Remarkable…no, Exceptional…er, Exquisite Heavy-Progressive Rock debut…heck, all of the above
Daniel Eliseev Project
“..a band founded and produced by Daniel Eliseev -for recording and performance of his own music.”
Daniel Eliseev- , composer, arranger, guitars, bass, programming, lyrics
Konstantin Djambazov – solo vocal, backing vocals, keyboards
George Varamezov – drums, fretless bass
Kalin Tonev – keyboards
Nikolaj Samardjiev – lyrics, backing vocals
Venci Pavlov – bass, fretless bass
Emil Mihov – viola da gamba
Sara Panosyan – violin
Anelia Toteva – backing vocals
- Alter Ego
- Night Shadow
- Pandora and Epimetheus
- Broken Consciousness
- Hidden Voices
- A Song for You
- The Journey Along
Released November 8, 2018
Daniel is a multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. It’s clear he has mastery of several instruments, and compositions here are sophisticated and engaging.
On this project, he’s assembled a crackerjack team of singers and musicians to flesh out his musical vision.
For me, the standout star of this debut disc was the vocal work.
The clear, high vocals of Konstantin Djambazov were immediately compelling, of course- soaring effortlessly above the instrumental work laying the foundation.
But more than that, there was obvious attention paid to harmonies, interplay, back-and-forth interchanges in lovely arrangements.
The clearest, but certainly not only, example of this is the Gentle Giant-inspired track “Hidden Voices”.
Intricate vocal complexity with precision timing, harmonies, and stylings undergirded first by synthesizer layers, then the full band, in amazing detail.
This album starts with a burst of ebullient energy, a prime example of what I’ve called “Heavy-progressive rock”.
Those clear, high vocals enter, and then the first of numerous invigorating instrumental passages led by the crisp, soaring guitar work of Daniel.
The rhythm section is masterful, drums and bass combining to set a forceful, yet never overdone foundation. Often, I was impressed with the subtle ways these two musicians set the stage for what was being done.
Keyboard textures throughout the album ranged from gentle electric piano, to growling Hammond organ (including some sweet/nasty work from Kalin Tonev on one track), to synthesizer runs and swoops.
On “Awakening”, for example, classical guitar introduces this first, wistful, then slowly growing track as viola de gamba, then violin enter. This ties in to “Broken Consciousness”, which continues to develop with the vocal arrangements leading to the infectious line, “Find the way/to meet somebody…”, and that synthesizer/guitar interplay in the instrumental passage.
My impression is that generally the lyrics deal with the permutations and perversions and problems of love. I thought they played second-fiddle to the vocal arrangements.
Minor quibble (and one important proviso)- the proviso is that I thank my lucky stars I don’t need to write lyrics or sing in Bulgarian. Therefore, this humble opinion:
The minor quibble is that lyrics could have been made clearer and better in consultation with a native-english speaking person.
This is a masterful debut from Daniel Eliseev Project. Night Shadow is a fine example of engaging, high-quality heavy-progressive rock music.
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