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Scentsof a Forest 7:00 Towards a Clear Water 14:20 Red Night 20:00
All compositions written and arranged by Maxim Pshenitchny. Engineered by E.Moteyunas.
Line-up: Maxim Pshenichny - lead guitar, bass, keyboards, voice; Alexis Petrov - drums & percussion, wood-box
Guest musicians: Alexis Zubarev - rhythm guitar (all tracks), slide guitar (2), flute (1); Maxim Kuznetsov - free guitar (3); Rinalda - voice (3)
Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Season of Rains (virtually), unlike many other Soviet and post-Soviet groups that played progressive music, is not known enough even on the territory of Russia. I have some reasons (in season) to say so because five Russians in seven, who have sent me letters concerning Season of Rains for the last two years, simply asked what it was all about and three thought of it as a group from Lithuania! Apparently the edition of the group’s sole vinyl disk was quite small; it had the same title and was semi-piratically issued by Petersburg "AnTrop" (not by "Melody"). Besides, there is information about another three studio (taped?) albums of Season of Rains, but I have no idea why "Return" (though it is considered their best album) has acquired first it’s vinyl and now "digital" status. The music, which was composed and performed by the guys from the "Cities of Frequent Rains", is potentially able to fascinate everyone, even the most experienced Prog-lover. Like the rest of (let’s conventionalize them) the Soviet groups of the Progressive Music genre, Season of Rains provided exclusively original ideas free of any influences. It is hard to find traces of influence of the Titans of the genre – King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Van Der Graaf, Pink Floyd, et al, which is usually commonplace in the second and the third waves of Progressive. Thus, keep in mind that any comparison will bear only a stylistic, "atmospheric" character when I mention one of the "majors" below. Three long instrumental compositions presented on the album conform to one compositional concept but this singleness of purpose of developing the musical action on "Return" becomes obvious only after repeated listens to it. Somehow, such a fact makes it possible to write down the work in the class of concept instrumental albums, and this attracts a great majority of prog-listeners. Almost transparent, atmospheric music of the album doesn't look strong in arrangements at first sight, with customary in such cases dash, cross passages of solo instruments that are supported by endless cascades of drums with frequent time shifts, however, and has very complicated structures. It soon gets clear that it's difficult to call the atmosphere reigning in the music of "Return" transparent. With the hints of a deep-seated sorrow, as if full of unasked questions together with philosophical meditations, it comes close to the widespread conception the traditional soul of Russians, a deep-seated, and as a whole rather unhappy inscrutable soul of a Russian. Deep streams of an affluent plain river hide behind tinkling bells and the general flow of the musical palette of "Return", which, when listening passively, recalls babbling of a little brook. Not drawing any structural and similar parallels, which shouldn’t exist here, I can say that emotions, feelings aroused by the music of Season of Rains could be compared to the mixed effect made by Pink Floyd’s "Animals" and "Wish You Were Here". It could be added that the unique and really not comparable music of the group is able, like Pink Floyd, to attract attention of hundreds of people, lovers of Classic Progressive and, in some measure, Neo-headed.
VM. March 21, 2001
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