LOST WORLD BAND ​Of Things and Beings
Reviewed by Andrew Fisher
 
A band that has always had a gift for melody and beauty has now vaulted into the upper echelons of prog world with this release of complex, well-recorded and produced, symphonic prog. Whereas their sound was always a little unpolished and their songs a little too syrupy sweet, this one shows a significant leap in both sophistication and maturity. The new sound is like Mike Oldfield only better; Lost World has gone where we all wished (and thought) Mike would go (but didn't).
 
Line-up / Musicians:
- Andy Didorenko / all guitars, violins, keyboards and vocal
- Vassili Soloviev / flute
- Konstantin Shtirlitz / drums
- Alexander Akimov / percussion
 
1. "Shapes and Objects" (a symphonic creation with full orchestral support)
     I. "Random Objects in the Sun" (3:20) impressive dynamics. I find myself reminded of Mike Oldfield's Incantations only on a much more sophisticated level. The song just keeps getting better as it goes! Amazing instrumental appearances. (9.5/10)
     II. "Moving Dots" (3:15) the andante of this symphony--with vocals, flutes, acoustic guitars and orchestral contributions all helping with the syncopated weave. Then, half way through, it shifts into a smooth, upbeat orchestral piece. Awesome! (9.5/10)
     III. "Water Circles" (4:31) a kind of rondo with guitars, violins, and flutes trading the melody with orchestral percussion and drums helping out along the way. Incredible song. We are not worthy! Would that Mike Oldfield ever climbed to such heights! (10/10)
     IV. "Time Squares" (3:10) the dénouement and climax. Perfect! (9.5/10)

 
2. "When the Time is Still" (4:18) Gorgeous arrangement. (9.5/10)
 
3. "Death of Mr. Winter" (1:05) quirky and angular--a perfect foil for the previous songs. A lot like a JACK O' THE CLOCK song. (9/10)
 
4. "Intertwined" (3:30) an awesome multiple acoustic guitar étude--not unlike a WILLIAM ACKERMAN song, only on high doses of cafeine. Andy Didorenko on full display. (9/10)

5. "Of Things and Beings" (0:51) another quirky odd JACK O' THE CLOCK-like song with a heavily treated multiple tracked vocal. (9/10)

6. "Watchbird" (6:08) a full out, Chris Squire chunky bass prog en force. Not my favorite song or style of Andy's but it does display his ability to write and perform at a very high YES-like level of rock dynamism. The violin adds a true EDDIE JOBSON/UK-ness to the song. (Great drumming, Mr. Shtirlitz!) (9/10)
 
7. "Simple as"
     I. "One" (2:13) pastoral, hand percussion with flute and acoustic guitars. Amazing flute(s) and guitar(s) weave. Gorgeous! (10/10)
     II. "Two" (1:41) The feast continues! A little more up tempo this time. Like a Michel Legrand/Jean-Pierre Rampal/Alexandre LaGoya composition. Amazing! (10/10)
     III. "Three" (1:46) the third of the trilogy steps into a more metronomic (though off tempo) medieval troubadour feel and sound. Again, the jazzy sound of Legrand/Rampal/LaGoya is strongly brought to mind. (9/10)

8. "The Structure of Madness" (4:05) a return to heavier, electrified rock--this time of a style more akin to bands like MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, ELP, BRUFORD, URIAH HEEP, even RUSH. Wonderful performances by all instruments--especially drums, electric guitars, and bass. A definite masterpiece of progressive rock by a certifiable master of musical composition and performance.(10/10)
 
9. "On Thin Ice" (3:33) treads into the almost-'pop' style and sound of previous albums like 2009's Sound Source and 2013's Solar Power. By has this band/musician matured! (8.5/10)

10. "Downpour "(3:12) aggressive violin, guitars and bass open this song before the drums enter full throttle to drive this one to crescendoed highs (with notable valleys of meek dynamics). Impressive but not memorable or even very likable. (8/10)
 
This is by far and away the best album Lost World has released and one of the best albums I've heard from this year. (Oops! I guess it was a late 2016 release!) Excellent sound recording and production throughout (which was a weakness of past recordings). And despite Andy's virtuosity, his flute player and drummer are both on an equal level!
 
93.33 on the Fishscales = Five stars, A; a masterpiece of progressive rock music!

Here is the sixth official album of the Russian band since 2003, thirteenth Cd since 1996 if you count the seven house-made albums sold in the underground musical circle, fifteenth album since 1991 if you add the first two album-cassettes. The prolific duet that is Andy DIDORENKO and Vassili SOLOVIEV and which forms the nucleus of the LOST WORLD BAND haven't finished astonishing us! There are lots of references on this album: may it be HARMONIUM, KING CRIMSON, or JETHRO TULL, with bits of Frank ZAPPA or GENTLE GIANT, sometimes all mixed together or, other times, each style being packed in the music of the creative genius of this unit!  Each song is musical candy!

“Shapes and Objects” begins the album: divided into four parts (“I. Random Objects in the Sun”, “II. Moving Dots”, “III. Water Circles” and “IV. Time Squares”), the first part tends towards Jazz-Rock with a Prog touch, the second could be included without problem in a repertory of GENTLE GIANT with, as a bonus, a small touch of HARMONIUM (we hear here the voice of Andy DIDORENKO for the first time on an album since “Solar Power” in 2012), the third returns to a Progressive Jazz-Rock key but softer than the first part, and the fourth part has more rhythm and is more “aggressive”. The flute of Vassili SOLOVIEV adds colour everywhere where it is heard! “When the Time is Still” is a little mysterious and soft at the same time. “Death of Mr. Winter” is a creative madness in the style of GENTLE GIANT or Frank ZAPPA. I like! “Intertwined” is an instrumental part with acoustic guitar and bass guitar played with dash and passion: almost as if one played flamenco crossed with Manouche Jazz, an element of madness sprinkled over it! With the song “Off Things and Beings” they amalgamate KING CRIMSON with GENTLE GIANT for 51 seconds. Not bad! “Watchbird” is a Jazz-Rock more Rock than Jazz but with a Prog flavour: it reminds me of some songs made by Bill BRUFORD on his first solo albums. Intense and rhythmic. “Simple as” is divided into three parts: “I. One” is very beautiful and purified with acoustic guitars, flute, piano and a bongo to keep the rate/rhythm, “II. Two” is more rhythmic and one feels a slight urgency of the musicians, and “III. Three” is lively and brings the listener to feel as if one were in a festival. Good candy! «The Structure of Madness» is of another kind: a heavy and rhythmic Prog-Rock which brings in mind the heavy songs of KING CRIMSON but with the magical touch of the band's two genies! «On Thin Ice» is a semi-ballad which could come from bands like AMERICA or CROSBY, STILLS & NASH and could easily find a spot in the Top 10 on the  radio! Nice! «Downpour» closes the album with force: an intense Prog-Rock, rapid and rhythmic, almost like the band's collective energy evacuation!

A album with variety, made with love, passion and a touch of madness. One of my favourite albums of the year!

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