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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

Musical Witchcraft II - Utopia - 2002

“Find yourself in your mind in the Utopia of Thomas Morus”

Musical Witchcraft is a project from Kollár Attila the flutist of Solaris. Four years ago the first album was also released by the Hungarian label Periferic Records. The basis of the line-up is almost the same as on that first album. But we miss the heavy guitar work of Bogdán Csaba and on the keyboards Erdész Róbert is replaced by Sárik Péter. If you think I have mixed up the maiden and surnames don’t bother. I like to respect the Hungarian way of putting the surname in front. The album is inspired on the book “Utopia” of Thomas Morus.

The musicians:
Kollár Attila – flute, recorder, tambourine; Bokor György – bassoon; Gömör László – drums; Kornis Ferenc – percussion; Naszádi Gábor – acoustic guitar; Pócs Tamás – bass guitar; Sárik Péter – piano, organ, synthesizer; Szirtes Edina – violin, vocal; Vámos Zsolt – electric and acoustic guitars; Vermes László – drums

The overall sound of this second Musical Witchcraft album is more acoustic than the first one. This has not only to do with the fact that Bogdán Csaba is not playing on this album. It has more to do with how the music was composed for this album. Kollár Attila and his friend Naszádi Gábor started to compose five acoustic guitar – flute compositions. The final arrangements were done in a much later stadium. So the overall atmosphere of the album is acoustic with influences of the middle ages. The acoustic parts are combined with more progressive parts.

Like on the first album the first track is a long suite called “Suite Utopia” (19:53) which is divided into four parts. (I – Utopia, II –Prophets and day dreamers, III – Worlds closed into the stone, IV – At the light of the stake’s fire) With all the acoustic instruments there is often a classical atmosphere created. This is of course perfect for music from the middle ages. And Hungarian music has always been influenced by folk music. It is the footprint of their cultural heritage. In the more up-tempo and rock orientated parts the music reminds me of Jethro Tull.

“In the hiding place of castles” (2:51) is a short but beautiful acoustic guitar – flute duet. “Secrets of Morus” (3:52) is one of those progressive songs with electric guitar solo’s and great flute work which again reminds me of Jethro Tull. “Feast on the tournament” (2:23) is again a flute and acoustic guitar track which transports your mind straight into the Middle Ages. “Inquisition” (4:44) is an up-tempo track with duels between flute, violin and guitar. Then one of my favorite tracks of the album; “The tower’s room lost in the fog” (4:57). A ballad with beautiful piano and flute melodies in a fusion style. It is completely different from most of the other compositions. “Utopia from the city” (5:07) has also something of that fusion atmosphere. But it is a mix of both of those musical styles. The last track “Fairy tale along the Loire” (3:32) closes the album in a classical way with delicate violin and flute melodies and some vocals of Szirtes Edina.

Musical Witchcraft II – “Utopia” is a delicate album with beautiful music which is a mix of Folk, Classical music and Progressive rock. But the album has a mellow and acoustic atmosphere. The first Musical Witchcraft album has more power. You decide which one you will prefer.

Douwe Fledderus - March 2003
rating - Periferic Records

 

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