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(46:15; [addicted label])
TRACK LIST: 1. Shiroyama 2:31 2. Adventurers 5:20 3. Chaos Point 7:00 4. Enough 4:38 5. All the Truths' Meeting 5:24 6. Selfish Tango 7:28 7. Carnival Escape 8:57 8. Fin 4:57 LINEUP: Konstantin Mochalov - guitars, sound engineering Eugeny Kudryashov - drums Nikolai Syrtsev - bass Sergei Bagin - guitars, synthesizers with: Igor Bukaev - accordion Ekaterina Morozova - piano Vasily Tsirin - cello Vadim Sorokin - synthesizers, bass
Prolusion. Russian band DISEN GAGE have been an going entity for 20 years by now, and probably merits a description as a veteran band at this point. The band has 7 studio albums to their name so far, of which more than half have appeared within the last five years. "The Big Adventure" is the most recent of this, and was released through the nameless [addicted label] in Russia at the start of 2019.
Analysis. There's progressive rock and there's progressive rock. There are multiple variations of the genre and the approach one might opt for when creating material within this vein of music is also a choice between many options. Disen Gage have chosen to stress and emphasize the word progressive in their excursions into this universe, at least as far as the material on their latest album is concerned. Expressive, eclectic and instrumental to boot. A big adventure indeed. The dystopian, atmospheric laden cosmic laced soundscapes that opens this album, complete with cosmic sounds and post-rock inspired details, doesn't really reflect on what is in store for the rest of this album experience. But it is one of many journeys into at times rather different landscapes and traditions, and as such it is a fitting opening to an album named "The Big Adventure". An adventure that blend and mic quite a few music traditions unless I'm much mistaken. Post-rock and classical music inspired journeys with careful avant sensibilities, some flirts with the tango in a regular as well as expressive form, and the flamenco is given a similar treatment as well. Samba and bossa nova oriented trajectories are explored inside a rather expressive and innovative context as well, and elsewhere what sounds like motifs and harmonies inspired by or oriented towards folk and world music makes regular appearances too. The marimba is just as natural to encounter as grand, majestic orchestral backdrops, and gnarly, dark and brooding guitar riffs with something of a metal-tinged flavor to them isn't a stranger in this environment either. The occasional bouts of shredding have their time and place here too. And to top it all off, a concluding piece that, at least initially, have some distinct classical music flavors to it. My associations were towards Mussorgsky, but as my recollection of classical music is limited that may well be a flawed association. Still, by plan or by chance there are some distinct nods towards some composer or other of classical music included on this final composition. This is demanding, expressive and creative instrumental progressive rock, covering many nooks and crannies along the way in an elegant manner. One aspect of this band's approach I do find charming and enjoyable is that they do explore their lead motifs and arrangements a bit more in depth, rather than just hurrying on towards the next variation, the next theme and the next arrangement. The bands opens up and invites the listener to become familiar with their constructions before moving, transitioning or developing their creations. Which, in this context at least, is a listener friendly manner in which to go about creating compositions.
Conclusion. Challenging, eclectic instrumental progressive rock isn't a variety of the music that will ever hit the top of the commercial popularity lists, nor will it ever be in danger of seguing over to a mainstream audience. But those who know and love the more eclectic and expressive variety of instrumental progressive rock should take note of this album, as I suspect many who recognize themselves in such a description will truly appreciate what Disen Gage have to offer on this latest album of theirs.
Progmessor: October 27th 2019
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