Phew, apparently my Cyrillic letters are a bit rusty as the typing off of the track list showed, with some of them I am not all sure, if it was a “zh“, “sh“, “tch“ or “shch“, well, close enough, hehe.
I am talking about the best of album by Bulgarian SIGNAL, so not the former band of Mark (Marcie?) Free. Founded already in 1978 by Yordan “Dancho“ Karadzhov, Christo Lambrev and Roumen Spassov, George Kolakanov soon completed the line-up, after having played together in Bulgarian cult band GOLDEN STRINGS already back in 1971. After a bunch of line-up changes and an indiscernible number of albums (even though the info itself is pretty extensive, but according to the Bulgarian booklet it seems to be seven) SIGNAL apparently are still around and how could you discover such a band better than with a best of album?
For 16 songs the quartet presents us with their art, which is traditional Melodic/Hard Rock, which never gets kitschy or shallow, but always offers quite some substance. That they completely sing in Bulgarian does not really help the understanding of the lyrics, at least not me, but gives the whole thing a certain interesting touch still.
As I have no clue, which song come from which period, I unfortunately cannot tell you much about the evolution of the gentlemen, but let’s take a closer look at a few of the songs. Opener “Skip Spomen Moi” offers us slow to mid-paced Melodic Rock with very good guitars and the expressive vocals of fronter Yordan Karadzhov, which both will become a trademark of the SIGNAL sound during the more than 62 minutes. “Kaskadori” is a great song with very memorable chorus, very catchy, some Western acts could take this as an example, “Radio” also hits a comparable curb (style wise as qualitatively).
They also feel at home in balladesque regions, as proved with “Da Te Shaduvam“ and “Lipsvach Mi“, while with “Shchastlivech“ (or something like that) and “Do Utre Vesher“ we also get two a lot more driving and heavier songs, which also fit SIGNAL very well indeed!
The visual side is a little spartanic, but for that the contained music more than makes up, classical Melodic/Hard Rock, which works on emotional grounds as well as a bit heavier stuff, which strong guitar work and equally strong vocals, so if you like this style, try to get this one, it’s worth it, really! (Online April 20, 2004)