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MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE

Neo-Prog • Ukraine


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Modern-Rock Ensemble biography
Vladimir Gorashchenko - Born in Kiev, Ukraine

MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE is a vehicle for the talents of Ukraine's multi-talented Vladimir Gorashchenko. In September 2016 he released the first Modern-Rock Ensemble album "Touch The Mystery". What a fine album it is too. Gorashchenko is certainly no newcomer to the progressive rock world, and indeed one track from the album was recorded back in the 1980s, under a different name, Putnik.

MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE's music is not what I would describe as archetypal Neo Prog. The material is quite varied, with jazzy and ethnic hints, however the overpowering influence is Neo/Symphonic, two genres that tread closely together. Drawing on the classic symphonic sounds of the early 70s, but with a modern twist, the long instrumental passages are a joy to hear. Fans of both genres should find plenty to interest them in the music of MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE.

Gorashchenko is clearly a serious musician, covering vocal, keyboard and guitar duties. On the debut album he is assisted by a guest appearance by the legendary Ukranian musician Anton Kalugin, famous for his work as Karfagen and Sunchild.

It has taken considerable time for this project to hit the ground and it has been well worth the wait. Hopefully a follow-up album will be not as long in the making! As one would expect, background information has been very hard to find.

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MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 187 ratings
Touch The Mystery
2016
4.25 | 80 ratings
Night Dreams & Wishes
2019

MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Night Dreams & Wishes by MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.25 | 80 ratings

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Night Dreams & Wishes
Modern-Rock Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

5 stars A month ago I searched in the web the list of concerts from one of the Classical music orchestras in the city I live. I read that some days later they were going to play Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony. I contacted in Facebook one friend who plays contra-bass in that orchestra to comment about it with him. Some minutes before the start of the concert he very kindly gave me a courtesy free ticket to attend the concert, because it was going to be difficult for me to find one ticket to buy then. This Symphony is not played very often by the Classical music orchestras around the world (due to the use of two Choirs and a Female singer, and the number of musicians used in the Orchestra), so it was an opportunity that couldn't be missed (with me attending the same venue in 1975 with my father to listen to the same orchestra play that Symphony' 44 years ago). That Symphony is almost 100 minutes in length and it is the longest Symphony in the 'current repertoire' that Classical music orchestras play around the world. Mahler is not a very accessible composer for many people around the world, but this Symphony, despite its length in minutes, is very much appreciated and it is maybe one of his most accessible works. I enjoyed the concert very much. In fact, due to the length of the work in minutes it is played alone by Orchestras in a concert date. And this Symphony also has some very elaborated musical parts that are not easy for the listener who listens to it for the fist time.

The second album from MODERN - ROCK ENSEMBLE, called 'Night Dreams and Wishes', is almost 80 minutes in length. And it was an unexpected mail delivery to my house one day, because, as I explained to the person who contacted me by Private Message in the Prog Archives Forums, I stopped visiting this website since July 2018, due to some technical problems which the website had to post some reviews since 2017 for some Prog Rock reviewers like me. So, it was an unexpected mail delivery because I didn't know that this person have sent me a PM in Prog Archives to say to me that they have sent me the CD via Air Mail. So, I opened the mail envelope and I saw this CD, with a very good cover design (with a three- fold Digipack cover, which also includes a poster with the lyrics), similar to the cover design from their first album ("Touch the Mystery" from 2016) which they sent me in early 2017. If the cover design was done with a lot of care' the music in this second album was also done with a lot of care. With a length similar to a 2- LP set from some Prog Rock conceptual albums from the seventies (for example, more or less like 'Tales from Topographic Oceans' by YES, or 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' by GENESIS), the music in this 'Night Dreams and Wishes' album in general is very elaborated, but with some parts being more accessible for the listener. The general concept of the album, called a Suite, is somewhat autobiographical (if I understood it well by reading the notes in the CD cover) , and it is divided in three main themes, with all music and lyrics composed by Vladimir Gorashchenko: a) The night dreams that a person has during sleeping time; b) The childhood memories, with some of them not being very pleasant for the composer of the music and lyrics in this band (and which is more like a solo project, really, with some very good contributions from his very good musicians guest friends); and c) The enemies of all these dreams for the individual (politicians, dictators), with whom the individual has to fight to grow as a person, not matter how hard the war could be. In the end, the individual person wins to grow and to have his personal dreams and wishes become a reality. The music in the first theme of this album is very enjoyable for my taste, being very melodic and quiet in most places, but it gradually becomes heavier, darker and sometimes aggressive in the other two parts of the album, more particularly during the war the individual has to fight with the enemies. Finally, one of my favorite parts from this album is the song titled 'Wake Up', when the individual wins the fight and realizes that his dreams and wishes became true. 'Be yourself despite anything', as the cover notes say.

Maybe the album is too long in length (like 'Topographic Oceans', 'The Lamb' or Mahler's Third Symphony) to be listened to just once. One really has to listen to this album several times to find a whole musical picture. But it is a very good album, maybe a bit excessive in some parts. If their first album was more like a compilation of individual tracks, this second album really took a lot of time to be recorded (30 months, 26 participants, and six recording studios, like the poster notes say). There are some musical parts which sound like being influenced by JETHRO TULL (due to the use of some flutes). Other parts sound like being influenced by New Age Music, or by the early KING CRIMSON of the late sixties and early and mid seventies (some sax and guitar parts, even some Mellotron sounds), or even with some influences from ELP (some organ solos), or even from STEVE HACKETT (some guitar parts). Anyway, there are some very complex musical arrangements (female vocals, Church Organ sounds). It is really an album very influenced by the Prog Rock music of the seventies but using some 'modern sounds' and without losing the musical identity of the composer and the musicians of the band. In conclusion, like their first album, it is a very good album, but more elaborated.

