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TRACK LIST: 1. Trigon 0:50 2. Anima Mundi 5:31 3. Ekliptika 3:27 4. Chandra 3:51 5. Supermarket 3:41 6. Virtualni Trubadur 2:32 7. Bal Vampira 4:37 8. Iluzija 4:44 9. Trailer 1:42 10. Skylla 7:46 LINEUP: Branko Crnogorcic drums Marino Bursic guitars Marko Kalcic bass Roberta Paljar keyboards With: Toni Pernic Branko Radic Tatiana Giorgi Crnogorcic
Prolusion. The Croatian band SNOVI was formed back in 2008, initially consisting of the formative duo of Bursic and Crnogorcic, if I read their history correctly, with Kalcic and Paljar joining in 2009 and 2010 respectively. They self-released their self-titled debut album in 2011.
Analysis. While Snovi states a number of fairly diverse sources of inspiration on their Facebook page, the type of music they actually explore is one that doesn't have all that much in common with their stated influences, apart from being progressive rock that is. Bjork and King Crimson are two of those possibly influential artists stated, without too many trace elements from either appearing in the material Snovi explore themselves. I guess their brand of music may be given several different descriptions; personally I'll settle for space rock being the most appropriate on this occasion. As space rock is a genre that covers quite a lot of ground, I think the easiest detailed description I can give on this particular take on the genre is that it is one that doesn't directly adhere to any of the more influential schools one will associate with this definition. There is most often a firm bass guitar, driving the songs forward, in approach at least similar to Hawkwind in that regard, but in sound just as often reminding me of U2 in this particular department as it did of the aforementioned space cadet veterans. The use of guitars is rather more prominent in this case than in many others, with wandering, plucked gentle guitar details alternating with smooth guitar solo runs, rougher guitar riffs and occasional edgier riff cascades with a slight metal edge. Keyboard textures and effects make up the rest, with futuristic sounds, voice effects of various kinds providing the greater majority of the space in this brand of space rock, but also with room for more conventional keyboard motifs and even a good, old fashioned organ. Similarities to bands as different as Porcupine Tree, Eloy and Ozric Tentacles were noted throughout this CD, but where the use of futuristic elements and at least a slight touch of an improvised feel is another facet that I thought was ongoing. Some developments made me think towards a band like Oresund Space Collective as well, but again in approach and development rather than general or overall sound.
Conclusion. This debut album by the Croatian band Snovi is one to seek out for those with a taste for music generally described as space rock, in this case of a kind and a nature that aren't all that comparable with other players in this field in terms of sound and execution. A space rock album for those who wants to experience a band not adhering to more or less established traditions perhaps, but with the ongoing futuristic elements you would expect by a band referenced as exploring space rock.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: July 14, 2016
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