篾GEL ONTALVA & VESPERO - Sada

聲gel Ontalva & Vespero - Sada

6 songs
45:33 minutes
***** ***
(self-released)

聲gel Ontalva page

Vespero page

Two years ago, South Russian psychedelic rockers Vespero teamed up with Spanish guitarist 聲gel Ontalva to release their collaborative album Carta Marina. This must have worked so well for them that the very same year they released the live album Sea Orm Liveventure. Those familiar with Vespero know that this very busy band has been active since the early years of the millennium, and since then they have released a whole lot of releases. 聲gel Ontalva more or less started at the same time with his avant prog band October Equus, with which he is still active, and yet he still finds the time to record with Vespero.

Ontalva, who is also a very talented graphic artist (who also realised the cover painting in water colour), has already had a lot of exhibitions in Russia, which makes me wonder if he possibly spends at least part of the year in the biggest country of the Earth. This would of course also mean that he is able to join Vespero physically during the recording sessions, and it shows. Just as on their collaborative debut, the six songs on Sada feel like the product of a collective of musicians that feels really at ease with each other. Although recent band album of Vespero, like Shum-Shir and Hollow Moon, showed them in a very mature way, the musicians also know to restrain themselves when they are working with their Spanish guitarist. Ontalva is a very accomplished musician whose performance is incredibly melodic and melancholic. And yet it would be too simple to consider Vespero as a mere backing band. Especially Vitaly Borodins violin is often duelling with the guitar, creating an atmosphere that reminds of the stellar Seventies albums of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Alexey Klabukovs synth work often relies on mellotron sounds that add that certain progressive rock touch that gives the music an even warmer sound. The songs are mostly quiet, which surprisingly works in the collectives favour. Thats probably due to Ontalvas lyrical guitar performance that would just seem off in a more rock setting.

Sada is bookmarked by two more Asian sounding tracks, the opener Uwasa No Onna and the ten minute long closer Futari Kiri, and with all the songs being at least six and a half minutes long, you can expect wonderful instrumental journeys that never even make you miss the lack of vocals. Maybe Carta Marina was a little more dynamic, but Vespero and 聲gel Ontalva feel so at east on their new collaborative effort that you can only end up loving these six dreamy songs. Fans of psychedelic rock with a hint of space, prog and even ethno elements will find here the perfect soundtrack for when the sun has set and the remains of the day are just waiting to be cherished in quiescence.

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