 Night Dreams & Wishes by MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.25 | 80 ratings

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Night Dreams & Wishes
Modern-Rock Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 296

I'm not very comfortable to talk about the prog rock music in the European Eastern countries in general. The main exceptions are Solaris, After Crying and Omega, and more recently, Riverside, Pandora Snail, Daniel Eliseev Project (D.E.P.) and Modern-Rock Ensemble. So, it's always with some expectations when I see that any new project has born in those countries. Thus, it was with a huge curiosity when I knew that a new project was being born in Ukraine in 2015. When I was contacted asking my opinion about that new project, I never hesitated to give my opinion and review it.

As happened with the debut album of Modern-Rock Ensemble, 'Touch The Mystery' I was again contacted by Vladimir Gorashenko in May 2018, asking my opinion about his then future project, an album that would be called 'Night Dreams & Wishes'. Sincerely, I never had the opportunity and time to check it and give him my opinion. I thought the album would probably be released in Christmas time of that year, as happened with his debut. But, it seems that I was wrong. Finally, it seems that his new baby was shown to the world. So, this is now the time to review 'Night Dreams & Wishes'.

As I wrote about his debut, Modern-Rock Ensemble is a musical project of Vladimir Gorashchenko, a composer, poet, keyboardist, guitar player and producer from Ukraine, who was almost unnamed in the Ukrainian scene. About the project's name, he comments that his musical style was strongly influenced by a great heritage of art- rock, jazz-rock, cosmic rock, symphonic rock and ethnic rock which he considers as essential parts of the modern rock music. But, Modern-Rock Ensemble also means that Vladimir wants to get a more complex ensemble or orchestral type of sound.

'Night Dreams & Wishes' is a completely differerent work from 'Touch The Mystery'. 'Touch The Mystery' is an album with only four studio tracks, two symphonic lengthy tracks and two acoustic and short tracks, plus a live influenced jazz track. With 'Night Dreams & Wishes' we have a completely different musical approach. 'Night Dreams & Wishes' is a conceptual album, a true tour-de-force, a much more complex album as usually happens with almost all conceptual albums. The album consists essentially in only one suite with almost eighty minutes lengh, almost instrumental, which is divided into multi-part sections with varied lengths, which are somehow linked with each other, as it should be on all conceptual albums, usually. But, Vladimir was right. At the first listenings it isn't that obvious that the parts of the suite are related. This is difficult and it isn't easy to see. The variations are so subtle that is hard really to catch them easily.

The concept is interesting and curious. It's about our dreams and wishes, the way that Vladimir thinks we must turn them real and not through away the opportunity to make them come true. As he said, we must wake up to real life and don't complaint about the cruelty of it. He chose an interesting character, a Gladiator, to fight and defeat the injustices that we can see all over the world. This isn't an originality. Triumvirat with 'Spartacus' did the same more than forty years ago. But, this is a very dear thing to Vladimir. We have already seen that on 'What Will Happen To My Country' of 'Touch The Mystery' about his country concerns, the Ukraine. But, here he has extended this to the world. Maybe Andrew Nazarenko is right. Maybe Vladimir has been a Gladiator in his entire life. Maybe Vladimir is really a dreamer.

Musically, 'Night Dreams & Wishes' is an ambitious and lengthy piece of music that can be described as Symphonic Progressive Rock, almost on its most classic prog style. As a conceptual album, the music doesn't just exist, it exists for a clear purpose and so we must listen to it in its entire identity. So, I'm not going to talk about the individual tracks since they're somehow related. Anyway, we can feel all over the piece, different moods and a myrial of diferent sounds, some more acoustic and relaxing and others more hard and aggressive, depending on the evolution of the story of the concept. However, as many of my colleagues did, I want to detach the lengthiest suite of the album, 'Dark Kingdom & The Evil King', the real highlight of the album. This is an amazing piece with an impressive myriad of different keyboard sounds, nice flute work that brings to my memory Jethro Tull and magnificent guitar passages that, at times, remind me one the most underrated guitarists, Allan Holdsworth. This is one of the best pieces I've listened in the last past years.

Conclusion: So, despite I already knew that this new work from Vladimir Gorashchenko would be a very different and a more challenging and ambitious work, than the previous one, I must confess that I was overwhelmed by this new one. Sincerely I didn't expect a work with this dimension, both in time and quality. I think nobody makes oeuvres like this, anymore. With this work, Vladimir shows that despite be a great keyboardist and a nice acoustic guitar player, he is an amazing composer too. The man could be easily a classical composer if he wanted. This is a great symphonic tour-de-force with a big touch of jazz/fusion. This is why I'm still thinking that this project would fit better in the Eclectic Prog sub-genre. But, maybe this is only me. So, since I think this is even better than his previous work, I'll give it 5 stars too.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Night Dreams & Wishes by MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.25 | 80 ratings

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Night Dreams & Wishes
Modern-Rock Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by IconiK11

5 stars I have recently given a listen to this new album of "Modern Rock Ensemble". "Night Dreams and Wishes" is a complex, profound and diverse suite, which any other far more "greedy" composer might have split up in 3 to 5 independent albums. But Vladimir has decided to go his own way and make this epic, one of a kind suite, which, in my opinion, is an Essential masterpiece of progressive rock.

