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Besides Russia, Uzbekistan is nowadays the only post-Soviet republic that can easily be found on the progressive rock map (only the lazy are still unaware of its presence there); quite a few of its related artists are widely known in corresponding circles all over the world, thus forming part of the genre’s international movement. The Tashkent quintet TERMIN VOX is so far only popular within the CIS (post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States), but this is a temporary occurrence, I’m sure. Unfortunately the Russian label Fono Records, which released their debut outing “Evolution”, hasn’t lifted a finger to made the album available for purchasing anywhere besides the implied territory, hence the format of this review. Formerly of Titus and Fromuz, the bandleader, songwriter and lyricist as well singer and keyboardist extraordinaire, Evgeniy ‘U-Jinnee’ Popeloff, has been working with famous British producer Mick Glossop (who, in particular, recorded a few tracks for his solo project Exorcist), which is worth mention not only as a mere fact, if you catch my idea. I think many other originally non-English vocalists would envy Evgeniy’s pronunciation of the language. Furthermore, he is a chameleon-like singer who equally with ease provides traditional vocals and so-called screaming as well as growling, generally using his voice as a real, soloing, instrument. Termin Vox’s music as such is also quite contrasting, fairly frequently combining dark and aggressive passages with softer, melodic, moves; it is abundant in complex theme and pace shifts and generally has quite a strong progressive quality to it. Evgeniy lists several bands as Termin Vox’s inspirations, but since I’m very poorly acquainted with any of those, I only can tell you whose traces of influences I personally recognize in their music. On both its vocal and instrumental levels the recording reminds me in some ways of a cross between Iced Earth’s “Burnt Offering”, “Ride the Lightning” by Metallica and King Diamond’s “The Spider’s Lullaby”, and may anyone else dare to say it’s a blasphemous conclusion. Termin Vox is in all senses a highly professional collective as is proven by both their playing and the sound (etc) quality of their entire output. The bonus DVD documents their live performance at one of Tashkent's rock clubs. Look forward for a new Termin Vox CD, to be released in summer via one of the ‘western’ recording companies.
VM: March 20, 2009
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