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TRACK LIST: 1. The Day of Wrath 6:47 2. Midnight Carnival 6:02 3. I Am Guilty 4:08 4. Abroad 2:55 5. Falling into Eternity 6:35 6. A Journey with an Old Piano 4:11 7. Sinful People 5:03 8. Grin 4:06 9. The Division Time 6:18 10. Ourselves 8:53 11. Without Thoughts 2:59 All music & arrangements: by Kolarov. LINE-UP: Nelko Kolarov - keyboards Ivan Lechev - guitars (ex-FSB) Konstantin Djambazov - guitars Ognian Tsolov - vocals Dimitr Dimitrov - basses Orlin Radinski - drums Produced by Nelko Kolarov. Engineered by I. Iliev & D. Draganov at "Mezzo-Forte".
Prolusion. "Day of Wrath" is the first solo album by the Bulgarian conductor, composer, and keyboardist Nelko Kolarov. Before, he has released a few albums with the well known in Bulgaria Rock band Impulse and was a conductor of an orchestra in Nikolo "Brazen Abbot" Kotzev's famous Rock Opera "Nostradamus" (2001, SPV Records).
Synopsis. The 57-minute "Day of Wrath" consists of eleven tracks, and while all of them are songs, purely instrumental parts cover, on average, no less than a half of each of them. Especially large-scaled, diverse, and complex instrumental arrangements are available on the tracks forming the album's predominant stylistics: The Day of Wrath, Midnight Carnival, I Am Guilty, Falling into Eternity, Sinful People, Grin, The Division Time, and Ourselves (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, & 10). All eight of these are about a 'classically' complex, but very freshly sounding Prog-Metal with rather the sizeable quantity of the classic symphonic Art-Rock textures and outstandingly intriguing, full of unexpectedness, musical events that will jump into the air any connoisseur of a heavy progressive music, including the fans of Dream Theater. Those who, like myself, are the adherents of originality in music shouldn't worry when reading this. Nelko Kolarov's band does not sound like Dream Theater or any other outfit of the genre. Here we have a thrilling, dramatic, mostly intensive Prog-Metal with a lot of sudden changes of tempo, tone, and mood and the vintage (truly vintage), highly inventive and virtuosi solos of Hammond (C3, as I suppose) being mostly at the helm of arrangements. Some of the said tracks are also notable for passages, solos, and rhythms of a Spanish guitar involved in the joint soloing with the parts of organ being backed up by guitar riffs and a powerful rhythm section. I must tell you, it's amazing to hear music with combined modern and old-fashioned-like structures in its basis. The style of the song A Journey with an Old Piano (6) with brilliant interplay between the high-speed passages of piano and moderately fast 'riffing' solos of guitar is exactly an old-fashioned, but truly progressive Hard Rock with distinct elements of Jazz-Fusion. Abroad (4) is the only romantic and melodious song on the album, which, in addition, was performed without drums. Nevertheless, this is not a sugary Rock ballad! This is a classic Art-Rock ballad with excellent and very beautiful interplay between passages of piano and strings and solos of bass throughout. Surprisingly, the album's closing track Without Thoughts turned out to be diverse and interesting despite of its brevity. Stylistically, this is Classic Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of Cathedral Metal. All the vocals on the album are in Bulgarian, but unlike those in FSB, they're as melodious and excellently fitting progressive music as those in Italian or French. Ognian Tsolov is definitely the best Bulgarian Rock-singer I've ever heard, and I've heard my fair share of them. The same words are topical regarding all of the other band members, starting with the maestro Kolarov, of course.
Conclusion. Recently, I've reviewed the album of another Bulgarian Prog-Metal outfit >Music Station. Although I've given "Shaping" quite a high rating as well, Nelko Kolarov's "Day of Wrath" surpasses it in many respects. Heartily recommended.
VM: January 23, 2004
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