introProbably you will remember my February review of Karfagen’s album “Messages from Afar: First Contact”. A special concept album, that has been divided into two chapters. Karfagen’s “First Contact” was chapter one and one of the other projects of Antony Kalugin would be responsible for chapter two. Of course I am talking about Sunchild. Well here it is Sunchild’s album “Messages from Afar: The Division And Illusion Of Time”. Like the “First Contact” album this “The Division And Illusion Of Time” album is packed in a beautiful digipak illustrated with paintings by Igor Sokolskiy. Both albums are released on the Caerllysi Music label. My promo copy was handed to me personally by Antony Kalugin at the Night Of The Prog festival in Germany .... Thanks mate!
reviewAll eight tracks that you will find on this album are composed, arranged, mixed & mastered by Antony Kalugin. And the majority of the musicians you will know from that Karfagen album I mentioned above. Happy to hear my friend Max Velychko again on the guitars. This steady musical foundation is expanded with some extra singers. That fact also indicates the difference between the music of both chapters. And of course the choice for Karfagen or Sunchild to perform the compositions. This chapter which is performed by Sunchild has a more songmatically character then the one which is performed by Karfagen.
The album opens with the uplifting melodies of “Searching Diamonds”. Besides the male vocal lead and the female backing vocal parts this song is drenched with lovely synth and guitar melodies and a delicious fretless bass part. Yes Antony is besides a gifted keyboard player and composer also a good vocalist. On “Grail And Time” the male and female lead vocal parts are nicely alternated. Little detail, Nikita Osmachko who does the male lead vocal on this track is the son of Viktoria Osmachko who is responsible for some of the lead and backing vocals on this album. And again we can enjoy all the fine keyboard parts. The atmosphere on this album is bright and the album is full of uplifting melodies. The next song is called “60 Degrees to the 70s”. It has lovely organ parts to give you a nice picture of the times mentioned in the title. Some of the vocal parts are reminding me Roger Waters. Max Velychko plays a wonderful and relaxed guitar solo in the short instrumental track “Mystery Train”. This is followed by another short instrumental track entitled “Dreams Of a Lonely Town”. A mysterious bridge to the title track “The Division And Illusion Of Time”. This little bridge could be a song on a David Arkenstone album. The title track is one of the highlights of this fine album. In overall it has a relaxed atmosphere and together with the vocals it has a kind of Pink Floyd feel. A beautiful song with lovely melodies. This second part of the album is very strong. Still 30 minutes to go ... divided over two tracks. The first one is a long song (20:34) of epic proportions. “Victory Voyager” is a song in which is room for long instrumental parts. Expect wonderful guitar parts of Max and tasteful keyboard orchestrations. In the previous song I mentioned Pink Floyd as a little reference. For this long track think more in the vein of Camel. Not that there is a strong resemblance, it is just an explanation of some of the atmospheres. The music of Karfagen and Sunchild is breathing Antony Kalugin. That is the strong point, the man has developed an unique style. And together with Max Velychko on guitar you have an unbeatable keyboard/guitar combination. This epic track is absolutely one of the highlights of this album. A little extra remark; don’t expect freaky stuff here. The music is beautiful, bright, uplifting, melodic and on the mellow side of the progressive rock spectrum. Just listen to the beautiful melodies in the final piece “Father”. In this piece the musical palette is extended with another beautiful instrument. The violin of guest Maria Baranovska. I just love the violin in my Prog. The other two guest musicians on this track are Sergiy Balalayev on drums and Roman Gorielov on acoustic guitar. But I have also to mention guitarist Max Velychko again because you find wonderful contributions of him in this song.