Ahvak - Ahvak

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Cunieform Records
Catalog Number: Rune 185
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:21:00

Although a slew of names comes to mind when constantly flawless quality is the order of the day in the progressive rock fast food chain, there is one that stands out not because of a single band, but rather because its impact on the scene of a particular country seems to be enormously beneficial. Ladies and gentlemen, we present you with Alec Baldwin. No, waitasec, that can't be right. Udi Koomran, Udi Koomran. Udi Koomran it is, and perhaps it's best not to associate the name with fast food chains, even of the progressive type, as the man instead deals with ensembles that prefer to engage the unexpected and wild vortexes of styles such as RIO, which is a thousand times larger than anything that could be supersized. Thus it comes as no surprise that Ahvak, a group to which Koomran contributes computer and production, is a resplendent success. Ladies and gentlemen, we present you with a breathtaking Israeli group that also features RIO juggernaut Dave Kerman: Ahvak. Wait, did I write that already? Damn.

With this self-titled effort, the Israeli group taking its name from dust sets itself at the forefront of current RIO adventurers by means of an often abrasively angular approach that is both visceral and intelligent. The listener is subjected to the demolishing intensity of "Bherta" only to later find out that one has been exposed to a cleverly mapped out theme and variations; motifs of persistent rhythmic drive sink in as the band's penchant for ostinato patterns becomes apparent on several occasions, and twelve-tone academia gives way to Bart?kian Univers Z?ro style in "Regaim." The band relies consistently on smothering atmospheres more than anything else, as is the case with many RIO outfits, yet movement and thematic unity are such a core element of Ahvak that lengthy opuses remain consistently entertaining. Gone is the penchant for random and senseless extended techniques that some of this sextet's contemporaries exhibit, replaced by an unerring sense of appropriate timing. The right notes at the right time, the right polyrhythm at the right time, the right electronic sound processing at the right time. Basically speaking, these Israelis knew what the hell they were doing when recording this helluva (n) album.

Moreover, the playing on it is stunningly gorgeous, especially Roy Yarkoni's piano maneuvers, blessed with a gracious but energetic touch, and Yehuda Kotton's guitar contributions, which on "Melet" go so far as to recall the fusion-influenced style of a Ron Jarzombek (of Watchtower, Spastic Ink, and being-the-brother-of-the-drummer-who-plays-for-Rob-Halford fame). Hell, it might even be the best RIO album to grace these ears since Dave Kerman and the 5UU?s excellent Abandonship, although yours truly can't really promise that without giving it some serious thought?

... ... ... ...

Ok, excepting Univers Z?ro?s Rhythmix, which was more of a chamber rock thing anyway, this is indeed the tastiest profiterole of its kind to satisfy my gluttonous habits since the aforementioned 5UU product. If you enjoy RIO, have a certain knack for adventurous music, or just find the taste of good music simply unavoidable, Ahvak is no mere snack. It?s more like eating a polar bear. An extraterrestrial polar bear that is ten times the size of a normal polar bear, that is. Actually, make that a hundred times. Enjoy!

Similar artists: Dave Kerman and the 5UU?s, Thinking Plague, Present

Vivisektzia (8:28) / Bherta (8:22) / Regaim (2:36) / Ahvak (16:20) / Melet (2:49) /. Hamefahakim (13:27) /. Pirzool (0:55)

Yehuda Kotton - guitars
Ishay Sommer - bass
Udi Susser - keyboards, woodwinds, vocals, baglama, darbooka
Roy Yarkoni - keyboards, piano
Dave Kerman - drums, percussion
Udi Koomran - computer

Ahvak (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IL

Added: August 10th 2005
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: www.ahvak.com
Hits: 1424
Language: english


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