Below, let me share some of my impressions, even emotions, experienced while listening to every track of the "Night Dreams and Wishes", since every piece on this album is one of a kind and truly unique to be generalised.

Intro:

The album starts with this spacey, almost New Age piece. It is calm and soothing, but don't let it trick you: the all-surrounding sound prepares you to dive into something much more different and complex.

Ouverture:

The Ouverture starts by "keeping" the calmness of the Intro, but it quickly introduces you to more and more diverse moods you are about to encounter throughout the suite. The Ouverture is "trespassed" by complex pieces with switching time signatures; it teases you with guitar solos you hope to hear getting developed in the rest of the suite (and let me tell you that you Certainty get what you are looking for later on); it hints that there would be some dramatic, epic or sometimes even scary dreams; it also prepares you for some insomnia in between. Long story short, the goal of the Ouverture is achieved - it has introduced you to the musical variety you are about to encounter. The "curtain" opens - the show begins.

Night comes:

An acoustic guitar lures you to the upcoming dreamy adventures. The music is like a wing of the night, which covers you with its magic and sings you to sleep. What stands out for me in this piece is the above-mentioned acoustic guitar, profound and touching strings, nice vocals and, at the end, rhythmic and funky "closure".

Barocco Scherzo:

Nice polyphonic piece with cool flute and surprising ending.

Childhood & School Days:

I would call this part "a suite in a suite". It makes you time-travel from your young and carefree years to the increscent complexity of becoming a teen, making your first decisions, getting into your first fights, making first enemies and sometimes seeing your life fall apart for the first time. But then you are also reminded that there is nothing stronger, brighter nor more innocent than first love.

Insomnia:

This beautiful piece was hard to understand at first. But then I have looked at the name of it and it hit me: insomnia cannot be understood nor analysed. It is Experienced. This track brings that feeling of a hot summer night, when you are in between your dreams and reality, sometimes getting lost between the two, observing your brain creating absurd stories and, at the same time, knowing those whimsical images will bring you peace and sleep.

Dark Kingdom & The Evil King, Part 1:

I appreciate synthesisers in all of the Rise and Fall parts. This one in particular has a Medieval vibe to it, supported by Jethro Tull-like flute, epic organ and atmospheric vocals. The end of this part is balanced out by a hidden gem, a very gentle and beautiful piece I fell in love with.

Dark Kingdom & The Evil King, Part 2:

This part continues conveying the mood of doomed, dark and spooky Evil Kingdom. I love rhythm section of the piece, its guitar solos and, once again, the flute. The feeling of Evil spreading is supported by synthesisers, which add that extra layer of emotions.

Dark Kingdom & The Evil King, Part 3:

This is my favourite part of the "Rise and Fall" trilogy. It is rather pompous, which serves the purpose of showing tragedy and glory behind the world of nobles and fighters. I like the powerful vocals of the piece. Some parts are acted rather than sang, which gives that extra vision of the stage the gladiators are fighting on. This piece is dynamic and fierce. Also, Vladimir follows his already traditional approach of treating the listener with more than just one musical theme and adding something new at the end of the track. In this particular case, the piece is introducing us to a hymn, or even a prayer, which soothes out the drama experienced throughout the "Rise and Fall', which is then followed by cheerful celebration of gladiators.

Wake up:

It is a beautiful and dreamy piece with some nice vocals. It is weightless, though not simplistic at all, and it brings you the sweetest memories. This track is my favourite part of the suite.

Final/Outro:

At first, it continues to convey the mood set by "Wake up". I love oriental motives, achieved by the choice of instruments, as well as appreciate the tension created by the synths. Further in the piece beautiful piano sounds bring us to the final vocal part, which then is wrapped up by the spacey sounds we are familiar with since the Intro, thus, telling us the Dream is over.

Want some more:

This bonus track walks us through all of the emotions and events we were lucky to experience thanks to the composer of the suite. It is a dynamic and energising rock piece.

To briefly sum up, I genuinely loved this album. It was different. Different to the music there is today; different and diverse to itself; different to the previous album of MRE. And within this diversity is generous and emotional experience, granted by Vladimir Gorashchenko to his listeners.

 Night Dreams & Wishes by MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.25 | 80 ratings

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Night Dreams & Wishes
Modern-Rock Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars 'Night Dreams & Wishes' is the 2nd album from the project 'Modern-Rock Ensemble' headed by Vladimir Gorashchenko from Ukraine and released in 2019. This album has really made the rounds in ProgArchives, and has been reviewed several times already, most of them being very positive reviews. This lush, well orchestrated and performed album definitely deserves all of the praise it has been getting, as it is quite an excellent album, full of multi-faceted music. Besides the talents of multi- instrumentalist Gorashchenko, there is a list of 24 other artists that provide the use of their talents to bring this album together.

