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VITALIJ KUPRIJ ‘Forward And Beyond’ Lion Music (2004)

Iím pretty sure that Iím not the only person who believes that Hard Rock music is the Classical music of the 20th century. The representatives of these two really imporatnt styles of music have many things in common: Same passion, same desire to express ultimate feelings and above all, same skill and talent, destined to stand the test of time.

Vitalij Kuprij is a man who serves with the same passion both music worlds. The Ukranian virtuoso, winner of many classical music competitions, is best known from his participation in the progressive rock/metal band Artension, whith whom he has released five CDs. Kuprij has also released three solo instrumental albums, and participated in many different projects. 'Forward and Beyond' is the Ukrainianís fourth solo album, and as expected the product of the marriage between Classical and Metal music. Vitalij created ten very impressive compositions with the help/participation of some very important musicians, among them Michael Romeo from Symphony-X, and Michael Harris, the American wizard of the six and eight-string guitar. The result: simply amazing!

'Forward and Beyond' is an album which will demand your full attention and allow you to experience all sorts of feelings, including dissappointment at hearing the last notes of 'Idol Tribute', the last track of the album Ė but donít worry, all you have to do is push the 'play' button again and enjoy the album all the way from the start!

Once again I face the dilema of having to chose a couple of songs as my favourites, a very difficult task indeed (just listen to the whole album and youíll understand why). In this case my favourite song will be 'Far From Home', a song which combines Vitalijís beautiful piano/keyboard melodies with an excellent performance by both acoustic and electric guitars.

'Forward and Beyond' is one of these albums that you will show with pride to your friends even in thirty years time!


Review by John Stefanis

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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