Sunchild is one of the projects of Ukrainian composer Antony Kalugin. Other projects are Karfagen, Hoggwash and AKKO (Antony Kaligins Kinematics Orchestra). After “The Gnome” (2008), “The Invisible Line” (2009), “The Wrap” (2010), “As Far as the Eye Can See” (2011) and “Isolation” (2012) the new album is called “Synesthesia” (2015). ProgVisions readers will remember my review of the wonderful first Karfagen album “Continium”. The music of Karfagen is maybe more progressive orientated. The Sunchild project could be interesting for a broader audience because of the Pop influences and the more song orientated structure where the vocals are very important. But I'm sure progressive rock fans will love this album too.
Antony Kalugin - keys, backing vocals, programming; John Sleeper - lead & backing vocals, percussion; Andrey Kobylyanskiy - electric & acoustic guitars; Sergiy Balalayev - drums & percussion; Ivan Kondratov - bass; Olga Rostovskaya - backing vocals
Special guest: Sylvain Auclair (Karcius) - lead vocals on "The Reason Why"
The album opens with the up tempo title track “Synesthesia”. It is a nice opener with lovely melodies and catchy vocal refrains. With singer John Sleeper Sunchild has a great voice on board. The ballad “The Chosen One” is very beautiful. The combination of the voice of John Sleeper and the backing vocals of Antony and his wife Olga Rostovskaya is a golden one.
“ In Outer Space” you can also hear great vocal melodies and refrains. “Space Out Pt. 1” is a short and freaky bridge to the wonderful composition “Glimpse of Love” with delicate piano and vocals in the opening. The vocal melodies on this track (and the whole album) are great. The instrumentation is tasteful with nice keyboard and guitar parts. The short intermezzo “You're Near” is a bridge to “Breath” that starts with a great classical piano part of Antony that is supporting a beautiful vocal line.
“ V'uga (Blizzard)” is a wonderful track with a romantic piano melody. Maybe my favorite track of this album ... because of the wonderful melody. It seamlessly goes into the track “The Reason Why”. Special guest Sylvain Auclair of Karcius fame is singing the lead vocals in a way that sometimes reminds me of U2 singer Bono. “Follow Your Heart”, with eight minutes is the longest track of the album. The tension of this slow track is building up towards a kind of climax with an aggressive and heavy instrumentation. The album closes with “Space Out Pt. 2” and “Space Out Pt. 3”. The first one is more vocal orientated and goes seamless into the last instrumental part.
“Synesthesia” the sixth album of Antony Kalugin's project Sunchild is an album full of great melodies and vocals. The vocals on this album are very important. The music has often some pop influences so that the music is interesting for a broad audience. It is a wonderful album to listen to when you arrive from a busy working day. The first part of the album is very strong but you can find beautiful melodies on the whole album. The instrumentation is often delicate and modest. Highlights for me are the tracks “The Chosen One”, “Outer Space”, “Glimpse of Love” and “V'Uga (Blizzard)”. It is great to see that Antony who lives often under great stress because of the political climate in his country can compose such beautiful music ... I think it has to do with the power of love ... But that is another story. Enjoy the music!