Released July 7, 2006
Label: Unicorn Digital
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. A Winter Tale - Part 1 (4:27)
Line-up / Musicians
- Antony Kalugin: keyboards, sampling, percussion, vocal on tr. 10
- Oleg Polyanskiy: piano, electro organ, keys, vocal
- Sergei Kovalev: bayan (tr. 3, 6)
- Kostya Shepelenko: drums
- Roman Cucherenko: bass guitar
- Roman Filonenko: ac. & el. Guitars
- Georgiy Kafunin: flutes, wheel lira & effects (tr. 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9)
- Oleg Korataev: nylon guitar (tr. 2, 4,)
- Mariana Sobol: vocal (tr. 3, 10)
- Tim Sobolev: vocal (tr. 6)
All tracks by A. Kalugin (except tr. 5 by Oleg Polianskiy)
Mixed & Mastered by A. Mirniy in Sept.- Dec. 2005. Recorded in Kharkov, Ukraine
Cover art and layout by Jonas Thuren
Ukraine-based band KARFAGEN is a somewhat personal bet of young composer/keyboardist Antony Kalugin,who founded this project in 1997 (at the age of 16!),being himself a student at school.Before the turn of the millenium he started writing material for the first KARFAGEN album and actually the band played a few gigs as well,before they were put on ice with Kalugin following a personal career,mostly composing and participating on new-age albums.By mid- 00's Antony had been a self-employed musician,so he gave birth to his former band and recorded the long-awaited KARFAGEN debut in 2005 on the Canadian Unicorn Records.
His work can be easily compared to these of MIKE OLDFIELD,GANDALF and CAMEL if you add some more passion and energy to the compositions.Having next to him his fellow keyboardist Sergei Kovalev,Kalugin explores and unites the paths of Symphonic Rock,New Age and Electronic in a very adventuruous and highly attractive package.Lots of spacey floating electronics dominate the album along with pianos and some great organ parts,which give the album a grandiose symphonic taste,while the succesful addition of limited parts with cellos,harmonica,flutes and bagpipes give the album a folkier and almost oriental touch in parts.Among those sometimes bombastic themes weird effects (water,birds etc.) are added in order to calm a bit down the dynamics.Electric guitars are much carefully used with a main aim to rise up the energy and nerve of the music between the keyboard-based parts,sometimes also in a jazzy mood.I could say that most of the tracks contain from even a bit to a higher range of Kalugin's classical training,especially on the piano parts...and one more thing:Do not expect the music to be overall sweet and atmospheric.In ''Continium'' KARFAGEN offer a fair amount of complex ELP-ish breaks to make it even more attractive and challenging.
The final taste is more than positive.Intricate,balanced,adventuruous and marvelously arranged,''Continium'' was worth waiting and Kalugin made no mistake on insisting on this band's future.An excellent addition to your collection,especially if you are a fan both of Symphonic and keyboard-driven Progressive Rock.
The debut album from this Ukranian group led by Antony Kalugin is mainly instrumental. The band is being championed by Will at Caerllysi Music, who is a fine judge of good prog music.
The two part "A Winter's Tale" starts off slowly with a gentle synth riff and birdsong, before the drums lead you into the main part of song. Part two starts off with a slightly naff-sounding keyboard riff but soon picks up the pace. An excellent guitar solo is the highlight of this number.
"Silent Anger" starts off as a medieval-sounding number, then changes with the introduction of piano and accordion. This song later features the first (wordless) vocal of the album. "All the time I think about you" is a short solo piano piece, perhaps a tad too Richard Clayderman. "Amused Fair" is the longest track and one of the best, straying into jazzy territory with some nice guitar work. "Marvelous Dance" (sic) is probably the best track here, with an excellent piano riff. It also shows their spelling could do with a bit of work. "Muse" is a nice jazzy guitar piece, which leads us into the only real vocal track - the bonus track "Close To Heaven". This is a slow number, a duet between male and female vocalists.
The album as a whole does betray Antony's new age background , as this album treads the line between prog and new age, occasionally putting a foot over the line but just when you think it's all getting a bit like lift music, they throw in an interesting keyboard riff or guitar solo to maintain the interest. The drum sound, particularly the snare, could do with a bit more of a natural rather than electronic sound as it does not help the new age comparisons but overall a good solid three star debut, recommended for fans of instrumental prog, and I am expecting even better things from them.