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Solaris - Nostradamus Book Of Prophecies
|Artist: || Solaris|
|Title: || Nostradamus Book Of Prophecies|
|Label:|| Periferic Records BGCD 025 |
|Length(s):|| 60 minutes|
|Year(s) of release:|| 1999|
|Month of review: || 04/1999 |
Bogdan Csaba - guitar
Erdesz Robert - keyboards
Gomor Laszlo - drums
Kisszabo Gabor - bass
Kollar Attila - flute, vocal
Pocs Tamas - bass
and some side(wo)men including Varga Janos formerly of East and some
professional classical singers.
| || 1-3) Book Of Prophecies || 20.35
|4) || The Duel || 7.20
|5) || The Lion's Empire || 6.40
|6) || Wings Of The Phoenix || 5.08
|7) || Ship Of Darkness || 5.46
|8) || Wargames || 4.28
| || 9-10) The Moment Of Truth || 6.40
|11) || Book Of Prophecies Radio Edit || 3.25
Try a sample of the album in MP3 or
With a few albums under their belt this is my first encounter with
this Hungarian outfit which was named after one my favourite books,
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem. The album is dedicated to their former
guitar player Czgilan Istvan who died in 1998.
The album opens with the title track in three parts. Plingploing keyboards,
somewhat orchestral additions on keyboards, Focus/Tull like flute and
several types of vocals: classical, female African and "ordinary vocals".
Janus' Agnus Dei might come to mind during the second part. Good, memorable
often repeated themes and some nice variety on this thirteen minute part
including Spanish acoustic guitar, a female choir, a (low) male choir and
some world like ingredients, but not forgetting the more typical prog
ingredients: ELPish keyboardsolo and solo guitar work. Because of the vocals
you might be reminded of things like Enigma, 1492 or Era, but
musically this band goes further than that. Is has to be said though that some
of these vocal parts go a bit far into the direction of said projects, and the
music becomes a bit too mellow. I do really like the female vocals, but the
male choirs make it sound a bit trite at times. It has to be said though: the
main theme really shines. The third part is more bouncy and slightly folky at
first and the closing guitar solo is good.
The fourth track, The Duel is the first of the completed prophecies of
Nostradamus. Opening with very low vocals in Latin, this turns out to be
a rather active piece with the flute and the keyboards in the lead and
a melodic mellow interlude (a la Quidam). Again, very strong themes here
and an organic integrated sound. Very good.
The Lion's Empire is a loudly rocking song with some spacey interludes (low
bass and Hawkwindish effects). Wings Of The Phoenix - Hisler (one letter
wrong) is a bombastic piece, quite accessible in all and a bit mellow.
1999 - Ship Of Darkness is darker piece, especially the long hauls on the
keyboard and guitar, but the percussion is quite playful as well as the flute
and ELPish keyboards. After Wargames - The Third Antichrist we come to
The Moment OF Truth (in two parts). A piano, the theme alternately played on
guitar and flute. The second part is an thoughtful acoustic afterbirth.
The album closes with a three and a half minute single edit of the twenty
minute title track as a bonus track. Now I know what I'm reminded of: the soft
keyboards remind me of Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise.
Warm, melodic and dark, are the first three adjectives that come to mind.
The music is generally well crafted (although the second part of the title
track sounds a bit disjointed at times) and the themes are admirable overall.
References would be ELP (in the keyboards at times), some excursions into
space rock (also in the keys) and both Tull (rocky parts) and Quidam
(folk parts) in the flute. The vocals are often in "choir" and in Latin
reminding me of those recent projects (Era, Enigma, but not as commercial
of course) and also Janus and their Agnus Dei.
A very pleasant album, that I think many people will like. Original in their
encompassing of some world music features, but also their rather adventurous
combination of the above into an organic whole.
© Jurriaan Hage