Ariel Perchuk’s Odyssey - Eastern Symphony - (8/10)
Published on February 11, 2019
Genre:Symphonic Progressive Metal / Folk
If you’ve been wandering the desert in search of an unknown band with and incredibly unique sound, look no further than Ariel Perchuk’s Odyssey. This mysterious ensemble conjures symphonic prog with a Middle Eastern folk spirit. The aptly named Eastern Symphony is Perchuk’s most recent solo project, featuring an impressive lineup of Argentinian guest musicians, including ex-Skiltron bassist Fernando Marty.
Even though the album periodically relies on the haunting string tracks and dumbek rhythms, its lifeblood without-a-doubt lives in the keyboards. There are some nasty fucking key solos on this record. I’m not kidding. Perchuk gives us a little taste in the second track, ‘Just a Dream’ (especially in the outro), but they really take off in the following instrumental and keyboard feature: ‘The Eyes of the Sunset’. It begins relatively tame, but some serious licks are laid down and there’s even a jazzy organ section that sounds like something from ‘Oye Como Va’.
There are a few instrumental tracks on the record, such as the aforementioned ‘The Eyes of the Sunset’ and ‘Dreams and Nightmare’. It never feels like too many, however, because they’re insanely lively and well-detailed, and there are some serious facemelting solos from keyboards and guitars alike. Additionally, the mixing allows for a beefy bass sound and the drumwork is great. The entire album constantly proves both Perchuk’s compositional ability and the rest of the band’s musicianship.
In Eastern Symphony I have two favourite songs, which are both instrumentals. The first is ‘Across a Tunnel of Light’, in which the progressive and Middle Eastern elements are strong. There’s also an insanely tasteful guitar solo in the latter half that knocked me on my ass. My other favourite, ‘Solfeggietto’, concludes the album. It’s full to the brim with fun neoclassical elements and, yes, more ridiculous soloing. The harpsichord interludes add a nice flavour to the song, too.
It’s safe to say that this album is phenomenal. There is a huge amount of song variety and the dynamic songs are almost overflowing with different elements. The rhythm section lays down numerous proggy fills and grooves and the many keyboard parts add layer upon layer of depth into the music. I eagerly await Ariel Perchuk’s next project, because he’s simply too good a musician to not produce another album.
Originally written for powerthorn.com