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Obiymy Doschu - Son CD (album) cover

SON

Obiymy Doschu

 

Crossover Prog

4.40 | 85 ratings

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Steve Conrad
5 stars OBIYMY DOSCHU "Son"

The Opening

It's difficult to believe that one's home- nation, state, district, city/town, block, particular address would NOT have an impact on the music one makes.

Any cursory- or more careful- reading of Ukraine history and culture tells us that Ukraine has ancient roots and contemporary crises, not least ongoing warfare that has raged most recently at least three years.

All this to say that 'SON', or 'DREAM', lies rooted in its ancient, and also its contemporary context(s).

Composer and lyricist Vladimir Agafonkin himself describes the general tone of OBIYMY DOSCHU as 'autumnal', melancholic, and drawing from Ukrainian folk music traditions.

The name OBIYMY DOSCHU, or 'The Rain's Embrace', itself suggests this kind of depth and scope.

So it's no accident that this album reflects all of this, and although I use a perfect rating of 5 stars VERY gingerly, in this case it is warranted.

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The Music

The music is superb, making the term 'progressive' hold to its deepest meanings, to these ears. There are strings and orchestration, multi-layered vocals, with some quite breathtaking passion- especially on Zemie Moya, or 'My Dear Land'- which Agafonkin says is perhaps most meaningful of all to him, on this release.

There are soaring guitar lines and choral passages, then nearly post-rock repetitions and build-ups, with a jazzy break or two thrown in for good measure.

The Lyrics

Agafonkin was good enough to roughly translate the original Ukrainian lyrics into English, and even these 'rough' translations show a thoughtfulness and sensitivity that rise above the norm.

The Themes

'Songs from the album tell a story about the struggle and difficulties a person faces in a modern urbanistic, globalized world, a journey from the lowest point of fall to a free flight, from death to rebirth. 'Son' ('Dream') is a metaphor for life which you don't fully accept, which you see as an illusion' But 'After you wake from it, you will never fall asleep again'.'- notes on the website.

That said, it seemed to me that images like the dark river, dew, rain, and a flowing river were suggestive of deeper forces, perhaps even an underlying spirituality that moved from despair to resurrection and hope.

I thought I was hearing a conversation between lost lovers, trying to locate, reassure, and orient each other despite many obstacles.

The Zeitgeist

I'm using that term to refer to the overall sense of the album.

For one thing, it strikes me as fairly radical, egalitarian, life-affirming, loving, nonconforming, death-defying, and hopeful to give away the music that is the lifeblood and currency with which an ensemble like OBIYMY DOSCHU interacts in the world.

For another, the way in which this ensemble insists on making it as true to the artistic ideals it holds most dear, yet making it as accessible to the interested listener as possible, also underscore those qualities.

Finally, no one is THE STAR, since everyone is credited and seen as an integral part of the whole SON experience. It is the that reveals the Zeitgeist.

In Conclusion

The 5-Star rating is a symbol of my highest esteem, and means that for me this musical work takes its place with other giants of progressive music.

For me, the sum of all these parts and components add up to an enduring masterpiece, one I think has resonance not just for today, but for years to come, and for generations of those who appreciate artistry at its best.

Steve Conrad | 5/5 |

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