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Artland (Israel) - 2001 - "Between Sky And Earth"
(36 min, "Music Media Israel")


***+

Tracklist:

Vote of Heavens*

It Will Be Still Good

Travel To Life*

Something Lyrical

Real Peace* 



All tracks composed by P. Losinsky & A. Tantsiurah.

In (*) guitar solos by S. Nikolaev.

Produced by Artland.

Recorded & mixed by P. Losinsky & Artland.



Line-up:

Patrick Losinsky - guitar, electronic percussion & drums,

                   samples, loops

Alex Tantsiurah - keyboards

Sergey Nikolaev - guitar

Sandy Bagnov - bass



The title of this album officially, i.e. as it is on the CD booklet cover and on the CD, sounds as "Between The Sky And Earth". Also, while the CD's playing time is 'originally' 43 min, one of the songs here (Real Peace) sounds twice. The album's last song is just a remix of the same song, so actually this is not even a bonus track (i.e. at least a live version of Real Peace). I think that in case of a Progressive Rock band this is not a worthy, but rather a worse addition to the short yet real full-length album of five original songs. "Between Sky And Earth" is the debut album by this Israeli band and there are five pieces (without that throwaway remix) on this all instrumental album. Stylistically, Artland's music has no strong progressive 'borders'. While the music of "Between Sky And Earth" could be, on the whole, described as an all instrumental blend of Classic and Neo Art (Symphonic) Rock structures, some episodes there have a metallic feel, other ones sound as typical Jewish folk-music. Although most of the themes, parts and solos (at times) by two guitarists and a keyboardist are quite interesting, the programmed drums always remain the "main drawback " for all albums where they're used. The same goes for the drum sound on the debut album of Artland, though, when Losinsky adds his own manual work on the electronic percussion to the programmed drums the sound gets slightly more diverse than otherwise. Finally, the bassist is the only band member who really impresses me with his extensive, diverse and always enjoyable playing the album throughout. Also I'd like to note that the Artland music is moderately complex (not counting just a few accessible arrangement parts) and quite original at the same time, although all the arrangements develop within the traditional (I'd even say "usual") direction of Art (Symphonic) Rock. All five compositions are practically of the same good, on the whole, quality: they're somewhere between Neo and Classic (Symphonic) Art Rock with leanings towards the latter, though the sound of the recording itself isn't too rich. Thus, a half of a rating star is in the minus. But all in all, this album is quite a worthy debut for a young band. And, by the way, Artland is the first Israeli band whose album I happen to review.

VM. July 1, 2001


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