The band Ahvak (the Hebrew word for “Dust”) from Israel is led by two conservatory trained composers/keyboardists/multi-instrumentalists (Roy Yarkoni and Udi Susser) and joined by composer/drummer/multi-instrumentalist Dave Kerman of 5uu’s/U Totem/Present/Blast. The band blends modern production techniques with European style avant progressive rock. According the Bio-information the band creates music of dark, ominous and compelling beauty. It’s striking and elegant compositions blur the boundary lines between classical, rock and folk music, and align the band with R.I.O. (Rock in Opposition) bands as Univers Zero and Thinking Plague.
Yehuda Kotton – guitars; Ishay Sommer – bass; Udi Susser – keyboards, woodwinds, vocals, baglama, darbooka; Roy Yarkoni – keyboards, piano; Dave Kerman – drums percussion; Udi Koomran – computer (engineer).
As you maybe will know the record label Cuneiform Records is specialized in releasing albums of the “free spirits” of new and progressive music. So you are warned. You must be open-minded to be able to judge this album in a correct way. Don’t be mislead because this is a debut album. These high skilled musicians blew me away with their electrified chamber rock.
The self entitled album has 7 tracks with duration between 0:55 and 16:20 minutes. “Vivisection” (8:28); “Bertha” (8:22); “Moments” (2:36); “Dust” (16:20); “Cement” (2:49); “Yawners” (13:27) and “Ironworks” (0:55). To my surprise I think that I hear the Synclavier system in the first track “Vivisection”. But it is almost impossible to describe the music. There is so much happening on this album. It is a blend of classical, rock and folk music. And the drumwork of Dave Kerman is just amazing. “Bertha” has complex and heavy parts with the intensity of King Crimson and the dynamics of a band like Art Zoyd. “Moments” sounds like modern classical music with piano and woodwinds. Throughout the album the name of the Belgian band Univers Zero crossed my mind several times. “Dust” is the first of the two long compositions on this album. In the first part I had to think of Art Zoyd. Innovative chamber rock with not only heavy and dark moments, but also delicate parts with immense beauty. This is a killer track, fantastic! In “Cement” the acoustic guitar is added to their musical pallet. With this short composition the listener can recover a little bit from all the gained impressions. Next is the second long track “Yawners” which is connected to the short end piece “Ironworks”. You can hear the tasteful input of engineer Udi Kooman very clear in this track. Also I would like to mention the beautiful flute work of Udi Susser. A diversified composition with slow broody parts next to up-tempo complex parts.
Wow, what an amazing album. This is the premier division of progressive rock. The musicians have all very high musical skills. And Dave Kerman impressed me with his drumwork. You find intricate and adventurous music next to music with a great beauty. My favorite tracks are “Bertha”, “Dusk” and “Yawners”. If you are open minded into RIO or just an adventurous progfan just give this band a chance and listen to their album. You won’t be disappointed.