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Synkopy & Oldřich Veselý — Sluneční Hodiny
(Bonton BON 493163 2, 1981/1999, CD)

by Mac Beaulieu, Published 2000-10-01

Sluneční Hodiny Cover art

Energetic symphonic prog from Czechoslovakia, the land that gave us the first and still best Pilsener beer. Synkopy's six members were fronted by Modry Efekt's keyboardist, Oldřich Veselý, who was the chief composer and excellent lead vocalist for this presumed concept album. Four members are credited with Micromoog and vocals, and two with ARP, organ, clavinet, piano, and electric guitars. Added to that are acoustic guitar, drums, violin, and cello (no bass), and the result is more interesting than its melodic 4/4 hard symphonic rock foundations would suggest. There is usually a lot busy activity going on in the background, and rather than dazzle with solos, they are used more to flesh out instrumental diversions. After the portentous instrumental, "Introdukce", the album is a segued journey that holds your attention to the end, generously spiced with atmospheric, and occasionally experimental, forays. "Hůl V Slunečních Hodinách"'s majestic chorus presents the album's main melodic theme, to be altered and revisited at crucial intervals. This unifying element, along with some of the atmospheric ties, makes the album flow from beginning to end. Moods range from the positive to the forlorn, leaning more toward the latter. The band keeps you guessing what note the album will end on, darkening on the last track right to the very end until the original majestic theme is resurrected in a slower, triumphant tempo.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 20, 1999 releases, 1981 recordings

Related artist(s): Synkopy / Synkopy 61


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