Band: Modern Rock Ensemble

CD Title: Touch the Mystery

Website: www.mre.com.ua

Label: Independent Release (2016)

Rating: Great Stuff 4/5


The Ukraine is not especially known as a hot-bed for Progressive Rock music but there have been more than a few adventurous bands from that part of the world over the years. Well it’s time to add another to the list. Going by the name Modern Rock Ensemble, this is essentially the work of musician and composer Vladimir Gorashchenko. This is a guy who’s been creating music since the 1980s. His music can be best described as “progressive rock” which in this case means a fusion of classical music, jazz and rock and what I really like about this disc is that each of these stylistic influences shares equal time in the spotlight. The Touch the Mystery album is dedicated to the eternal battle of Good and Evil. As a musical project there are upwards of fifteen musicians contributing to the overall sound, not counting the string ensemble. All-in-all, it’s a very unique sound. Like any great symphonic prog release you have many layers of musical connections as the music goes from loud to soft, fast to slow and so forth. The music, much of it instrumental features lovely introspective, plaintive moments and then opens up to grand, majestic swells of music. We travel from soft and quiet to powerful and dramatic. Most of the six compositions are longer; two almost twelve minutes and one just short of twenty. That offers lots of room for musical change-ups and shifts in time and tempo. More than that however there is a very organic, acoustic tone even though there are plenty of electric guitar lead lines. Those searing leads are used for emphasis and rarely take over a song. The music comes back to other instrumental sounds and everywhere is the sliding fret-less bass. This is such a well-balanced symphonic prog release and in many ways compositionally has much in common with the Italian symphonic prog style. This is really good stuff and I highly recommend symphonic progressive rock fans check it out. Recommended.