The tracks 'Intro' and 'Overture' are all instrumental, full of layers of lush synthesizers and other instruments, and many of the themes are introduced here, that will also appear throughout the album. It's not until 'Night Comes. Dreams.' that the vocals start. In the beginning, it is only Vladimir singing, but later, a female guest vocalist joins in, giving some texture to the lyrics and vocal passages. In this track, a combination of peaceful synths and acoustic guitars give the track most of the relaxing sound. This track runs through 5 subsections. All the while, the music moves through lush and accessible landscapes that are well orchestrated, moving from soft, pastoral textures and later, the main spotlight being given over to brassy instruments and heavy guitar giving it more of a jazz/rock fusion. This full sound gives way to a simpler, almost classical sounding style in 'Bracco Scherzo', a short and light piece that reflects a bit of pastoral baroque-ness against a romantic period sound, and then suddenly becoming jazzy.

'Childhood and School Days', another track with several sub-sections, goes back to a chaotic, jazz/rock fusion sound, and even evokes the sound of the hard progressive rock sound that borrows from the likes of early Deep Purple with its heavy organ sound mixed with the spacey effects of synth-generated sounds. This track is a personal one in that it reflects a lot of experiences from Vladimir's own childhood. A sudden switch to a nice, peaceful piano interlude calms the atmosphere which becomes more peaceful when synths are added in, almost sounding like a combination of Vangelis and Tomita. Later, things turn more organic as acoustic guitar and flute return us to a simple and pastoral sound. Around the 7 minute mark, there is a sudden shift to a heavier sound led by guitar and synth, and vocals begin. There is a nice combination of sax, guitar and synth that keep this section heavier, progressive and solid. It's not until well into the 10th minute that the music changes back to a soft, music-box style sound that carries it to the end of the track. 'Insomnia' is the last track, and works as an intermediary track, with a airy and peaceful sound and birds chirping in the background. The music is a bit dissonant and sounds a bit unsettling while it stays light nevertheless.

The next 3 tracks make up the 3 parts to 'Dark Kingdom & The Evil King', each one of these parts having their own subsections, and having an overall timing of 28 minutes. Even though it might come across as an ancient story from the titles of the subsections, the theme is timeless: the use of pawns to fight the wars brought on by the evil politicians and leaders of the world, and these 3 tracks move us through the evil maneuvers of these warmongers. Music and vocals tell the story, and they do it all effectively, the music begin well composed and moving from dark and heavy passages to lighter and nostalgic sections, moving smoothly and seamlessly from one section to the next. It's very progressive as meters, tempos, styles and musical shifts take us through this epic masterpiece. Sections move easily through every style from baroque to heavy prog as these tracks play through, creating an album within an album. More time and story is told through long instrumental passages, that nevertheless, constantly change, and if you follow the section titles as the music goes along, you can easily follow the story that each section is trying to convey. Excellent guitar, organ, synth solos tell most of the story with occasional vocals and narrated sections, but most of the storytelling is left up to the instruments. Overall, this long track moves rather quickly, and even takes on the semblance to some of Rick Wakeman's own ambitious tales told through music, story and choral-like effects and etc, but here we get the balance of several instruments, and we end up with not just a one-man orchestra with guests, but with a one-man extravaganza. It's hard to believe most of this is the compositional responsibility of a single person.

Following this is 'Wake Up'. After the long, epic 3-part track, this one begins with the peaceful sounds of birds and synth, later the acoustic guitar joins in, and eventually the birds fade away as the melody continues, and vocals ala a Ukrainian 'Cat Stevens' sings a simple melody. It's a nice and simple change of pace, enhanced by the Tomita-like whistling synth. The last track is 'Final/Outro'. This track ties things up, closing the album in much the same way that it all opened up, layers of lush synth and acoustic guitar that gets replaced by a more complex and dissonant jazz/rock fusion, then suddenly turning heavy with harsh guitars and soaring synths. Then halfway through, a nice piano interlude brings in the last part bringing back the acoustic guitar, violin and the summation of vocals.

This is quite an excellent kaleidoscope of sounds and styles, quite amazing and well produced. It takes several listens to understand how it is all tied together by recurring themes and sections, and after 77 minutes, it may seem like quite an involved listening session at first, but the more you hear it, the more it becomes appreciated. This is definitely an ambitious undertaking, that at times tends to seem a bit too ambitious and heavy in substance, but overall, it is quite an excellent tour- de-force of progressive (and other) styles arranged in to a very organized and well-composed album. Easily 4 stars.

 Night Dreams & Wishes by MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.25 | 80 ratings

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Night Dreams & Wishes
Modern-Rock Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by Geoff Penn

