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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Julius Dobos - Mountain flying - 1999

"Mountain Flying" is the second album (the first one, "Connecting", is impossible to find, since it was a limited edition for Nokia, those of the mobile phones) of this Hungarian musician. Julius Dobos, born in 1976, with piano and composition studies, as well as of writing of scores for movies. This album features the North Hungary Symphonic Orchestra directed by Lazslo Kovacs, the Budapest Monteverdi choir directed by Eva Kollar, and geniuses such as Marta Sebestyen (the wonderful singer better known for her contribution to "The English Patient" film score) and Peter Pejtsik (the cellist of my idolizedAfter Crying).

The album consists of twelve basically instrumental pieces, characterized by orchestral arrangements and synthesizers splashes. The music can be defined as electronic-classic-progressive, a wonderful mixture of romantic and melodic classic music (Bach, Mozart, Bartok), Tangerine Dream, the first Vangelis, Mike Oldfield, Hungarian folk, and the best movie music (Morricone). As the own author defines is, this it is an adventure in your fantasy, the musical form of feelings like freedom, resolve and openness with others and with yourself.

"Overture" (9.02) begins the album with a beautiful melody of keyboards and winds, among which a brief chorus blast is unleashed. Then the atmosphere becomes autumnal, with suggestive and relaxed choirs in between the falling rain. This opens the way to the central section of the suite, in which grandiose corals, crystalline keyboards and a vivacious orchestra combine to create a perfect climax for a song that it could easily be the overture of a great action movie. Finally, we return to the choirs a capella and the initial melody now based on keyboards. "Mountain flying" (8.29) begins with a soft and autumnal melody from the orchestra based on winds and violins, to which beautiful notes of synthesizers are added. The melody is recreated by a spectacular string section, which acquires slightly oriental tones, until the orchestra bursts in a full discharge of powerful emotion. Later on, the initial melody is driven by keyboards and synthesizers with brief arrangements of violins and choirs that serve as a backdrop, until the final section returns with the orchestra's majestic discharge. A great end for an impressive song.

"Woodland" (8.40) is a song based on classic guitar and ambient keyboards, with a wonderful flute that marks the pace and structure of the track, with brief solo interludes. This is a less orchestral topic, although it plays a stellar role in the soft middle section that ends in the repetition of the initial melody driven now by violins and the winds. Finally, the orchestra shines in a passage of a very romantic classic sound that leads to the brief final explosion. "Mountain flying II" (5.09) is the second part of the piece that gives name to the album. The choirs start very smoothly, amongst the sound of the storm, while the synthesizers gradually rise, to drive the melody among percussion in the middle section, very much in the style of Popol Vuh or the more modern Tangerine Dream.

"Adventure" (4.05) consists on a beautiful violin melody that is reinterpreted, accelerated and broken into fragments in several occasions by the wind and string sections of the orchestra, in what is to me the most similar fragment to After Crying (in "De Profundis") that we can find in this album. A marvel. "Mountain flying III" (3.35) is an environmental piece based on sequencers in a Tangerine Dream, Kitaro or Steve Roach style. In my opinion, the less spectacular piece of the album. "Oriental voyage" (4.33) is a very rhythmic topic, with a more oriental and fast structure, very influenced by Kitaro or the 80’s Tangerine Dream, in which the orchestra plays a more secondary role. Another good song, although I prefer more the orchestral pieces.

"New Pangea" (9.27) is the most fascinating composition I have listened to for a long time. It is a dream come true, the incommensurable voice of Marta Sebestyen accompanied by orchestral music, ethnic instruments and electro-acoustic arrangements. The end of the suite, in a Nyman style is one of those that make you cry of emotion. You have never heard something better… I can tell you. I would have finished the album here, as I find this piece is impossible to improve.

Nevertheless, "The last millennium" (3.38) is a composition of a clear Oldfield influence in the structure and guitar sound, very rhythmic and catchy. Finally, "Life" (8.37) says good-bye to the disk in a grand style. This is a beautiful poem recited among wonderful piano chords (queerly similar to the last song of my favorite 1999 album, "Kauan" of "Tenhi"), only accompanied by soft keyboards and percussion. It leads us to the expected final outburst of the orchestra and the choirs, which play one of the most beautiful moments in the album.

In conclusion, "Mountain Flying" is a perfect amalgam of styles, an invitation to a trip within your dreams, and the ideal sound score for your night thoughts. A compulsory purchase for lovers of classic music in the progressive scene. You will not find any rock here, but you will surely encounter plenty of progressive music. Enjoy it!

José Nafría - April 2000
rating - Periferic Records

 

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