Although this is the self titled debut release from Russia's Rain Tongue, this trio of talented musicians has been playing together since the mid 90's, with numerous self released CD-r's to their credit under the names of Teatr Tenei and Yazyk Dozhdya. In 2007 bandmates Alexei Ivanov (guitars, vocals, keyboards), Dmitry Bulavintzev (drums and percussion) and Konstantin Isaev (accordion, guitars, keyboards) opted for an all instrumental approach and became known as Rain Tongue.
The melancholic atmospherics of opening track "Terra" sets the mood perfectly for the rest of the music that follows. Rubbery bass lines, subtle guitar and piano textures, along with the ethereal vocalizations of guest singer Victoria Nevzhinskaya give this superbly rich composition its organic foundation. This approach carries over into the sprawling nine minute "To The Nearest Sun", which unfolds at such a gloriously languid pace so as to allow the listener enough time to deeply inhale the lush melodies and empty spaces within the music. This track which is slightly reminiscent of the post-rock feel of American band Tortoise, is once again propelled by Ivanov's thick sounding bass lines, sparse guitar work and the shimmering piano playing of Lidia Pekur.
The pace picks up a bit with the fourth number "Chaparral" as the tempos shift ever so slightly throughout and Ivanov gets a little more aggressive with his guitar playing. "Cloud Atlas" returns to the melancholic feel of the earlier songs, and this is one of two compositions on the album, the other being "When Will It Fly Over Them", to feature Isaev's accordion playing, which enhances the overall somber qualities of this track. On the other hand his playing on "When Will It Fly Over Them" takes on a distinctly lighter feel, and the song itself is certainly one of the more up tempo pieces of music offered here.
It's the final three tracks though, "Lucky Girl", "Two Minutes To Awakening" and the epic closing number "Feathers" , that perfectly sum up what Rain Tongue are all about. The remarkable feeling of cohesiveness that flows through not only these three songs, but through the whole album, as moods are established, broken down and then re-established, without losing their stream of continuity, is certainly an impressive feat, especially for a group of musicians who are taking their first crack at creating an album's worth of all instrumental music.
In conclusion Rain Tongue has delivered a stellar opening statement that not only highlights their superb musicianship, but also reveals their exceptional dedication to the art of crafting well thought out songs that encompass the entire emotional spectrum.
2) No More Secrets
3) To The Nearest Sun
5) Cloud Atlas
6) When Will It Fly Over Them
7) Lucky Girl
8) Two Minutes To Awakening