Iím a bit confused here as the information on the accompanying info sheet of this album doesnít correspond with the information on the Jelonek- and the MySpace-website. According to the info sheet this album has been released in 2010, but the other sources notify it was already released in 2007. Well, this must be a re-release then, but I guess it has been stored by Mystic Production until now.
Jelonek stands for Michal Jelonek, a Polish classically trained violist who played in the Kielce Philharmonic Symphonic Orchestra. Besides that, being a session musician, he played on thirty albums from Polish most famous artists. Now he pleases us with his first instrumental solo album.
Itís an unusual combination: a metal band with a classical violin as the main solo instrument instead of the regular vocalist. Notice that this music has nothing in common with Jean Luc Ponty or The Mahavishnu Orchestra who are much more into fusion. The music of Jelonek turns out to be a combination of several musical styles and moods, mixing classical music with metal, movie score soundscapes and even some traditional music as well. Jelonekís violin is accompanied by a number of Polish musicians on guitar, bass, drums, percussion and cello. Sometimes he stays pretty close to a classical approach although the heavy sound of his band makes it very progressive. In other songs the music is reminiscent of Apocalyptica. Although they all play cello, there are some similarities between them. Listen to Elephantís Ballet and you know what I mean. Other names coming in mind are In Extremo in the more traditional songs like A Funeral Of A Provincial Vampire and Mark Wood in the remarkable song Mosquito Flight. This song sounds to me as a stunning combination of Mark Wood and Rage Against The Machine. Very modern on the other hand is Machinehat with computer drums and soundscapes with the majestic violin of Jelonek.
Jelonek surprised me with a variety of musical influences, all mixed together into a warm and metal melting pot. Normally, I would easily have been bored listening to a violin for a whole album, but our Polish friend here keeps me on the edge of my seat. This album never gets bored, because Jelonek rocks!
*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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