5 stars The album on review here, entitled Night Dreams & Wishes', is the second full-length album by the Modern-Rock Ensemble, a collaboration of international musicians under the auspices of Ukrainian composer and producer 'Vladimir Gorashchenkoa', (poet, and keyboard/guitar). It is, without doubt, an epic rock assemblage that encompass all aspects of the progressive rock, space rock, jazz rock and classical rock spectrum. Accompanying album notes suggest that the listener 'might not find it obvious that many parts of the suite are related'. And after several plays in the process of reviewing its contents I would subscribe totally to this statement. However, it is an album that will remain on my turntable for quite some time and, as a consequence, I will certainly look forward to investigating further the storylines and in the process, gradually piecing the various musical sections together? To aid clarification and at the end of the review I have included 'Vladimir's' explanatory text which details out the storyline and various links. For me the entire works are a glorious all-embracing musical scrap book that contains a massive wealth of ever-changing musical soundscapes. These movements all combine together to create and contribute to the lengthy seventy eight minute overall score which has the semblance of a mighty rock opera. Buried within the score are of lots of little but familiar musical snippets that jump out at you and beg your attention as they pass you by. My ears anyway picked up cleverly integrated droplets of 'Slaughter on 10th Avenue', 'West Side Story', Isao Tomita 'snowflakes are dancing. All wonderfully captured and sucked into the heart of the score to suddenly spring out and thrill you. But this is the very tip of a magical iceberg of gratifyingly well-constructed keyboard inspired music. The flow of the music between individual and adjoining sections frequently form patterns of everchanging tempos that vary considerably. Instances where slices of raucous guitar and synthesiser entanglements shift seamlessly over to delicately and exquisitely administered acoustic guitar and flute resulting in a plethora of different moods as the style of the music switches constantly throughout the lengthy programme. Dancing like little wisps of sunlight, gorgeous flurries of keyboard electronica add dimension to the main instrumental phrasing. Just so much going on its difficult to take it all in at once especially the added jazz rock fusion excursions which burst forth onto the scene with stunning bass lines, grandiose saxophone passages, frenetic drumming, aggressive percussion and even more keyboard generated mayhem all beautifully layered on top of a vast array of varying background foundations. Even though Vladimir's keyboards are the focal point of the album dynamics, the contributions from the other musicians are enormous. Powerful lead guitar, tremendous bass guitar and saxophone are all amazing. It is clear that the key stand out feature of the entire suite is the fact that it has all been painstakingly put together with care and expertise, no offbeat jam sessions or throw away tracks. The whole production has been perfectly worked out like a major symphony. Whilst the vocal contributions are far and few between there is an enjoyable vocal input from 'Vladimir' and again executed with a mixture of styles ranging from that of tender sweetness to monstrous stage like aggression. Especially the delightful and quite romantic duet 'Night Comes'. Dreams with 'Anastasiia Gorashchenko' The artwork is quality, wonderfully assembled with much thought and care, clearly with the purchaser in mind. Quite the best package I've seen for many a day. Artwork: "Balcony" (1977) by Vitaliy Vasiliyev Summary, another must have top score album and one that represents a veritable and complete musical encyclopaedia of the progressive rock genera
 Night Dreams & Wishes by MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.25 | 80 ratings

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Night Dreams & Wishes
Modern-Rock Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars In 2016 band leader and mastermind of the MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE, Vladimir Gorashchenko launched his debut album after many decades of his on again / off again projects that actually began all the way back in the 80s. With "Touch The Mystery," the MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE which found Gorashchenko on vocals, synthesizers, guitars, sitar and in the producer's seat along with 16 other musicians caught the attention of the prog-o-sphere with an intricately designed blend of disparate styles of progressive rock. While conveniently tagged as neo-prog, the album exhibited a wide swath of influences ranging from the expected symphonic prog styles of Genesis, the derivative neo-prog bands that followed as well as the space rock atmospheres of Pink Floyd. Added to that were touches of classical, heavy rock and early touches of the Moody Blues, and it was no wonder why the prog world was so impressed with this belated effort that took many, many years to achieve.

Well, great things are worth the wait and although it took three years to conjure up a second coming, the MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE triumphantly returns in 2019 with the sophomore album titled NIGHT DREAMS & WISHES which tackles the unusual subject matter of finding inspiration and creativity through the forces that work with us in the night especially in the dream state where we can filter all illusions and unrealistic ideas and sublimate them into reality of course accompanied by the process of extreme effort and will power. The album is another lengthy one that maximizes the playing time of a CD at 78 minutes long and once again delivers an eclectic romp through the prog universe only even more so than its predecessor. Graced with an impeccable production and a cast of over 16 musicians and vocalists, NIGHT DREAMS & WISHES delivers the prog goods in a modern context with references to the past but with an identity existing in its own domain.

While bands like Wobbler and All Traps On Earth have displayed that prog rock is alive and well in the 21st century, those bands exhibit a retro experience whereas MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE sounds like a completely contemporary band, one that has learned from the past but has forged new territories and just one listen to NIGHT DREAMS & WISHES will unleash a plethora of modern day prog excitement unlike many out there who are simply retreading paths already taken. Like "Touch The Mystery," NIGHT DREAMS & WISHES takes the listener down a long and winding musical journey where one can suspend one's expectations for the duration and simply sit back and experience the sonic display of a magnitude rarely matched in the rock music paradigm. While the album is technically divided into 9 tracks with various sub-parts, in reality the entire listening experience is tantamount to one lengthy suite that encompasses a variety of moods, tones timbres and dynamics as well as checking off the list in the prog playbook but what really animates the experience is the creative flow in how it's all presented.

While starting off with a rather ambient mood with "Intro- Night, Universe and Our Inner Space" quickly followed by the cello-rich mellowness of "Overture," it would be easy to think that this was some sort of modern classical album with progressive electronic touches. Yes, the album does take its time on the rocket pad before launching but once it does, it bursts into the same style of jazz-fueled heavy rock that Steve Vai is famous for at least in the guitar department while symphonic keyboard chops and jagged time signatures take you into the prog heaven. The moral of this story is that motifs and cadences come and go. Heavy rock bursts onto the scene and then slowly fades out while organ bombast rules and then trades off. Other tracks exhibit a dreamier side of things such as the placid acoustic guitar strumming on "Night Comes, Dreams" which finds the first signs of vocals which are noticeably less prominent on this second album.

