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Music review from MusicDish Industry e-Journal for album 'Between Two Mirrors' (in English)
I went to my PO Box and was surprised to see a package from Russia. In all my years of covering independent bands from around the world, this was a first. I felt honored and flattered that a group from that far away would bother to send me their CD. Out of curiosity I took the CD and put it in my stereo and flipped through the tracks to listen to bits of each song. I heard Russian lyrics and some ambient music. I had my doubts if this was something that would catch my ear. I put the CD to the side with the intent on getting back to it the next day. What a difference a day makes. I had new ears and more of an open mind this time around to give this music a fair shot. I really liked what I heard. I didn't understand the lyrics but I did notice the lead singer had a good voice. The music is an interesting blend of ambient and progressive with just a slight hint of jazz around the edges. The entire CD was something new and different for me. That is something that a reviewer desperately needs at times and this recording filled that desire very nicely. There are some beautiful keyboards and vocals provided by Evgeniy Gorelov, Irina Yunakovskaya plays the cello to add the classical touch, Mihail Voronov fills in the spaces with some great guitar work, and Mijail Brovarnik holds down the backbeat on bass with Yuriy Smolnikov on drums.
This isn't real exciting music, it's too ethereal and light to fall into that category. This is the kind of music you need to sit down and listen to intently to decide what it can do for you, it's simple as that. It was a relaxing trip to outer space for me. We all need to leave this plane on occasion to regenerate and this music opened that door.
More about Between Two Mirrors:
Track Listing: Cold / The Wood Cutter / Give A Chance / Through The Love / The Thunderstorm Is Coming / The Mist / Termites / Minute / Jackdaws / Three Colors
Evgeniy Gorelov - keyboards, vocals
Irina Yunakovskaya - cello
Mihail Voronov - guitars
Mijail Brovarnik - bass
Yuriy Smolnikov - guitar, vocals
Inna Galasheva - drums (8, 9)
Maksim Karavaev - computer effects (10)
Keith 'Muzikman' Hannaleck
Music review from InternetEd Music Review Site for album 'All Day Home' (in English)
All Day Home is Russian progressive rock band Romislokus' third album. Although the term 'progressive rock' helps to depict the broad musical style of this group, it does not effectively describe their distinctive sound that includes melodic alternative guitars, effect laden synthesizer tones, and artistically abstract lyrics. Unlike Romislokus' last album, Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn, which consisted of purely Russian lyrics, All Day Home features lyrics performed in English all the way through, with the exception of two tracks, one in Italian, the other in French. Basically, the sound on All Day Home is a bit faster and more rock oriented than on the mostly electro-ambient/acoustic Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn, although the distinctive stamp of Romislokus' multihued sound is still evident. The biggest change between this album and the previous are the guitars, which have been given a volume boost and tend to use more distortion than before. Otherwise, the subtle keyboards, calmly performed vocals, and thick bass share about the same proportion of the production that they did on the band's previous work. The general impression is that the band has progressed to a new sound that is a balance of both refreshingly different and contentedly familiar elements, making for an entirely enjoyable listen.
Opening track, 'Cool' is a catchy prog rock song with some excellent hook riffs and an overall dazzling musical arrangement, while 'Dreg' is an interesting tune with an eerily ambient Pink Floyd style verse and a pleasantly bizarre chorus. The brief yet sublime 'L'amour' features a variety of outstanding bass and bluesy guitar melodies coupled with French lyrics, and the space ballad titled 'If' incorporates some well-orchestrated keyboards and piano as well as tactful guitar riffs and vocal lines. On 'Freedom,' the word 'freedom' itself is personified in the creative lyrics that are conveyed throughout the resonant verses and anthemic choruses, while 'Tired' is an interesting track with some unexpectedly funky guitar fills. Romislokus unleashes some of their most directly engaging music on 'Name,' a song driven by highly melodic guitars and deep, harmonious vocals. Closing out All Day Home are two tracks from the band's last album (the pristine Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn), 'A Tree By The Wall' and 'Captain Zero,' the former of which is a majestic song with an entrancing ambience and the latter of which is an immensely enjoyable progressive/alternative rock song. Generally, if you appreciate innovative and honest music with progressive rock overtones, then Romislokus' All Day Home is the perfect album for you.
Summary: Amusing and experimental prog rock album from this talented Russian band
Music review from European Progressive Rock Reviews for album 'Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn' (in English)
A major album of 2002
Here is an album that is impossible to take out of your CD player. It has that rich seam of creativity running right through it and is impossible to stop playing until you've savoured every last note, every influence that this music soaks up. It has an air of lasting beauty that never diminishes and creates an atmosphere you can cut with a knife.
The band Romislokus now mostly live in Moscow, they released their first album in 2001 entitled 'Between The Mirrors'. The style/influence of this new offering stems from many varied directions and blends, such as classical, electronic, ambient, classic rock with female backing vocals and strings, all tinged with progressive rock influences.
All musicians and singers involved display a caring passion for the music. The arrangements are full and complete and everything is held together with the cello and violin which grace the music with chilling yet soulful notes. The violin, but most especially the cello, is well used giving this whole body of work a haunting almost classical edge. The end result is an album and band who can compete with the best that Europe can offer.
Lastly, I have to mention the vocals by Yri Smolnikov. He has a superb husky voice (all vocals in Russian) that adds to the beauty and dimension of this whole melodic album.
It opens with 'The Snow Of The Rails' which has a melodic, shimmering, almost ambient backdrop overlaid with programmed percussion, a very haunting track that bursts into life in the last quarter.
