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Arlekin - Disguise Serenades CD (album) cover





3.34 | 48 ratings

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3 stars "Disguise Serenades" is the sole project by Arlekin with all instruments and vocals performed by Igor Sidorenko from Ukraine. Unlike Igor's other band that is Post Rock instrumental, Arlekin have a retro Neo Prog sound familiar to those who have had their ears blessed by the magic of Marillion, especially when Fish was at the helm in the 1980s. Igor's voice at times has a theatrical quality like Fish or early Peter Gabriel in his Genesis art rock phase. This quality in vocal tone is noticeable on 'The Lost Path' and 'Dance of the Jester' and the music is dominated by staccato keyboards, with a Hammond sound. The mix on the vocals is a bit too loud at times, and wavering in melody becomes distinct. However the music is spellbinding with wall to wall passages of flute synth, heavy drums and bass rhythms, along with memorable guitar riffs. Igor is an accomplished guitarist and allows himself room to perform some amazing solos. I actually heard this album earlier before I received the album and did not realise this music was generated by one artist. This in itself is an incredible achievement. There is a great deal of passion injected into the songs, and Igor pours out his heart in the lyrics.

'Romance' has a similar intro melody to Pink Floyd's 'Empty Spaces' but the verses are very different. The vocals are a bit shaky but they improve on 'In This Puzzled Roundabout' the best song on the album. I love the bass on this, and the way that it builds into some aggressive distorted guitar riffs. The simple crashing cymbals are effective, and it really picks up when the tempo changes direction and a synth solo follows along ascending musical phrases. The length at over 15 minutes gives room for Igor to lash out on the keyboards and experiment with varying tempo changes and time signatures. There is a terrific lead break amongst all the prog, and Igor's voice sounds like Gabriel when it is multi-tracked. The twin guitar medleys are particularly effective, with a distinct Neo quality. Overall this song is worth checking out to experience Arlekin at it's best.

Arlekin will appeal to those who enjoy the likes of Babylon, Pink Floyd, early Genesis or Marillion. It is astonishing how one musician can create such beautiful music with so many layers and time signature changes. I can recommend "Disguise Serenades" to those who like their prog with experimental musicianship and lashings of keyboards and theatrical vocals.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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