Lunar Chateau - Lunar Chateau

Year of Release: 1994
Label: Musea Records
Catalog Number: FGBG 4117.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:12:00

Lunar Chateau released their self-titled debut in 1994 through Musea Records, and will be releasing their follow up sometime this fall, perhaps even by the time you read this. In listening to the album, I'm brought to mind of these artists: Alan Parsons Project, Camel, IQ, and Saga. Bassist/vocalist Paul Sekulovich sings in that same dreamy-voiced way that Eric Woolfson did with Alan Parson Project. Though there are also occasions where I think of other vocalists, including, believe it or not, Gordon Lightfoot! But think mostly of Alan Parson Project throughout. "The Lunar Chateau" also strongly reminded me of Christopher Cross (specifically of "Arthur's Theme" from the movie Arthur). The arrangements suggest more Saga and IQ, a far more symphonic IQ, as keys and vocals are the most prominent. Novak Sekulovich plays the keys and provides backing vocals, and Milo Sekulovich is behind the drum kit.

"Ancestors" has a gathering-like keyboard part that made me immediately think of Toto's "99," though the vocal performance sounds - well, there are certain ways Paul is phrasing things that makes it sounds as if Eric Woolfson were trying to imitate Steve Hogarth. Think the latter's performance on "Memory Of Water" (except this, of course, preceded it by about 3 or 4 years). Here the dreamy atmosphere evokes misty images of spirits - oh, like a scene out of The X-Files or something.

The performances here are really good, Novak has a very lyrical way of playing the piano, and the instrumental section during the above mentioned "Consequences" would rival the likes of say ... well, you know I'm going to mention David Lanz, since I always seem to. But I also thought of Vangelis, and more so of Vangelis than Lanz ... though Mozart also comes to mind ... if Mozart were alive today to play these electric keyboards (he'd be awfully old, of course). While "On Your Way" is another pleasant listen, it becomes rather interesting about half a minute to a minute before it ends, where the dynamics shift to give the bass and drums equal prominence. Drums take centerstage for "Fearless" - the drum solo spot; it's long enough for Milo to use the whole kit, but short enough that it doesn't become boring or seem a "wankfest" (so to speak).

Maybe it's because of the title, but "Metropolis" starts out sounding a bit like - no, not Dream Theater, Berlin! Yes, Berlin; the Terri Nunn led band who really hit it big with "Take My Breath Away." But not that track, their earlier hit "The Metro." Of course it changes quite quickly to something quite different and in between that and the end, comes across a bit like ELP. So much did the intro remind me of "The Metro," but I almost expected the first words sung to be "I'm alone, sitting with my empty glass..." "Metropolis" is an instrumental, however.

This is a nice release, there's nothing really bad one can say about it. Paul does slur over some words to make them fit the meter, but then that's nothing so unique - perfect diction often sounds forced and unnatural anyway. The vocals are pleasant, quite listenable, if a little bland. The music is so darn friendly, bright, happy even if the theme isn't. That is to say, Paul sounds oh so cheerful, even if he also sounds a bit mournful (that latter is a by-product of the "dreamy-voice"). I hope that for their follow up that they but little more bite into their music, as there is an element that APP had that is missing here. Though, "Consequences" opens with a meaty, tango-esque refrain, which never quite gets going again until right after the instrumental break, but it only lasts for a few brief moments.

The Thrust (3:11) / The Lunar Chateau (4:59) / Brothers In Blood (4:56) / The Eyes Of A Child (4:36) / Ancestors (5:25) / Transformer (3:43) / Consequences (6:27) / On Your Way (6:20) / To Be Alive (4:06) / Metropolis (3:49) / Fearless (2:45) / Aurora Borealis (8:15)

Novak Sekulovich - keyboards and vocals
Paul Sekulovich - bass and lead vocals
Milo Sekulovich - drums

Lunar Chateau (1994)
Beyond The Reach Of Dreams (2001)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: October 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 917
Language: english


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