Exposé Online banner

Modern-Rock Ensemble — Night Dreams and Wishes
(Bandcamp no#, 2019, DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-04-29

Night Dreams and Wishes Cover art

Sometimes I think the main drawback of the CD medium is its 80 minute capacity, leading some artists to think they have to fill nearly every minute of it to make their product worthwhile. More often than not, the listening experience becomes unbearably long and riddled with filler. Case in point, even though this is apparently not even on CD yet. Modern-Rock Ensemble is the project of Ukrainian composer, poet, keyboard / guitar player and producer Vladimir Gorashchenko, and their second release Night Dreams and Wishes is a 78-minute suite filled with just about everything one can think of, good and bad, about progressive rock: beautiful compositions and strong playing, bombast, several ten-plus-minute tracks among many shorter ones, operatic singing, spoken poetry over the music, good vocals, horrible vocals, even a nearly thirty minute suite within the 78 minute suite, and more than anything, ambitious ideas that mostly work — but occasionally the cringeworthy excesses will make the listener want to leave the room or cover their ears. Gorashchenko composed everything here, as well as playing keyboards and synths, acoustic and electric guitars, 12 string and nylon string guitars, recorder, and lead and backing vocals; other players include Max Velychko (additional guitars on one track, drums, tympani), Enver Izmailov (tapping electric guitar and ebow, on this track or that), drummer Evgeniy Selezniov, fretless bassist Igor Zakus, fretted bassist Dmitriy Trifonov, Bogdan Gumenyuk on saxes and flute, plus various other players and vocalists featured on one track or another. Anastasiia Gorashchenko sings all the female voice parts throughout, though there is also an eight-piece choir and five-piece string ensemble. Like I said, this is ambitious. The opener “Intro – Night, Universe, and Our Inner Space” and its follow-on “Overture” are entirely instrumental, and quite nice. Then we hit the first long track – eleven minutes of “Night Comes Dreams,” with a short male / female vocal section near the beginning, the rest being entirely instrumental, leading into the two-minute classically influenced “Barocco Scherzo.” So far so good. “Childhood – School Days” is another eleven-plus minute piece, mostly a show for keyboards and synths, but it’s all over the map, mostly excellent, but the vocal section that kicks in around the seven minute mark is positively awful. With “Insomnia” we get another pastoral instrumental piece with flute, guitars, vibraphone, and more that approaches jazz as it traverses its near four-minute duration. Then we get to the three-part, thirty minute “Dark Kingdom – The Evil King” which starts with a bombastic instrumental section with supporting strings and choir, bursting into rock at around the two minute mark, but the spoken vocal section makes me want to run and take cover, as do certain parts of parts 2 and 3, even though there are some nice instrumental sections therewithin. There are three more cuts after the “Evil King” suite, but by this time I’m barely able to stand this musical overdose any more. The last track is titled “Want Some More.” The answer is no.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Modern-Rock Ensemble

More info
http://modern-rocken.bandcamp.com/album/night-dreams-wishes

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Qoph - Pyrola – It’s been entirely too long since this Swedish band’s 1998 debut. Since that time, the band has formed their own label and started singing in English. Their basic sound is intact, however,...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues