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The Seventh Season - Liquid Water

Liquid Water

The Seventh Season

Inependent Records - IR38598

Available from The Seventh Season's web site.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

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Certain Eurasian groups, especially among the progrockers, were doubly enticing in the vocals department for an oddly attractive tang their enunciation put on English lyrics. Galaxy, Nektar, Epitaph, and a small sub-slice of the genre provided a new dimension merely in that respect. Now, Seventh Season, popping up amidst a very satisfying rebirth and revivalism sweeping the mode, adds to an epiphany of that trait. Yuri & Konstantin Batygin, bassist and guitarist respectively, sing not only with outré coloration but also a combination of grit and exotic melodicism not easily findable in any style…but that's only the beginning of this 12-spot of blended uniqueness and historicity.

Citing a diversity of influences (Uriah Heep, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, T.Rex, Creedence Clearwater, etc.), the group sits firmly in the modern archive dredging up the glories of the 70s in variegated form. Such ensembles as The Early Years and The Grails have been producing marvelous re-exposures of lost sounds, much more on the trad prog side than otherwise, and now this group digs into the rarely touched perfect demarcating line between rock itself and prog. Each cut is an exercise in simply but solidly laid entablatures clearly reading back the bands they esteem, elder masters in the foundation of the style now understood as undisputed king of the music world.

Most of the cuts on this, their third release (add a DVD to that roster as well), are on the lamentive side, often colored in darkness and somewhat angry, protestative while melodic. Lead lines are infrequent but elegant, reflecting the unhurried but gravitious architecture of the songs they reside in. With Sergei Smet on drums, Seventh Season is a power trio without the bluster or blown-out psych of past masters like Gun, Dust, (Gary Moore's) Skid Row, and other well-beloved aggregates. Think of what Alain Johannes was doing in What Is This?, a marvelous 80s band Todd Rundgren briefly interested himself in, and you'll be in the zone.

Among the gratifying all-too-small cavalcade of similar klatsches, Seventh Season stands well in the foreground, polished and tight yet rebellious in rough edges with a dogged persistence to shake the ground, charming the clouds with earthily vaulting compositions. As mainstream chartmongers sprint to pile on the synthesizers, orchestras, choirs, and mountainous light shows, far too often failing to substitute tawdry quantity for simple quality, CDs like Liquid Water remind all and sundry that rock was, and still sometimes tends to be, the antithesis of the "more is better" equation, depending on talent over tech and heart over dollars.

Track List:

  • Liquid Water
  • Ocean of Time
  • Freeway
  • Apart From Here
  • Broken Artist
  • Control Me
  • Damaged
  • My Only Honor
  • April
  • Nine to Five
  • Machine
  • Wherever
(all songs written by Konstantin & Yuri Batygin)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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