Karfagen - Spektra - 2016
“... a beautiful prog album with a rich diversity of musical styles ...”
“Spektra” is the eight album of Antony Kalugins Karfagen. And if that is not enough the man has also his projects Hoggwash, Sunchild and AKKO (Antony Kalugins Kinematics Orchestra). Still remember reviewing that wonderful first album “Continium”. There was a piece with an amazing climax ... not sure, but I think it was the track “Into The Light”.
Antony Kalugin - keyboards, percussion, arrangements, vocals; Max Velychko - electric- acoustic- & 12 string guitars; Sergiy Balalayev - drums (1,4,5); Ivan Rubanchuk - drums (8-11,14); Kostya Shepelenko - drums (2,16); Oleg Prokhorov - bass (1,2,4,5,16); Kostya Ionenko - bass (8-11,14); Olha Rostovska - keyboards, vocals (2,11), Latin vocals (4); Sergii Kovalov - accordion (4,8-11,13), Latin vocals (4); Maria Batanovska - violin (1,2,4,8-10,14); Alexandr Pastuchov - bassoon (8,9,11); Roman Gorielov - Latin tenor vocals (4); Oleg Pashkovskiy - grand piano; Lesya Kofanova - flute (14); Michail Sidorenko - alt sax (14); Olga Vodolazhska - rainstick, shakers, triangle (16)
The new album is called “Spektra” and is housed in a beautiful digipak. The artwork is build around a painting of Igor Sokolskiy. “Spektra” is divided into three phases. “Phase 1” opens with the title track “Spektra”. A beautiful track which is setting the atmosphere of the album. You can find lovely and joyful melodies in this piece that has also some nice bass and guitar parts. Prog that makes you happy; great opener! The short “Troy” has delicate acoustic guitars, beautiful violin parts and is working towards a nice climax. What a diversity in just more than three minutes. In “Transaleatorica II” you can find lovely Mellotron flutes. “Terra Incognita” has Latin vocals and some folklore influences. The overall atmosphere of the piece is classical. “Celebration” is more in the vein of the title track, lovely melodies and great keyboard work. If you listen to the beautiful “Homonymous Pt. 1” with it's 12 string acoustic guitar you have to think of the work of Antony Phillips. In the last part of “Phase 1” the Mellotron flutes are returning. Beautiful track!
“Phase 2” consists out of the short track “Homonymous Pt. 2” and the long “Olympia (quadrology)” suite which is divided into the parts “Zeus”, “Dionis”, “Poseidon” and “Aurora”. More than 20 minutes of instrumental progressive rock of a great diversity. The use of the accordion is giving the music some accents of folk music. The music of this suite is mainly keyboard orientated but I like the use of flutes and violin in the music. I love the “Aurora” part with the vocals of Olga and the beautiful guitar parts on top of a bed of keyboards. In the later part of this song you can even hear a bassoon part and a bass solo. The keyboard melodies and the electric guitar solo in the end are wonderful. This “Phase 2” is enclosed by the acoustic guitars of “Homonymous Pt. 2”. The acoustic guitar is only accompanied by delicate keyboard parts.
Then it is time for “Phase 3”. The folklore accents with the accordion are back in the classical “Dios Pyros”. “Natural Charm” opens with a nice piano part but develops into a typical Karfagen piece with delicious melodic keyboard, piano and flute parts. This is one of my favorite pieces of this wonderful album. The piano is returning in “Eye Witness”. “Phase 3” closes with the live piece “Juggler and the Cloud”. Another highlight for me, a relaxed and romantic piece of music with beautiful piano playing and a delicate synth solo.
“Spektra” the eight album of Karfagen is a beautiful prog album with a rich diversity of musical styles. The album is for the biggest part instrumental. Antony Kalugin shows with this album that he is not only a great keyboard player but also a great composer. If you like keyboard dominated Neo-prog with classical and folksy influences, this album is for you. Highly recommended by progVisions!