Horizont - The Portrait Of A Boy

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Boheme Music
Catalog Number: CDBMR 008 153
Format: CD
Total Time: 39:57:00

Horizont are from Russia, from an area once known as Gorky City, now called Nizhny Novgorod. The Portrait Of A Boy, their second, was released in 1989 on the Melodiya label, and now reissued on the Boheme label, also based in Russia.

If Summer In Town was heavily influenced by Genesis and Yes, I hear a great deal more Crimson in The Portrait Of A Boy. Though the piano in the first movement of "The Portrait Of A Boy" suite harks back to the classicism also present in their sound, in that I thought of Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue." It's that same tone. But otherwise, this is angular like Crimson, and, according to the liner notes, far more in the RIO camp than Summer.

In the suite's first movement, keyboards grind and gurgle, creating a lumbering rhythm, broken only by the bits of Gershwinisms. Guitar traces a lyrical pattern over this. Movement two begins with keyboards as well, one light and musical, the other passing by like a digital freight train in measured sections. An even more synthesized sounding keyboard takes the lead, making quite an unattractive sound. Then they trill like a drunken bird at a circus - actually a drunken dove cooing circus music. Lighter tones, perhaps flute flitters over this?strange is a word that comes to mind. And then movement three is quirky, very musical. French TV flashed into my mind, as there is this maniacal happiness about it. The patients at the asylum have gotten a hold of the music instruments and playing their hearts out - and doing it well. You can't really tap your feet to it as there's an irregular rhythm to it, and yet one can't help but try. Some guitar work here, too. And as we get towards the end of the movement, so very jazzy percussion, beautifully trilling flute, over a grinding bass. The lyrical bit from the first movement is repeated here on flute, guitar and keys, but only for a few beats. Oh, I forgot to mention that the suite opens with soprano vocalizations that could have come from a Pink Floyd track, and end with those same vocalizations that now sound more like Jon Anderson of Yes, as the music tightens up and swirls inward into a chaotic whirlpool. That's only the first half of the album.

"Prelude Fis Moll," is piano-like keyboards, light but moody, tentative and uncertain?apprehensive. Other keyboards fade in and out of the mix with darker tones. A sad, sweet synthesizer also joins in, taking the role that a trumpet might, singing sweetly melancholic notes. "Guy's Solo" is a fragment of the ballet Fahrenheit 451 and sounds much like a cross between latter day Genesis and mid-period Emerson Lake and Palmer with a bit of Italian symphonic prog thrown in - well, the keyboards do. There is also dynamic percussion and a section set of keyboards that pop in here and then as if they were laughing, sometimes like they are bouncing. This is followed by "The Final Of The Ballet Fahrenheit 451" which starts out much darker in tone with deep, pulsing keys providing the bed over which lighter keys dance in airy arcs. Close your eyes and you can see the prancing dancers leaping through the air, their take-offs and landings timed with the crash of the cymbals. The pace picks up a bit, becomes more lyrical and lively (hmm, I thought of Tangerine Dream here).

The album ends on "Vocalise" which, as its title suggests, is focused on vocals, here vocalizations rather than words being sung. Mainly keyboards are present in support, some sounding like a piano, others creating synth washes ? though crashing percussion highlights the crests as the vocals and keys build up then wash over you. Basically, think Yes as the voices all sound like aspects of Jon Anderson. And, oddly enough, this thus sounds like a Yes tune from their earlier to mid-period. Maybe something from Tales From Topographic Oceans or Relayer (just an impression I have). Lovely, stunning, and interesting.

The Portrait Of A Boy, Suite In 3 Movements (19:50) / Prelude Fis Moll (4:06) / Guy's Solo (The Fragment Of The Ballet Fahrenheit 451) (3:36) / The Final Of The Ballet Fahrenheit 451 (8:21) / Vocalise (3:49)

Sergey Kornilov - keyboards
Vladimir Lutoshkin - guitar, flute
Andrey Krivilev - vocal, keyboards
Igor Pokrovsky - vocal, guitar
Alexey Eremenko - bass
A Pavlenko - drums

Summer In Town (1985/2000)
The Portrait Of A Boy (1989/2000)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin RU

Added: January 28th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 790
Language: english


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