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(44:00; Daniel Eliseev)
TRACK LIST: 1. Alter Ego 5:27 2. Night Shadow 7:06 3. Pandora and Epimetheus 7:11 4. Awakening 2:18 5. Broken Consciousness 5:09 6. Hidden Voices 3:50 7. A Song for You 3:01 8. The Journey Along 9:58 LINEUP: Daniel Eliseev - guitars, bass, keyboards, programming, vocals with: Konstantin Djambazov - vocals, keyboards George Varamezov - drums, glockenspiel, bass Venci Pavlov - bass Anelia Toteva - vocals Kalin Tonev - keyboards Emil Mihov - viola da gamba Sara Panosyan - violin Pavel Stoychev - tambourine
Prolusion. Bulgarian venture DANIEL ELISEEV PROJECT is, as the name implies, the solo vehicle of composer and musician Daniel Eliseev. Following more than a decade as a member and contributor to various bands and artists, he decided to create some music of his own as well, and towards the end of 2018 he self-released the project's first album "Night Shadow.
Analysis. I understand from Eliseev's digital presence that he is an artist that have taken inspiration from a number of different artists from several different eras, but that some of his more formative sources of inspiration have been specific albums by Yes and Gentle Giant respectively. With a number of guest musicians contributing on this production, I rather surmise that they have brought in some influences of their own to this totality as well. The end result of all of this is quite the amalgam of styles and sounds. This is an album that will gladly move from atmospheric laden neo-progressive rock to harder edged material bordering progressive metal, as well as dishing up some classic guitar and organ combinations alongside compelling, more AOR-oriented style hard rock sequences. Quirkier, expressive interludes with a stronger jazz-orientation have their place here as well, and gentler details that may or may not bring in some folk music elements is a part of the totality as well. Up to and including an atmospheric laden interlude that adds in a medieval, chamber music oriented atmosphere. But the running, red thread in the greater majority of these songs, at least as far as I can tell, is the spirit of Yes. First and foremost in the vocals department, with both lead vocals, backing vocals and vocal harmonies bringing in a lot from this band in general and the Jon Anderson eras of the band in particular. But I also got a strong impression of individual instrument motifs as well as occasional arrangements bringing in a lot from this band, even if the overall sound and scope of the arrangements may well take their primary cues from other bands and other traditions. At least that is my main impression, that the spirit, sound and sometimes approach of classic era Yes here is applied and mixed with other styles and other manners in which to create music, both modernizing the sound of this influential band as well as exploring their type of music in at times marked different surroundings. Besides the overpowering feel of this being something of a red thread, I suspect fans of other bands, classic era and modern era alike, will pick up quite a few details on this album. Some nods towards Genesis here, a more expressive Gentle Giant style approach explored there, some traces of Porcupine Tree most likely a feature as well - or at least fragments of some of the same artists that inspired the works of the good Wilson and his men. The end result is a most charming album. Not all the compositions manage to make a strong impression, but there's nothing at hand that strikes me as superfluous. All the songs have their purpose, and while perhaps not all of them are as striking as individual entities they do have their function and their place in an album context.
Conclusion. Daniel Eliseev Project strikes me as a venture that as of 2018 had a desire to mix and blend the classic era traditions of progressive rock with the modern era of this style of music, and by plan or accident with something of a focus on the music of Yes as a sort of a leading light in this process. With style elements ranging from folk music and jazz to hard rock and metal, explored within a progressive rock context, this is a band and an album that should interest those who have a wide taste for the more generally appealing varieties of progressive rock that has been made between 1970 and the early 2000's.
Progmessor: December 22th 2019
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