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(64:20; Caerllysi Music)
This is the second in a series of albums by singer/keyboard player Antony Kalugin, but while the first ‘Messages From Afar: First Contact’ was by Karfagen (their ninth studio album in all), ‘Messages From Afar: The Division and Illusion of Time’ is by Sunchild (their eighth). Kalugin writes a lot of material, and he uses his more song-based with Sunchild, and the rest with Karfagen. But, if that isn’t confusing enough, apart from saxophonist Michail Sidorenko, all of Karfagen who played on the first ‘Messages’ album are also involved with this one, along with a few additional musicians. In some ways it does remind me of Clive Nolan in the Nineties when he seemed to use the same key musicians for many of his projects (step forward Karl Groom and Ian Salmon in particular), but I don’t think even her ever took it to this level. Although one may guess this album began life in Eastern Europe due to the slightly accented vocals, for the most part this feels like a very British album indeed. Camel and Pink Floyd are obvious influences (listen to “The Division and Illusion of Time” to see what I mean), while “Grail and Time” is nothing short of ‘Sunburst Finish’ era Be-Bop Deluxe, a band I rarely reference but here it is very opportune indeed. From start to end this is a wonderful album, feeling very modern, with plenty of look backs into the Seventies to create something which is really easy to listen to but could never be called easy listening. Antony never seems to get enough credit for both the quality and quantity of music he produces with his bands, and this is yet another incredibly solid release which is definitely worthy of investigation by all progheads.
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