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SUNCHILD The Wrap Caerllysi Music (2010)


Sunchild is one of the strings to the bow of Antony Kalugin, a prolific progressive rock genius from Ukraine, probably better known for his work with Karfagen.

The Wrap is the band's third album and is simply superb. If you like your prog steeped in the creative juices of the 70's but crave a contemporary twist, Kalugin's your man. There are nods all over this sprawling masterpiece to all the progressive greats: Hackett, Yes, Marillion, ELP, et al are all namechecked, but this is no standard prog rock template.

All the components are here to give even the most rabid prog fan a fresh perspective on the genre with a heavy, here-and-now edge that sustains interest throughout.

There are six tracks here, but the centrepiece of the whole album is the title track, clocking in at a bladder-bursting 38 minutes and having that rare quality among progressive music's lengthy workout history in both sustaining and stimulating the listener's interest until the last strains of the guitar outro fade away.

Kalugin plays a mean keyboard and has surrounded himself with a fine coterie of musicians and it's plain to see on all the tracks here he has pushed them hard and extracted the very best. Guitarist Maxim Velichko must be singled out for some very impressive fretwork, and there are some nice contributions from cello and violin, which often give the album a slightly Middle Eastern flavour.

Taken in the round, this is as classic a work of progressive rock as you are likely to find. If you can get past the heavily accented vocals (it's not difficult), Sunchild have delivered a meisterwerk that will make today's progressive rock aspirants realise they'll have to up their game.


Review by Alan Jones

Caerllysi Music


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***** 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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