Lullaby rock gives way to flute based folk prog on "Barocco Scherzo" whereas "Childhood & School Days" bursts back into the heavy symphonic prog with the jazzy guitar sequences. "Insomnia" yanks the mood back to the mellow zone with a nice steady stream of flute driven prog but the track really goes off the deep end and delivers a series of avant-prog workouts with jagged angularities right out of the Yugen playbook. One of the highlights is the three part "Dark Kingdom & The Evil King" which swallows up over 28 minutes of playing time. As you can imagine, such ambitious efforts cover a lot of ground and displays the entire sound spectrum of MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE that alternates the symphonic prog with the jazz-fusion heavy rock, the Moody Blues type narrations and a lengthy journey down a technically infused instrumental workout that covers many tempos and time signature workouts. Nice touches include choral vocal efforts and freaky keyboard solos that stake out a new claim on overweening symphonic pomp in the brave new world but in a GOOD way of course!

The album ends much like it began with soft lushly orchestrated dreamy time music and after 78 minutes of listening time seems like a familiar friend. NIGHT DREAMS & WISHES is another excellent chapter in the recurring reality of the MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE who have proved that this project was in no way a one-off enigma and is hopefully here to stay. The music is professionally composed and the production is flawless with all the modern day attributes of keeping the sounds contained in their own spectrum of accessibility. The compositions display a range of complexities but never stray too far into the extremities of weirdness although dissonance and angularities pop up from time to time. Richly based in classical and progressive rock traditions, this album is easily digested for those well versed in the genres. NIGHT DREAMS & WISHES delivers a well laid out run of various tunes but on a personal note, i find it drags on way too much and doesn't take into account that the modern day attention span needs a much more dynamic range of changing things up. While this is a personal preference, i just find that no matter how good an album is, 78 minutes is too much especially given the nebulous subject matter at hand. Nevertheless, another amazing achievement for a talented Ukrainian band.

 Night Dreams & Wishes by MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.25 | 80 ratings

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Night Dreams & Wishes
Modern-Rock Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As it was expected, the long-awaited follower for the patchy debut album Touch the Mystery -- which has gained an enormous amount of 187 ratings with the ratio of 4,04 stars -- is placing Ukrainian MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE rather permanently in the front page's list of the most visited artists now as the album has been for some time available in Bandcamp and the CD edition is finally out. In a word, this 78-minute conceptual suite is ambitious. It can be felt that the artist, Vladimir Gorashchenko, has poured his whole soul, passion, life experience and world view into this work in an almost Mahlerian way. And mind you, I'm not saying this in a positive sense only. The parts follow each other seamlessly (more so than would be possible on a double vinyl album, I guess), so it's a massive piece to digest. In his liner notes VG opens the the concept in detail. Everything is centered around the idea of DREAMING, in both meanings of the word: the sometimes surrealistic visions we see in our sleep, and our wish to reach something grand and desiarable in our lives, ie. to make our dreams come true.

Approximately for the first quarter of the album, cinematic instrumental music is taking the listener into "the voyages with Morpheus"; contained is a calm vocal section about preparing for the night dreams. VG himself sings all the main vocals (with his deep, ageing voice), backed nicely by his daughter in this little song -- and to a lesser degree on the whole album. There's wonderful dynamics between beautiful delicacy -- starring especially VG's keyboards and Bogdan Gumenyuk's flute -- and the more intense moments with a Fusion flavour.

Later on the album starts to raise more ambivalent ("not sure if I like this at all") thoughts in my mind, with its more or less aggressive sections. First in the movement dealing with VG's restless youth, in which e.g. the antipathy towards school is woven into music -- and singing that at times gets poignantly ugly. Also saxophone increases the angry intensity in the music that all of a sudden has a hard, metallic edge.

Short, piece 'Insomnia' contains interesting Gentle Giant-like elements. A very needed interlude between epics.

Then we enter the 28½-minute (and multi-multi-part, if you read the track list and all the descriptive subtitles) movement titled 'Dark Kingdom & the Evil King'. It is radically overblown with its dramatic, and to be frank, rather clichéd plot about mean rulers and hard-lucked gladiators fighting for their lives and eventually rising against the power. During that massive movement my attitude turns rather negative, and it makes me think that the album as a whole is TOO ambitious, that it is being crushed by its own weight. Gosh, there are even some clashing of swords. I do understand that VG is not precisely deling with ancient Romans but with the restless world of today as well. Exactly because of that he maybe had too much aggression to pour into his magnum opus. There surely are also very fine passages along the way, but I find it very hard to sit through all that battling in multiple listenings. (Think of a spectacular and expensive theatre production dealing with something like the ancient Rome: you may well be impressed, but you'd never consider going to see it for a second round.) After that monster movement comes a couple of shorter pieces that are enjoyable and more purely musical (in contrsast to overblown melodrama), although not as climactic as a work of this size would demand.

So, I'm definitely not liking this album without some serious reservations, but for the great musicianship and some excellent moments, four stars are deserved. Also the artwork on the gatefold digipak cover is fine.

