1. A Winter Tale - Part 1 (4:27) 2. A Winter Tale - Part 2 (5:34) 3. Silent Anger (4:49) 4. Old Legends (4:22) 5. All the Time I think about you (3:04) 6. Amused Fair (8:13) 7. Stone Talk (2:03) 8. Marvelous Dance (3:31) 9. Muse (2:38) 10. Close to Heaven (2:43)
Total Time: 39:24
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
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.
"A Winter Tale (part 1)" is divided in "Out of the Deep" that opens with a slow synth intro with keyboard strings, birdcalls and a melody with flutes and "Into the Light" that has a simple but wonderful melody that slowly builds towards a symphonic climax. Absolute the highlight for me of this wonderful CD. "A Winter Tale (part 2)" exists of "On the air" and "Summer song". The first is a happy up-tempo tune full of delicious keyboard and guitar parts. This keyboard drenched art-rock sounds like the best symphonic rock. "Summer song" starts with a broad carpet of organ and is combined with flutes and a kind of accordion that sounds like Ullian pipes. "Silent anger"has beautiful melodies on the accordion and flutes. The keyboards are divers and piano and acoustic guitar gives this ballad the final touch. "Old legends" is also full of keyboards, flutes and guitars but the main keyboard is the piano. Karfagen makes delicious melodic sympho. "All that I think about you" is a delicate classical piano piece. "Amused Fair" is one of the most divers tracks on this album. You can hear that the band is influenced by the sympho bands of the seventies. Their music sounds fresh and has an own identity. In this track you can hear a beautiful flute part which reminds me of bands like Camel or Focus. "Stone talk" is mysterious."Marvelous dance" is up-tempo and has some nice guitar parts. "Muse" has delicate guitar parts and a beautiful flute. "Close to heaven" the bonus track, is the only vocal track with lyrics. But because the music of Karfagen is so divers, you don't miss any vocals on the album.