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Eclectic Prog • Romania

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Alternativ Quartet biography
ALTERNATIV QUARTET are a promising new band from the Transylvanian town of Bistriţa, Romania. Formed in 2007, they have consequently grew a name by playing live with other Transylvanian bands such as the stoner-psych band THE :EGOCENTRICS and or the popular post-grunge/alternative band LUNA AMARĂ. The turning point of their career was playing the Stufstock festival in 2009, which brought them to national wide attention in the independent scene. The band's debut album, titled Silence Fills the Holes (in translation), was released in 2010 as a self-production (available as both a beautiful digipack and a free digitial download) and achieved unanimous critical acclaim.

The music of ALTERNATIV QUARTET is a difficult to define progressive, psychedelic alternative rock. The many influences range from classic space rock kind of atmospheres, with a modern, TOOL-like sound, and a post-metal songwriting style. Vocal harmonies, trumpet and flute enrich the guitar-based sound. The consistency and flow of musical ideas are successfully implemented to make the album a homogeneous musical work, like a suite, a loose conceptual album. The lyrics are highly poetic and contribute to the general state of enhanced mood. The band's stated influences are PINK FLOYD, LED ZEPPELIN, MIKE OLDFIELD, TOOL, A PERFECT CIRCLE, NINE INCH NAILS and MOGWAI.

Bio provided by Alex (

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ALTERNATIV QUARTET top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.89 | 9 ratings
Linistea Astupa Goluri
3.11 | 8 ratings

ALTERNATIV QUARTET Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)


ALTERNATIV QUARTET Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ALTERNATIV QUARTET Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Aripi by ALTERNATIV QUARTET album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.11 | 8 ratings

Alternativ Quartet Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Surfing these Archives is like taking an armchair musical package tour around the world: if it's Tuesday, this must be Romania. And like any trip abroad it's always more rewarding when you step off the beaten path, in this case with an Eastern European quartet playing a style of twin-guitar rock not too far removed (in spirit, more than actual practice) from the heavy sound of RUSH or PORCUPINE TREE.

The band's 2010 debut album was a confident first step. But this follow-up shows signs of compositional fatigue, as if the quartet had to work twice as hard to achieve the same worthwhile results. You won't find any fault in the playing, still as sharp the second time around, and anchored as before by the crystalline baritone of a lead singer resembling Eddy Vedder on a Carpathian vacation. But the effort is sometimes audible in the songwriting: these eleven selections might have been leftovers from the earlier session, reheated and served up as a fresh meal.

The inscrutably titled 'Uite Pe Ce Calc' is a thrilling exception. And the band finally regains its stride late in the album, from the swelling quasi-orchestral chords of 'Carne Vie' toward a final pair of songs comparing favorably to the ethereal metal of Steve Wilson at his most assertive. The first album included a track named with the mathematic symbol for pi; this one ends with the even more cryptic '6582738073'...more random digits from the same irrational number?

Once again the album was self-produced (and self-released, as a freebie on the band's currently dormant web site), but the quality is superb. Singing in their native-born tongue might deny them the larger audience they certainly deserve, but this is a group with the sound of an international sensation, minus only the encouragement that comes with wider exposure.

 Linistea Astupa Goluri by ALTERNATIV QUARTET album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 9 ratings

Linistea Astupa Goluri
Alternativ Quartet Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With Steve Wilson's PORCUPINE TREE now on indefinite hiatus, fans looking for a similar blend of moody Hard Rock might consider this young Romanian band instead, and especially their year 2010 debut album. The quartet's preferred brand of heavy AOR shows more than enough style and atmosphere to fit snugly in a Progressive Rock forum, and like PT presents a very tight, very together group with a weakness for minor keys and chord structures.

Despite their classification in these Archives the music isn't really very eclectic, unless you consider singing in a language that reads like bastardized Latin to be eclectic, or naming a track with the mathematic symbol for pi (and shouldn't the song be 3-minutes, 14-seconds long?) With a little effort the band could have dipped their toes into the noisy, overcrowded Post Rock pool (the AQ Facebook page actually identifies them as Post Rockers). But the music is too comfortably song-based, even with all the aggressive ambiance. The twin guitars suggest a Post Rock mindset; the occasional trumpet and theremin do not.