 Night Dreams & Wishes by MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.25 | 80 ratings

BUY
Night Dreams & Wishes
Modern-Rock Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by Keyboard Crazy

5 stars Previous album of Modern-Rock Ensemble was interesting but I am not a big fan of compilation albums. However, my opinion towards 'Touch the Mystery' is changing. MRE has quite special sound and style. On Monday I've received the CD 'Night Dreams & Wishes' and was quite impressed by the quality of the album design. However, what impressed me much more is the Suite itself. VG, as Vladimir calls himself on the sleeve to avoid his complicated surname, is a great 'story teller'. And according to each story (or dream) he had chosen a different genre or style of music. Intro ' done in space rock plus fusion with splashes of flute and some soprano sounds. I had impression of sky full of stars at night and it really turned me in some philosophical, meditative and dreamy, mood. It's a great start. The Overture is very interesting piece of music starting from neo-classic strings, backing guitar riffs, nice cello solo developing into a brighter part with synth harp that later in the suite depicts the morning. However, immediately after that the Overture becomes alive with different rhythms and time signatures, and one by one we are facing the short themes that later will be developed in the Suite. Night Comes. Dreams. It's really one of the most magical parts of the album with elements of retro-prog, space-rock, new age, ambient and a bit of fusion. There are flying fretless bass, acoustic guitars, absolutely charming flute, and then it develops with intriguing tapping guitars, saxes and penetrating guitar solos in the final part. However, some parts are a bit too short. Barocco scherzo starts with a medieval theme, but later on gives an impression that Frank Zappa and his 'Mothers' have joined and spoiled the party. Funny and interesting. Childhood and Schooldays. Very different moods and at times very provocative piece. Story starts with young hooligans, but later on it falls into absolutely amazing Nostalgia played mostly on piano with a little help from guitar, flute and Mellotron. Further on we are coming through funny and a bit naive impressions of childhood with flute and acoustic guitar, there is sweet and nice Mother's Lullaby and' all of a sudden starts 'Schooldays'! It's one of the most interesting and complicated songs due to different rhythms and time signatures. I can hear elements of hard rock, Frank Zappa, jazz-rock and fusion with John MacLaughlin melted together. Very interesting piece and great musicianship: powerful drummer, strong bass, cool guitars and synths. This part ends with very fragile 'First Love' played on synth celesta. The whole piece has reminded me of us hanging out together after school, getting lost in Bronx, chilling with friends, talking girls and just living life to its fullest. Insomnia. This piece IMO is one of the most charming pieces on the album with elements of avant- garde and a 'respect nod' to Gentle Giant as far as I understood from the notes on the album. Nightingales, tapping guitar, flutes and glockenspiel are really fantastic. VG comments on the poster that flutes were played by him on synths ' my compliments. Dark Kingdom and the Evil King Part 1 - Part 3 is the central, most emotional, dark and sometimes very aggressive part of the Suite. I would say that it's a small Suit in itself. I love the Dark Kingdom part with very dark Mellotron and live strings ' it sends shivers down my spine. It continues with The Ball in the Dark Kingdom with a great duo of guitar and flute. In the Part 2 Sympho rock, hard rock, jazz-rock and eclectic prog floods one into another. For me this part of the Suite is very cool, full of great guitar solos, synths, duos and great drumming. I have a lot of emotions respecting the 3 parts, development of the story and a number of intermediate culminations in these parts. In my opinion, Vladimir has his very specific harmonies, melodies and short penetrating solos. One can feel these fights, despair and horror of the battlefield. After 'The Gladiators', which serves like a final culmination of the battle, we are facing the Hymn sung by Vladimir's daughter and very RPI 'The Gladiators' Feast' with elements of tarantella. It's a nice and very joyful final for rather dark, dramatic and complicated piece. Wake Up. A breath of fresh air. Very nice and bright piece after the passion and drama of the previous parts. It starts with the morning birds, theme from the Overture, nice synth solo and some Latin elements in music. Really love it. Lady's voice fills it with hope and beauty. Final / Outro. In the beginning it repeats the part from Wake Up with synth pads instead of the birds singing, but after one minute it becomes alive with passion, temptations and time signatures leading us through some previous parts of the Suite. However, after the emotional part Vladimir calms us down with nice chords on grand piano and reminiscences of the main theme on the 12 string guitar. Charming. Now we are in the final part with all three vocalists, flute, guitars, synths, fretless bass and strings. It ends with brief reprise from Intro. Great piece of sympho rock. What is very interesting and impressive on this album for me, except for the music, is the way guitars, synths and flute were playing in different pieces. They were soothing us down, lulling, telling a story, and then fighting, screaming, wailing and crying. They reflected all of the feelings and events in the Suite. That makes Vladimir's stories or Night Dreams full of life. Before I've recieved the CD I've already listened to the album on the Bandcamp. And you know I was missing something and 'wanted some more'. I don't know why VG have not included this piece in the CD. Ok, it's his decision. I don't understand as well what is the title of the 3-rd piece: in one comment it's called 'Night Comes', in another one it's 'Night, Sleep Tight', and then it's 'Night Creeps in Town'. It's a small fault, but it's good to avoid such things. It's a great album and for sure I will listen to it some more times, many more times.
 Night Dreams & Wishes by MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.25 | 80 ratings

BUY
Night Dreams & Wishes
Modern-Rock Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars "Night Dreams & Wishes" has been released as MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE's second full-length album in September, 2019. The director of MRE Andrew NAZARENKO says this album was produced as sorta progressive rock suite in collaboration with international musicians. His words made me have great expectations, and notified me the creation cannot betray us.

At first "Overture" has mysterious power giving you dreams and wishes, maybe due to Vladimir's fascinating keyboard works. Grandeur in the beginning, speedy, quirky explosive riffs in the middle, an incredible battle of guitars and drums ... all are pretty tasty. A short interlude "Barocco Scherzo" is another addiction, where wind instruments and horn sections form mystic musical stories. "Insomnia" is melodic instability (makes sense really, because it's one of my clitical issues). Sounds like they say this splendid uneasiness might be real "hardships" before experiencing dreamy dreams.

