, very well composed and arranged, with very positive feeling on which the guitars of the guests Roman Philonenko and David Todua enter here and there with good solos while Antony Kalugin (Karfagen) takes the big duties of keyboard and percussion. The album sound is also enriched by a little orchestra of guests at string, flute, oboe and so on.

I apologize for having paid the right attention to the album only because of the current tragic situation. The album has its own merits, and I've heard that the second Hoggwash effort should be even better.

Let's support Ukrainian and Russian artists: the seconds aren't guilty for what their criminal-in-charge is doing.

Disclaimer: should I have infringed any progarchives policy, please admins feel free to delete this review. I can rewrite it if it's the case.

Report this review (#2696320)
Posted Wednesday, March 2, 2022 | Review Permalink

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