I'm convinced the band would be enjoying a much higher international profile if they had chosen to sing in English, but I have to applaud their provincial integrity. Music is always more genuine when expressed in its local vernacular, and wasn't Prog Rock always meant to convey a larger global perspective? Breaking down musical boundaries while blurring geographic frontiers?

Consumer addenda: good luck trying to hear this and other Alternativ Quartet efforts. The band's website is currently defunct, only four short years after the album was first made available as a free download. Sometimes I wonder if the benefits of instant digital gratification outweigh the subsequent downside: an almost equally immediate drift toward obsolescence.

 Linistea Astupa Goluri by ALTERNATIV QUARTET album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.89 | 9 ratings

Linistea Astupa Goluri
Alternativ Quartet Eclectic Prog

Review by Andy Webb
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Forging atmosphere from sound and sound from atmosphere

Alternativ Quartet is a Romanian quartet that could certainly seem alternate. The band formed in 2007 from the remainder of a few popular Romanian post-grunge and alternative bands. The band soon blossomed into a promising new act, fusing the post-grunge, alternative, psychedelic, and post-rock influences the members come from. Their debut, Linistea Atupa Goluri (Silence Fills the Holes), presents the band as a promising new addition to the modern progressive scene and a band to watch out for in the coming years.

The album has a very strong post-rock atmosphere about it. From ambient guitars to slow, pulsing bass lines to back them to the atmospheric drumming and spacey melodies, the ambience of the album is that of a very energetic post-rock album. One might note that I have no love for the traditional post-rock genre, but the band is able to forge a delicious atmosphere saturated with post-rock influence by insinuating many other influences, including that of psychedelic rock, jazz fusion, a twinge of doom, and many other tastes that truly make this music unique.

The vocal harmonies are strangely dissonant yet alarmingly beautiful, augmenting the wonderful music in such a way that while on the fringe they may seem repelling but once you delve in they are truly inviting. And although I may not speak Romanian, the theme and melodic mood can be construed just from the melodies and atmospheres they craft. This atmosphere is certainly an essential part of the album's sound, and is a fantastic aspect of this album's greatness.

Of course melody is not the only aspect that has been put into this album. The four instrumentalists are adept at weaving the instrumental aspect of the album, which is quintessential to the atmosphere and mood discussed above. A seemingly post-rockish background is also an aspect of these men's playing, with very slow and pulsing styles forging at atmosphere of almost doomy proportions. Whether it is the melancholic offerings of "Hopus" or the near post-metal atmosphere of the title track, the entire album is dripping with the delicious ooze of a post-whatever mood, enticing the listener with their mastery of an almost minimalistic approach to music. Even when playing a very small amount of notes, the guys are still able to craft that unique atmosphere that will most likely define their sound into the future of their productions.

Another thing that is great about this album is the fact that this self-produced album is of such incredibly good quality. It's obvious that the band members' experience in other bands has paid off, as even self-recording has procured a truly masterful production. Production is always an essential part of an album's credibility, and this album has duly passed with flying colors. The spacy reverberation added to the songs give the music that signature psychedelic quality, aiding the ambient effect of the music soar into the high flying echelons of sonic beauty ? which this album has certainly achieved.

Overall, Alternativ Quartet has produced a truly masterful debut. I always give kudos to bands whose debuts are of good production quality, and not only is it that, but it is a spectacular display of music prowess. Whether it's the band's fantastic post-rock "fusion" esque style, their wonderful use of mood and atmosphere to make the music wonderful, or the band's overall compositional prowess, the whole album is truly a blast to listen to. The tag of eclectic prog is truly appropriate, because the band has shown that they have mastered combining dozens of identifiable styles into this great work of art, from post-metal to psychedelic to post-rock to jazz fusion to grunge to alternative and so much more. Overall, this album has truly shown itself as being a gem of the year, and I look forward to listening to their future releases (of which there is one already!). 4 stars.

Thanks to for the artist addition.

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