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(49:43; Daniel Eliseev Project)
Bulgarian guitarist Daniel Eliseev is back with the second album from his project, following on from 2018’s excellent ‘Night Shadow’. That was an album of songs with a singer, but here we have moved into instrumental territory with complex guitar at the forefront of it all. We have three bassists, two drummers, two saxophonists and a percussionist while Daniel himself provides guitars, keyboards and programming. Long before the album was released Daniel contacted me to ask for some advice as he was worried that if he released this under the DEP name that people might well be expecting a direct continuation from the debut, but this was not only very different to that album but also, he felt it was more aligned to what he was trying to achieve so what to do? I counselled that he should keep the name as I personally expect artists to change and “progress”, and hopefully listeners will go back and investigate the earlier release, even though it is quite different both in approach and style. When he was describing the album to me, Daniel said the album was not “Heavy Prog - rather there are elements of Classic Prog (there were such elements in my previous album), Fusion, Jazz Rock and something I call Ambient Prog.” While these elements are indeed there, to my mind there is no doubt that Daniel has been listening to the classic albums by Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, while there are times when he has been influenced by Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin, as well as some Allan Holdsworth. This is very much a guitarist’s album, one which spins off in multiple directions, often within the same piece, so no-one knows what is going to happen next. He may repeat himself around a certain melody for a period of time, or he may just spin and provide some blistering shreds, or we may have music which is slow and refined that has a strong sense of melody. He has a wide variety of sounds and styles at his disposal, and with rhythm sections which set powerful foundations he can just go off and direct the multiple layers of keyboards and guitars to create different emotions and feelings. I have found that while I can become engrossed in some guitar-led instrumental albums, there are also many others where it appears to be all about the performer and not the music. Thankfully that is not the case here, as here we have an album to be played for sheer enjoyment. Yet another powerful release from Daniel.
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