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Lost World Band: Solar Power

The Lost World Band is a Russian symphonic prog band, formed in 2005, that draws upon highlights of prog's glorious past and simultaneously provides a new voice and sound that challenges the boundaries of the genre.

The band includes: Andy Didorenko, on acoustic and electric violin, guitar, and bass guitar; Vassily Soloviev, on flute, vocals and guitar; Alexander Akimov, on keyboard, programming, and sound engineering; Veniamin Rozov, on drums; Konstantin Yudin, on keyboard. Yuliya Basis, on piano and also translations; and Alexei Rybakov, on vocals.

The Lost World Band has produced three additional albums before Solar Power since 2005. They have also played live at the "InProg", (2005 and 2006) festivals in Moscow.

Solar Power opens like something from the glorious catalog of the famous progressive rockers Kansas. "The Voyage" is an instrumental journey any Kansas fan, (raising hand), will love. The signature violin sound, lead guitar, the rollicking pace and everything you remember from that great band. It's all here in a close to six minute tribute. However, they add some excellent piano work just to add a new dimension to the sound and make it theirs. The flute also provides another signature. One of the best tracks right from the opening.

Vassily Soloviev's melodic vocals open Metamorphoses. Alexander Akimov, on keyboard, interjects his own interpretation of Led Zep's "Carouselambra" that will bring a smile to your face.

There are moments of calm, like the opening of "Detached" which are almost surreal, like morning from the desert cover art they use.

"Facing the Rain" brings the return of Soloviev's melodic vocals, set to almost symphonic prog. Beautiful music that takes the edge off the cold rain.

With a title like, "Run that by Me Again", you know you want to hear it first. Well, let me tell you, Charlie Daniels might have stepped back, impressed on this one. "Damn the torpedoes…full speed ahead" as Andy Didorenko takes flight like Robbie Steinhardt on "Magnum Opus". Yah, this track definitely lives up to its billing.

"Tongues of Flame, Parts I & II" will take you back to the glorious past of 'Leftoverture" and before, only with the Lost World Band's own interpretations and inventiveness within the violin work.

"Your Name" is a wonderful piece of acoustic guitar, before Soloviev's vocals and Akimov, on keyboards, return to elevate the sound even further.

"Swept Off" gives Jethro Tull fans a good piece of Vassily Soloviev's flute-work to enjoy.

This album is a pleasant surprise for all fans of prog and more importantly anyone who enjoys well-played, virtuoso musicianship. Solar Power is full of some inventive violin playing, experimental lead electric guitar and bass, unique keyboard rhythms, excellent drums and percussion. In other words, these are virtuoso musicians displaying magnificent talent throughout. Even if you are not a progressive music fan, you have to admire their ability to create these unique and intricate melodies.

Much of the album is instrumental and for that reason it is more difficult to describe. Better to be experienced…like the artwork on the cover.

The many jam extravaganzas that fill this album, will highlight your listening enjoyment. Most of the album keeps a brisk pace, weaving those violins and keys through the windmills in your mind. Turn off the lights and enjoy some Solar Power.

Track Listing:

1. The Voyage
2. Metamorphoses
3. Solar Power
4. Detached
5. At the Waterfront
6. Facing the Rain
7. Run that by Me Again
8. Nothing
9. Tongues of Flame I
10. Tongues of Flame II
11. Your Name
12. Swept Off
13. Nothing Reprise

Added: November 20th 2013
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
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Language: english

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Lost World Band: Solar Power
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-11-19 17:59:04
My Score:

Recently brought to my attention by a good friend of mine, the Russian trio Lost World Band are a new experience for me, even though they are ten years old and have four studio albums under their belt. Solar Power is their newest effort and what a wide and varied, yet thoroughly cohesive collection it makes. Instrumental "The Voyage" kicks the whole album into life, layered violins soaring and singing in an unimaginably joyous manner. That the next flavour that smacks into you is the bulging bass bombast of Andy Didorenko (amazingly the same man who provides the violin) is a surprise and already it is like someone has turned Kansas like themes up to warp factor 10 and then tipped a whole lorry load of King Crimson on top via grating jazz piano breaks, wild guitar spirals and tumultuous drumming. Phew! And we are only six minutes into the ride!

If there's a problem with Solar Power, then it is that this initial outburst is never quite matched, but then don't take that to mean that what comes next isn't worthy of attention. "Metamorphosis" introduces the first vocal of the album, Didorenko adding singing to his list of achievements through a slightly accented Geddy Lee like style; which with the washes of keyboards (from, you guessed it Didorenko) comes across as Rush meets Vangelis via Yes gone jazz fusion.

The rest of the trio is made up of Konstantin Strilitz on drums and Vassili Soloviev who provides occasional flute. Therefore it will come as no surprise to find that Didorenko is also responsible for writing all of the music and lyrics that abound here. The title track broods and burns, before prancing sprightly and yet again turning everything on its head. It should all be a challenge, but the sheer brightness and lightness of touch leaves it as anything but; a stellar production benefiting the music hugely. The variety comes thick and fast and just as likely to appear within the songs as it is between them, with jazz interludes lounging across crisp, precise Prog workouts. Violins adding immediacy often lacking in this style of music, while never straying towards cheesy or over playful. A very, very fine balancing act, but one tight roped to perfection, whether on the piano, guitar jostling, yet remarkably sparse "Detached", the riff strewn, yet violin led "Run That By Me Again", where the drums are set for stun, or "Tongues Of Flame I" and "Swept Off" where the flute comes more into the picture.

Considering the origin of these songs, the results sound surprisingly Western, few, if any of the more obvious "homegrown" elements that Eastern bands operating in this area tend to incorporate coming to the fore. Which while something I normally hugely enjoy, actually makes Solar Power an even more potent statement.

2013 has been a year full of eye opening musical discoveries, with the bar continually raised from genre to genre. However Lost World Band stand proudly as one of the most diverse and accomplished acts I've encountered, for Solar Power is an album which positively glows and grows with each listen.

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