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Solaris - Nostradamus Book Of Prophecies CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.15 | 198 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Solaris - Nostradamus Boos of Prophecies (1999)

Now this is an album that should definitely have gotten more attention in our community. Though I'm not that interested in modern prog music, this really is an album that got my full attention.

Solaris is a symphonic (on this album eclectic) progressive rock band from Hungary. Their 1984 release 'Martian Chronicles' is seen as one of the best progressive rock albums of the eighties. In the nineties the band released two albums, 'Solaris 1990' and in this '99 Nostradamus album.

Prog, innovation - sometimes we just want to be surprised by how new music can sound to our ears. This album has that power; you may like the music or not - you will be caught by it's total new approach to the genre. Solaris adopted many elements from all over the world: Hungarian opera chants, Indian culture music, tribal sounds and of course some beloved elements of symphonic prog; synths, distorted guitars with reverb, flutes (played in a world- music style) and rockin' drums and bass. All are played tasteful and sound fresh. On some moments the bass-lines are the main element of the music, which is rarely seen. The vocals are in Hungarian and are a mix of 'normal' vocals and Hungarian opera chants (often in non-western keys). The music get's emotional, exciting and bombastic (but never in a bad way).

The main attraction is the three-part epic Book Of Prophecies, that runs for 20 minutes. The way this song is constructed is really unique and the long atmospheric instrumental parts are all strong. The use of chants and tribel sounds gives the music an authentic feel. The epic has a main theme, sung by a choir. All instrumental and other vocal section are build around this main theme, but the strange thing is: you can't get enough of this main theme. It's just so good. The other tracks of the album are less unique, but still very good. Perhaps they could be described best as a step toward more conventional prog, but it's still a distinctive sound Solaris adopted on this Nostradamus album.

Conclusion. This is a must-have album for all fans of progressive rock. Fans of symphonic, eclectic and atmospheric/innovative prog are all likely to get caught by this truly original album. My only complaint is that the second halve of the album isn't as strong as the first halve. Having that said I must admit: the Book of Prophecies epic is one of the best modern prog tracks I've ever listened to. Four and halve stars for this one. Recommended to all people on this site.

friso | 4/5 |


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