Romislokus - Between Two Mirrors


Year of Release: 2001
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:27:00

Romislokus are Russian band who create a very moody, sometimes dark music... if the truth be told, aside from the occasionally energetic arrangements, this is a very, very dreary album, all presented in a very understated manner. Aside from the rather cold sounds of the programmed drums, the instrumentation is often warm, and often sounds both like Marillion and mid-to-late period Icehouse, but mostly I'd say that Romislokus sound like Dire Straits. All of which results in something that I'd call progressive dance, except that I'm sure that term has already been appropriated by some corner of the progressive music world, or even co-opted by some genre that wouldn't ordinary come under the scope of this site... not to belabor the point, of course. If you are at all familiar with either of those bands, and can throw a bit of Pink Floyd into the mix, and a bit of country, you'll have a good idea of what to expect.

Specifically, let me mention a few tracks. The opening track, "Cold," sounds like what Pink Floyd would be creating, having reached the dark side of the moon - that is, it's a little otherworldly and spacey. There are some electronic tones that appear sporadically that recall the X-Files theme. "The Wood Cutter" picks up the pace, with an almost dance-like rhythm; something that is picked up on "The Thunderstorm Is Coming," which also has a bit of country twang to it. It was with the former track that I thought of Icehouse. While the programmed drums allow for the creation of unique percussive sounds, here they are too obviously programmed -- though it seems real drums appear on the last two pieces, "Minute" and "Jackdaws." "The Mist" is a jazzy piece, that is very in line with what one might expect from, if not Dire Straits (circa Brother In Arms), then Knopfler solo. I can't see much of a sonic difference here with a real drummer, however. It continues in a country twang, has, at one point, spiraling keyboard effects that sound right out of "Cannibal Surf Babe," (again Marillion, but then I'm sure they were inspired by some 60s source themselves), but is delivered in an understated, almost dreary manner. The flute like tones here recall many a new age piece, and if it weren't for the darker, rounded, bass tones, would seem a little light. "Through The Love" is somewhat Marillion-esque musically.

Two vocalists are mentioned, Evgeniy Gorelov (keyboards) and Yuriy Smolnikov (rhythm guitar), but I'm not sure which vocalist's singing lead -- other reviews of this and of their second album, mention Yuriy, so... Yuriy's style is an amalgam of mainly Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler, and with a dash of Roger Waters here and there. "Three Colors," which closes the album, shows the deep bottom end of Gorelov's range. Almost Barry White deep, but not as seductive (nor intending to be). Those vocals are, by the way, sung in Russian. The lyrics aren't included, but are available in both languages at their website.

As mentioned, the band have a second release out, Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn, which is getting good notices. While Between Two Mirrors is not the most exciting album I've heard, neither is it intended to be. The vocals do seem to be much moodier than the music, and this isn't always for the betterment of the particular track, but Romislokus aren't a bad band either. I think I'm most put off by the programmed drums, but they're not something that would keep from listening to this again. I think that they achieve the sonic effect the band were looking for.


Tracklisting:
Cold (4:20) / The Wood Cutter (3:14) / Give A Chance (2:41) / Through The Love (2:48) / The Thunderstorm Is Coming (4:53) / The Mist (4:11) / Termites (6:00) / Minute (3:55) / Jackdaws (4:21) / Three Colors (6:55)

Musicians:
Evgeniy Gorelov - keyboards, vocals
Irina Yunakovskaya -cello
Mihail Voronov - solo-guitars
Mijail Brovarnik - bass
Yuriy Smolnikov - rhythm guitar, vocals
Inna Galasheva - drums (8, 9)
Maksim Karavaev - computer effects (10)

Discography:
Between Two Mirrors (2001)
Vinyl Spring, Digital Autumn (2002)
All Day Home (2002)
Trans Aviation Pilots (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin RU

Added: June 1st 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: www.romislokus.com
Hits: 405
Language: english

  

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