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Sergey Dudin (USA) - 2000 - Overall View


- 2000 - >"Eternal Call"
- 2001 - >"Mirage"
- 2002 - >"Guitar Ballads"


Sergey Dudin (USA) - 2000 - "Eternal Call"
(62 min, 'CD')


Track List:

1. Beginning

2. Rain

3. Dream

4. Fight!

5. Somewhere In Heaven

6. Hope

7. I'm Tired

8. Chanson of Home

9. Chanson of Friend /part 1, instrumental/

10. Chanson of Friend /part 2/

11. The Eternal Call

All music and lyrics by Sergey Dudin.
Arranged, recorded and produced by Sergey Dudin at Alik Shabashev's studio.


Sergey Dudin - vocals & guitars, bass, keyboards, programming;
Kourbahn Nabioullin - vocals & bass

Guest Musicians:

Stanislaus Tenenbaum - drums;
Vladimir Kiryshkin - organ & lead synthesizer;
Yuri Markosyan - bass


Emi Rutkovskaya - backing vocals;
Ella Dudin - backing vocals, & Gabriel Dudin - laugh

Preamble. Many thanks to Sergey for sending me his solo CDs. "Eternal Call" is the debut Segrey Dudin album, which at the same time, represents somewhat of a joint effort of the Dudin family and their friends from the Russian-language diaspora in the USA.

The Album. While listening to "Eternal Call", I hear quite a simplified, yet, overall, good copy of Pink Floyd (think of "Obscured By Clouds", "The Final Cut", and "The Division Bell"). It's easy to find that "Eternal Call" is in many ways an album of the Progressive Rock genre. Listen to it a few times and you'll agree with me. First of all, each song on the album contains instrumental parts, most of which are interesting despite the fact that they are clearly about the arrangements that are typical for Pink Floyd. Here however, Gilmoresque guitar lines were played much more tastefully than those on the album of Obscured By Clouds, for instance. OBC is a Pink Floyd cover band, who, nevertheless, advertised their self-released CD-R "Bleed" throughout all the possible virtual and paper media so extensively that some strange Prog source (don't remember whether it's a magazine or a webzine) even included it in its Top-100 of the best progressive albums of 1999! After all, "Eternal Call" consists of the songs that were written by Sergey himself, and not by Pink Floyd. Are you a die-hard fan of Pink Floyd and also of anything that sounds like them? Would you love a new Pink Floyd album which has a totally 'firm' sound, typical for Pink Floyd, and songs with lyrics in Russian? If so, then you'll probably love "Eternal Call" to death!

VM. December 10, 2000

Musea Records

Sergey Dudin (USA) - 2001 - "Mirage"
(63 min, 'SD')


Track List: 

1. Introduction 3:54

2. Rescue Expedition 5:43

3. Alaska 5:37

4. Reunion 7:08

5. Middle East 2:41

6. Friday 5:51

7. Childhood 4:35

8. Nylon Ditty 1:54

9. Mirage 4:46

10. Energy of Life 6:01

11. Opus One 0:47

12. Black Sea 6:23

13. What's Wrong What's Right 8:00

All music: composed & arranged by Sergey Dudin.

Lyrics (on track 13 only): by Daniel Lanstein.


Sergey Dudin - guitars; keyboards; programming

Yuri Marcossian - bass

Slava Tenenbaum - drums


Dominik Esposito - vocals (on 13)

Produced by S. Dudin.

Engineered by Vladimir Maximov at "Ryabina" studios.

Mastered by Peter Humphries.

The Album. Stylistically, "Mirage" is still the only Sergey Dudin album, which is about a real Symphonic Art-Rock (with a few of the elements of Prog-Metal that, though, occur here only from time to time). Overall, this music is definitely of a Classic Progressive school, even though precisely half of the compositions that are featured on the album are instantly accessible. These are Rescue Expedition, Reunion, Friday, Childhood, Energy of Life, and Black Sea (2, 4, 6, 7, 10, & 12). (The 47-secunde Opus One (11), consisting of the only, yet, highly virtuosi and very effective solo of electric guitar, can hardly be regarded differently than as an intro to the following track.) Rescue Expedition and Childhood (2 & 7) are the instrumental ballads featuring simple and beautiful arrangements consisting of varied, yet, always mellow interplay between the fluid solos of electric guitar, those of bass, and passages of synthesizer. Energy of Life and Black Sea (10 & 12) are the mid-tempo Art-Rock pieces that, unlike both of the previously depicted tracks, feature both of the melodic and harsh sorts of the guitar solo, some of which are here not only diverse and virtuosi, but also highly original. The only serious drawback of any of the aforementioned four compositions concerns the monotony of tempo set by a drum machine, which is especially evident in comparison with those tracks that were recorded with a real drummer. Reunion and Friday (4 & 6), while being still accessible rather than complex compositions, quite noticeably differ from any of the four tracks that I've described above, as well as from each other, though. Reunion is about a very tasteful Classic Symphonic Art-Rock that, apart from the parts of electric instruments, features the excellent passages and solos of acoustic guitar. While Friday, which is the only 'official' representative of Prog-Metal on this album, is somewhat of a mirage within "Mirage". There are changes of tempo and tone on both of these pieces, but not as many as I would like to. All six of the remaining tracks are excellent, at least. Musically, both of Alaska (3) and What's Wrong What's Right (13), which is the only song on the album, represent a real Classic Symphonic Art-Rock of a dramatic character. The album's title track (9) is overall of the same story, though it is woven from the textures that are typical for the music of the East. If you listen to the classical guitar piece Nylon Ditty (8), you'll immediately recall Mood For a Day (Yes, "Fragile") by Steve Howe and a few of the other great guitar instrumentals, although Sergey's piece is incomparable at all. Both of the remaining compositions (and both of them were performed without drums) are not only real pearls of progressive music, but also rare pearls that, moreover, are unique by all means. Wonderful interplay between passages of acoustic guitar and those of a string ensemble that flow to the accompaniment of gentle jingle of little bells on Introduction (1) are full of a light sorrow, which is very, very 'Russian'. The amazingly fast and virtuosi passages of acoustic guitar and diverse interplay between them and mid-tempo solos of semi-acoustic guitar, sounding very much like Sitar, and those of bass, are presented on Middle East (5), which, as well as Introduction, is just filled with magic.

