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(63:27, MALS Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Under Clouds 5:23 2. The Dead Tree and the Wind 7:05 3. My Little Star 4:18 4. The Withered Flowers of Her Soul 7:36 5. Fading Autumn 8:23 6. Winter Elegy 10:04 7. Lonely Nights 5:42 8. On the Way of Eternity 7:06 9. Sunrise 7:50 LINEUP: Oleksiy Katruk – guitars Volodymyr Agafonkin – vocals; ac. guitar Serhiy Dumler – drums, percussion Mykola Kryvonos – bass; recorder Maria Kurbatova – keyboards Olena Nesterovska – viola With: Olexandra Vydrya – violin Hanna Kryvonos – vocals
Prolusion. The Ukranian band OBIYMY DOSCHY was formed in 2004, with Kiev as their base of operations. Their first full-length production, "Elehia," was initially issued in 2009, and one year later the two-track single "Svitanok" appeared. In late spring of 2011 the band signed to the Russian label MALS Records, which reissued their initial album for an international audience, with the title track from the 2010 single added as a bonus feature.
Analysis. Under the widespread umbrella that covers the universe described as progressive music, there's a great variety of both stylistic expression and the choice of approach adopted by different artists. Some opt for a strong degree of diversity; others will showcase technical or compositional virtuosity. Improvised performances have always been a popular part too, be it in the shape of challenging endeavors, demanding a high degree of technical skills, or the more repetitive and hypnotic approach taken by psychedelic-oriented outfits. Obiymy Doschu shies away from all of these parts of the realm, however. Their sound and approach appear to be carefully planned, highly singular in nature and demanding in terms of arrangements and production to a much greater degree than is their compositional and instrumental prowess. Their chosen style can most likely be described as belonging to progressive metal. Though that assertion might give rise to a heated debate among the more ardent fans of that genre, as Obiymy Doschu doesn't share too many similarities with the key artists that have defined that genre. Their approach, with a few exceptions aside, is to open their songs in a gentle, mellow manner. Careful percussion or drums, a light-toned acoustic guitar and vocals cater for the first few moments, and either at the onset or a bit into the track the viola and violin make their appearance. At some point the song shifts as dampened, dark-toned guitar riffs enter the fray, in the chorus part; the instrumental section usually kicks off just about halfway through the song, and occasionally this addition will be reserved for an elongated instrumental end sequence. And whether the guitar-dominated parts stay on or come and go, the composition itself gradually increases in intensity, the gentle opening moments never returning as such, but from time to time a brief mellow motif will be explored towards the very end of a song and, prior to that, the band will be at their most majestic, sporting rich-sounding dark-toned guitars and strings in a colorful and vivid contrast. The mood and atmosphere explored are ones of sadness and melancholy. As far as such excursions go, this one is a purebred specimen of its kind – music that will inspire thoughts of past losses, of rainy autumn days and the bleak, beautiful landscapes that unfold when you look out the window the morning after a heavy snowfall. Almost but not quite depressing in nature, the music resides within a sphere of dampened and refined gloom rather than darkness and despair: twilight music if you like. Too singular in nature to make a grand impression for me, but I can vividly imagine many listeners being enthralled by the nature and character of this album. Progressive metal liberally flavored with mellow parts of an almost ambient nature, violin and viola catering for a symphonic backdrop as well as the occasional folk-inspired flurry, the latter also emphasized by the percussion from time to time: well-made, well-produced and well-performed.
Conclusion. If you can imagine dark, melancholic music that utilizes details from classical and folk music to flavor a blend of acoustic rock and doom metal within a framework set inside the art rock universe, then you're pretty close to what Obiymy Doschu is all about – not too far away from a band like Nightwish. If stripped of all their melodramatic elements that is, operatic vocals included, replaced by an approach more subtle and refined with subtle folk music elements added to the arrangements. If any of these descriptions sound compelling, the 2009 version of this production is legally available as a free download from Obiymy Doschu's homepage. Just in case this might be of interest to some of our valued readers.
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