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Compassionizer: Caress of Compassion

Warning: the title of this album does not reflect the sound in the slightest! Caress of Compassion sounds like a feeling warm and pleasant, but the music is almost a polar opposite. And sadly, the bleakness and eeriness of that record is not the only thing I am talking about.

The album opens up with "The Whole Creation Travaileth in Pain Together", and it doesn't make a good first impression. The first half is dark and eerie, which could be a teaser of something great, but it promptly becomes an annoying mess of various instruments playing in a chaotic way. And that's not the last time a track is plagued by this problem. "Street out of Sleep" brings a moment of pleasure - there's no fireworks, of course, but the track manages to grab you with a steady, pulsating rhythm. "How Poems Lose Relevance" is a great title, but that's where my praise for this one ends. It would make a really good thriller/horror movie soundtrack, but as a standalone piece it doesn't really work. The title track, "Caress of Compassion" is split into three parts and spread throughout the album. All of them feature very soft and gentle piano work, but all the clarinets around it ruin the mood completely. "The Whole Creation"... syndrome stains "Beware of Evil Workers" and "Heart to Heart Talk" - they start promisingly, but as the time passed, I found myself more and more annoyed by all the incoherence. The best track on the album is "Sinkhole", and it's miles better than anything else found on it. It manages to be engaging throughout the whole duration, everything flows very well, and even with more and more instruments joining and playing at the same time, it does not become a cacophony - unlike most tracks here. There's also "1907", and if you ignore the annoying, stinging lead guitar lick at the start, it's a pretty solid track. The repeating piano melody puts the listener in trance, and the feeling of uneasiness creeps up their back... up to the guitar and keyboard duet sounding like a background music to Dracula's resurrection. "When It Is Too Late to Love" is another good moment. It would not feel out of place in a horror movie scene leading to a big reveal. The opening of "My Soul as a Thirsty Land" is surprisingly joyful and manages to bring a smile on my face... which disappears at the first sign of "The Whole Creation"... syndrome plaguing this track, too. It's not as bad here as it is on the other tracks touched by that illness, though.

Overall, this album is not very good on its own. It could work very, and I repeat, VERY well as a movie soundtrack, but as a standalone piece of music, it's completely unremarkable. Speaking of soundtracks, I can't resist the feeling that Mr. Rozmainsky tried to emulate the feeling of Ulver's work in the industry, but Caress of Compassion is no Perdition City.

Serghei Liubcenco - guitar, doira, rubab, recording
Leonid Perevalov -bass clarinets, clarinets, recording
Ivan Rozmainsky - conception, keyboards, percussion, recording
Anatoly Nikulin - mixing and mastering
Vyacheslav Potapov - artwork
With thanks to:
Natalia Fyodorova - gusli
Yurii Groiser -drums, programming
Stanislava Malakhovskaya - harp
Oleg Prilutsky - trumpet

Track listing:
1. The Whole Creation Travaileth in Pain Together 7:15
2. Street out of Sleep 3:21
3. How Poems Lose Relevance 4:15
4. Caress of Compassion (Part 1) 3:21
5. Beware of Evil Workers 3:47
6. Heart to Heart Talk 4:03
7. Sinkhole 3:29
8. Caress of Compassion (Part 2) 2:13
9. 1907 5:13
10. When it is Too Late to Love 3:05
11. My Soul as a Thirsty Land 5:13
12. Caress of Compassion (Part 3) 3:03

Added: December 2nd 2020
Reviewer: Maciej Slowik
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 887
Language: english

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