Summary. Before reading this review, one might think that the title of this album should refer to the presence of influences of Camel in the music that Mr. Dudin presented here, which however, is completely incorrect. As well as in the case of "Eternal Call", only fluid solos on "Mirage" may sometimes remind of those by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, while all of the harsh solos of guitar, and there are plenty of them on this album, are highly original. Also, there is a huge difference between both of the said albums, as there are no any direct influences on "Mirage". As always, I regard originality as one of the most important aspects of any musical work of any genre. However, as you've just read above, this album is rich not only in original ideas. So it gets my highest recommendations.

VM: December 5, 2002

Musea Records

Sergey Dudin (USA) - 2002 - "Guitar Ballads"
(44 min, 'CD')


Track List: 1. Intro 0:36 2. Sunrise 1:45 3. Morning Day 3:12 4. Sunset 3:23 5. 100% Nylon 1:43 6. Cassiopea 5:39 7. Come Back 5:49 8. Blue Diamond 4:59 9. Nostalgia 4:11 10. Deep 5:45 11. Tears 2:11 12. Destiny 5:25 All music: by Sergey Dudin. Lyrics: by Philip Balzano. Line-up: Sergey Dudin - guitars; keyboards; drum-programming Yuri Markosyan - bass Vladimir Kirushkin - organ (on 6) Alik Shabashev - trombone (on 7) Philip Balzano - vocals Produced & engineered by Sergey Dudin. Mastered by Dmitry Sobolev.

The Album. To be honest, I was afraid that the new Sergey Dudin album is really about just Rock ballads. To my surprise however, it turned out that the content of this album is quite diverse, and even the most accessible pieces here represent Symphonic Art-Rock ballads of a dramatic character, and not those sugary, mellow, and monotonous ones that are traditionally regarded as Rock ballads. In fact, only three pieces on this 12-track album consist of the arrangements that, while being tasteful, aren't that notable for a variety. All of them are bunched up in the beginning of the album and, according to the titles of them, they're of a unified concept not only stylistically. These are Sunrise, Morning Day, and Sunset (tracks 2, 3, & 4). I regret that Sunrise and Morning Day are actually two parts of the same composition. Otherwise Sunrise, featuring very interesting interplay between passages of synthesizer and solos of acoustic and electric guitar, would've been described later - along with the better compositions, and not here - as part of the said 'trio'. The following three compositions: Blue Diamond, Deep, and Tears (8, 10, & 11), feature not only the ballad-like musical textures, but also mid-tempo arrangements with quite diverse and, often, contrasting interplay between the fast and rather harsh solos of electric guitar, those of bass, and slow passages of synthesizer. The latter of them, though, was performed without the rhythm section. I've just clearly realized that there are the four different categories of compositions on "Rock Ballads" that are different among themselves by the level of progressiveness. Of course, I should've mentioned about it from the outset. However, the first two of these categories are already described. So let's move forward: Intro, Cassiopea, and Come Back (1, 6, & 7) are very good instrumental pieces, at least. Although Intro is very short, the guitar passages that are present there (and there is nothing but the passages of acoustic guitar on it:-) are in the state of a constant development. Cassiopea represents the Classic Art-Rock piece of a traditionally European origin. But then Come Back, which is overall of the same genre, features quite unusual rhythms and is marked with shades of Latin American music. All three of the remaining tracks: 100% Nylon, Nostalgia, and Destiny (5, 9, & 12), are excellent at every aspect and are, IMHO, the best compositions on this album. Of course, 100% Nylon consists exclusively of passages of a classical guitar. While on Nostalgia, there are diverse interplay between passages and solos of acoustic guitar and string-like passages of synthesizer (no parts of any other instruments here). Finally, Destiny is the only song on the album (lyrics are in English), which, moreover, is the only track here that is about a blend of Symphonic Art-Rock and Prog-Metal and features various progressive features and only a few tautologies (repetitions, sorry).

Summary. Although the hero of this review is probably the most original album by Sergey Dudin (indeed, there are too few of Pink Floyd's influences on "Rock Ballads" to notice them immediately), nevertheless, this is also the most accessible album by him. However, I'd better listen to any accessible, yet, honest album instead of 'chewing' somewhat of a classic plastic (I mean the latest album by Rousseau). As for Sergey Dudin's creation as a whole, it was the "Mirage" album, which was undoubtedly an hour of triumph of this musician and composer. Of course, everything that was said here was said from the progressive standpoint of view.

VM: December 12, 2002

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