Maybe as everyone mentions, "Dark Kingdom & The Evil King" suite should be one of their masterpieces here. Weird synthesizer-based infernal earth rumblin', complicated / supreme guitar-oriented visualization, quiet harmonies featuring guitars, keys, and a flute ... lots of sound elements merged together like a silky veil of an Angel, but they never forget rock-ish mainstream. Neo-Prog-ish hard / a tad metallic sound waves with brilliant keyboard hints in Part 2 will be much appreciated by Art Rock fans (of course also my love). Needless to say, their rhythm section should be the core of Ensemble and greatly support all around as a strict framework. And another fantasy comes in the latter of Part 3 ... as if we would get immersed in kinda Heavenly moment after getting over tough, heavy, dark trial ground.

Finally you can have a future hope in "Wake Up" filled with fresh cool atmosphere. This track is crazy comfortable. Acoustic guitar whispers with slapping bass sounds and electric birdsongs drive you into cool clean air and delightful sunshine. Obvious activity and vitality you can possess in "Final / Outro" full of vivacious, enjoyable rock structure, and the newer day comes ...

Sometimes surprising various musical / melodic elements come up one after another, but this opus can be called as a wonderful storytelling based upon superb instrumental techniques. You can imagine all of MRE players have strong intention and energy for this creation.

 Night Dreams & Wishes by MODERN-ROCK ENSEMBLE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.25 | 80 ratings

BUY
Night Dreams & Wishes
Modern-Rock Ensemble Neo-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars I've never heard of this band until Andrew Nazarenko, who sings in this album has asked me to review it. From the album's notes I see that this is aone man project by the multi-instrumentist Vladimir Gorashchenko (unusual for an "ensemble") , but with a very lot of guest artists. I have noticed the presence of three bassists, a strings section and numerous vocalists.

So let's see what it's about: first of all it's intened as a single long suite, apparently about the eternal fight between good and evil, but inside somebody's dream. I don't have other information, so this is what I have guessed. There aren't much lyrics as the album is mainly instrumental.

The 3 minutes introduction reminded me to the first track of "Land of Cockayne" by SOFT MACHINE, mainly for the mood. Being that an album that I like, despite what the hard fans of SM think, for me it's a very good start. Some passages are evocative, like parts of the Blade Runner soundtrack, even if not that dark. With the "Ouverture" it's clear that we are inside a suite. There's no solution of continuity between the intro and this, but here we start having percussion, odd signatures and a number of changes. I mean that there are many themes alernating inside this track, some of them will recur later. I have no other artists o compare this to. The strong bass, the keyboards, the signatures can be compared to YES, but the guitar doesn't have much to do with Howe's or Banks or Rabin's styles. "Night Comes, Dreams" starts with classical guitar over a keyboard layout. Guitar, keyboard and fretless bass, then the low pitched voice recalls CAMEL , but comparing this music to somebody else is just to give the idea. At this point I must say that I'm pleasantly surprised. This album is better than expected. Probably CAMEL is the best reference. Bogdan Gumenyuk at flute is as good as Mel Collins. The slap on bass sounds like a stick, and having mentioned Mel Collins, Gumenyuk is very good at Sax, too.

"Barocco Scherzo" is a little weirder. The main keyboard theme has a RPI sound, but the strange signature makes the difference. "Childhood and School Days" has some funky, too jazzy to be compared to Camel, with some darker parts which make the difference. Effectively, it' s more than a single track. Various themes come one after the other. A part of keyboards and guitar with no percussion followed by flute and piano is pure beauty. Incredible how it turns into a funky-jazz Zappaesque tune in the sung part. "Insomnia" is a short interlude featurinng a very good bass with flute and (glockenspiel?) playing a strange tune. It gives the idea of somebody unable to fall asleep.

Now the three tracks which follow are three part of something called "Dark Kingdom & The Evil Suite" which complessively score about 30 minutes. It would deserve a review on its own. It's darker than the previous tracks, as one can expect from the title. Robert FRIPP would probably like it. I won't describe the whole 30 minutes, apart of saying that it's very various even maintaining a dark flavor throughout the suite. Some Emersonian passages, some sounds like VANGELIS, 30 very enjoyable minutes.

A sweet "Wake Up" stops the bad dreaming. Acoustic guitar and keys on major and 7th+ chords and the baritone voice of, I suppose, Vladimir Goraschenko with the female harmonies of Anastasia Gorashenko. It's like CAMEL meet Ennio MORRICONE, plus the omnipresent flute. The Final/Outro is not much different in style. Ok, we had some bad dreaming, but now everything is fine and the album can happily go to its conclusion. In the various parts, the keyboard sounds go from WAKEMAN to EMERSON. It's another excellent track full of "classic prog". The only problem that I have with this album is that the various tracks have a very lot of different sections, like they were just a collection of short tunes tied together. Everything good, anyway.

There's time for a short bonus track, even if the lyrics are still about dreams, it's a rock song, quite different from the rest, good if taken alone but I find it "outplaced".

I'm enthusiastic about good part of the album, also because it exceeded my expectations, but I can't give it the maximum. It's an excellent addition, very above the average.

Thanks to Roj for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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