The cello comes into play on the classic rock track 'The Face Of A City' which has an infectious melodic tune and beat with chiming guitars and keys. This guitar style can also be found on the mighty 'Miss The Target' which has a dark, sombre intro that eventually develops with the violin, cello and Yri's superb husky voice. Track 5, 'It Is Winter', sums this masterful album up with its mix of tubular bells, strings and infectious rhythm that contains elements of acoustic, synth, progressive and yes, classic rock.
Another new direction can be found on 'A Tree By The Wall'. This track has a Spanish/Latin sound that conjures up images of spaghetti westerns then darts off into ambient areas followed by some chilling cello notes, eventually returning to the opening theme. This really is quality composing. Finally, this album tips right into electronic music with track 8, 'Tuner' which comes straight out of the territory where Tangerine Dream reside.
To sum up, this is an irresistible major piece of composing and performing by all concerned. For the most part all the instruments are underplayed giving this project a truly professional sound where no one musician is trying to impress or overstate their importance over fellow members. As mentioned, the cello and violin are a welcome addition to this kind of music and hopefully more bands will pay attention to these instruments. The female backing vocals also add variation and depth especially on 'The Face Of A City'. On first hearing this album it sounded mellow and thoughtful but on further listening the power seemed to become more evident till this whole body of work gelled and became extremely consistent. This band prove that Russia should not be overlooked when searching for superb musicians and equally important, new music directions and ideas. They create the same passion and emotion in their music as the Estonian musician Igor Garsnek and the Italian Lucio Lazzaruolo. Romislokus bring a lasting breath of fresh air to a genre that sometimes can become predictable. Faultless. 100%
Music review from Prog Lands for album 'All Day Home' (in English)
This is the third CDs of this Russian band, and it is really not progressive all the way. There is a lot of pop-rock music from different style, American and English rock, Italian popular rock, rock'n'roll, techno-pop music, Alternative rock, Electronic effects, folk, classical music, ambient music and prog, yes it rest some place for few prog here and it seems to be like WATERS and GABRIEL music. There is enough kinds in this album to call this music progressive as I see elsewhere, but to me only a little part of it is prog.
'Cool' start as 'MEN AT WORKS' with some more electronic things, really alternative like song. 'Dreg', could be like GABRIEL with a diabolic trend in it on some parts. 'L'Amour' start also with an alternative trend and turning to a poppish blues-rock when is the time of the french vocals. 'If' remind me the rock of CLAPTON or BOWIE in a more adult-rock trend. 'Freedom' is another time looking as BOWIE and GABRIEL with a great refrain with nice keys and good drumming at the end. 'I'm Tired' is a funky based song with some crazy guitar a bit like in the KC's 'Elephant Talk' song. 'Name' is a slow dance of the rock'n'roll's period, a little trip here through the 50's. 'Persici' got a cool cello line, that give a little prog trend, rest of the song is more as an Italian's soft rock in the beginning and as a popular soap opera like song or beach music later. 'Tree by the Wall', start with some ambient element but turn rapidly toward a WATERS/GABRIEL mixed-up and remind the track 'Far from the Harbour Wall' from RICK WRIGHT. It's the more progressive one from this album to my sense and contain a very cool strange side, the song contain two parts that are more electronic, the second one end the song. 'Captain Zero' remid me U2, TEARS FOR FEARS, with a nice ending with female vocals.
So finally do not think to find a lot of prog here, and anything new also, except some weird mix between different style by the different instruments, but the music is well done, good production, big sound and especially a very large range of style and sounds. Great cello also and two guitarist. I am far than being a purist, I like what the band do because they do it well and with heart, but it's not really an album for the fans of the FLOWER KING or even YES.
Music review from European Progressive Rock Reviews for album 'Trans Aviation Pilots' (in English)
The Moscow based band return with another example of their unique brand of inventive rock that is equal to their previous works. I have no idea what the music scene is like in Moscow but if this band is representative of it then there must be something special going on. The major thing about these guys is the way they blend Anglo and Latin influences into their material.
This time their classic tracks "Captain Zero" and "Tree Behind The Wall" are not here but this album does contain another classic, namely "Money" which should easily become as important as the aforesaid songs with its tubular bells, chiming guitars and hammond organ. The track "Flanders Fields", the poem written by John McCrae and put to music, demonstrates the Ango/latin influences to perfection and actually comes out like something Mark Knopfler could have written, this is another classic moment for Romislokus. This new album is more thoughtful than their previous one and it creates a great atmosphere, no doubt due to the fact that the cello is back in a big way alongside acoustic guitars and great use of the keyboards. The end result is that the overall mood and direction is more in the style of their "Vinyl Spring Digital Autumn" album of a couple of years back. Track 5, "Come Tomorrow", is a typical example of where Romislokus bring all these elements together; synths, great percussion, drums, guitars and computers. Even on the rockier tracks the mood is irresistible, especially when they remind me of "Kraftwerk" and "Men Without Hats" on the track "Rocking Time".
The cello is at its best on the sinister sounding "Being In A Plastic Box" and the deep but light sounding "Computer Moon" which could nearly be described as a Russian equivalent to an acoustic blues song. The cello again is particularly effective on the haunting "Take My Heart". This track demonstrates the strength and importance of the cello when it blends in with an acoustic guitar and yes, even when the keys and electric guitar enter, the drone of the cello still adds to the tension. There are also a couple of light and extremely commercial songs; the happy and carefree "Lucky Man" and the more thoughtful "Just Dream", both of which add to the delight of this album and work brilliantly alongside the more heavyweight tracks. Lastly, they have included a video of the band performing "Dreg".
We at E.P.R.R. feel that this band deserve all the praise they can get, they really are special, so we have included them in our new "Rock" Hall Of Fame. This album deserves 90%
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