Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Roman Khrustalev-Our New Sun

In the never-ending search to find metal music in all corners of the world, another spin of the Metal Archives random band generator brings us to the country of Kazakhstan. The band, or artist, in this instance, in question is a guy by the name of Roman Khrustalev, an instrumentalist who handles everything on his albums, and with a new album out in Our New Sun, it's an exploration for the ears.

For all of the songs except the opener "The Halls of Extinsion," which is basically rhythmic chants, it is purely instrumental, so any and all commentary is musicianship and just how well it all comes together. Since Khrustalev's music is generally classified as progressive power metal, one would expect powerful solos and precise musicianship that is thorough in its approach. Given the album title, one would expect a little science fiction element to creep into the sound, as is done on songs such as "Voyager." Another aspect to note is that other than "The Halls of Extinsion" and "Last Night on Earth," the songs do run long, with each one running over the five minute mark. The longest songs on the album ("Cold Roots of Earth," "World's Heart Bleeding," and "When the Sun Fades Away") are also ones that top the 10-minute mark, and not coincidentally, they're the ones that are given the most time to develop in terms of total music ability. The album as a whole isn't just one long guitar solo, as so many instrumentals before it have shown. In fact, the synths tend to get as much air time as the guitars, and there's even room for bass and drums to get in on the act on their own.

Roman Khrustalev is an immensely talented musician that can handle any instrument that he gets his hands on well. Our New Sun is a testament to not only how well he can play the instruments, but also put together compositions that create stories that listeners can put together in their own minds. Done correctly, instrumental albums can be just as great as albums with vocals, and Roman Khrustalev proves this point with Our New Sun.

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