Aton Five - Solarstalgia

(CD 2018, 62:38, Private Release)

The tracks:
  1- The Dreadnought(6:33)
  2- Journey(8:26)
  3- Time(9:24)
  4- A Chain Of Events(5:42)
  5- Milky Way Incident(13:25)
  6- Death?(1:31)
  7- The Endless Desert(17:37)
Bonus Tracks:
  8- Journey (live)(8:06)
  9- Woods Made of Stone (live)(4:50)

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Recently I disocvered Aton Five on the Dutch website Progstreaming, and I was blown away! What an exciting tribute to the Seventies! Aton Five is a Russian band, rooted in 2014 and located in the capital Moscow. The four members wanted to make prog in the spirit of the Seventies. After the live studio EP Live At Mars from 2017 and their own production debut album Solarstalgia from 2018, in February 2019 the label R.A.I.G. Records released Solarstalgia as a CD reissue, with two live bonustracks, from the Live At Mars EP.

The music alternates between slow and hypnotizing rhythms, catchy mid-tempo beats and heavy and bombastic climates, very dynamic and compelling, these guys in their twenties pay tribute to the Seventies in a very exciting way, many times I was blown away or got goose bumps. The great element on this album is the colouring by the guitar and keyboards: the one moment soaring psychedelic organ, spacey synthesizer flights or moving electric guitar, the other moment heavy guitar riffs, fiery and biting electric guitar soli, lush Hammond organ and spectacular, pitchbend driven synthesizer soli. I was told by the band that the keyboard player loves Rush and Kansas, and the guitarist Deep Purple and Ritchie Blackmore. Well, that is obvious but both musicians succeed to add an own flavour into the sound of their heroes.

My highlights.

1. The Dreadnought (6:33) : The intro contains experimental sounds, spoken words and a growling bass. Then a slow and hypnotizing rhythm with a heavy sound featuring exciting rock guitar and spacey synthesizer flights, soon a psychedelic inspired organ joins. Halfway a raw guitar solo. Finally a bombastic ending with compelling organ and synthesizer runs, fuelled by powerful drum beats, back to The Seventies (Pink Floyd, Rush), and I love it.

3. Time (9:24): It starts with a slow rhythm featuring moving electric guitar and powerful bass, then organ waves and fat and flashy pitchbend driven synthesizer work, wow. Halfway a break with a strong build-up, from hypnotizing to bombastic delivering a wonderful organ sound. In the end another howling and fiery guitar solo, in the background soft Fender Rhodes piano and organ runs, how exciting.

4. A Chain Of Events (5:42) : High energy with a bombastic up-tempo climate that contains a lush Hammond sound and compelling guitar work, to me it sounds like psychedelic blues rock. Then an accellaration with sensational synthesizer flights, followed by a heavy guitar solo (evoking Blackmore), it really rocks and the band is now totally in the mood! Finally a slow rhythm with moving guitar, this guy knows how to push the right buttons on the guitar.

5. Milky Way Incident (13:25) : My absolute highlight! The intro contains with spoken words, an ominous atmosphere,, then up-tempo with heavy guitar and thunderous drums, followed by sensational work on synthesizer with pitchbend. Now the music turns into a catchy beat with Jon Lord sounding organ (Made In Japan era), fuelled by powerful bass runs, and followed by a spacey guitar solo with echo, culminating in an exciting duel between the guitar and synthesizer. Halfway a catchy beat and heavy guitar solo, then spectacular a synthesizer solo, again with pitchbend, fuelled by powerful drum beats. Finally a heavy guitar solo, and thunderous drum beats. If you like the unsurpassed Heavy Prog sound of Made In Japan from Deep Purple, this one is yours, and Aton Five again succeeds to add an own touch to their beloved Seventies sound, wow!

7. The Endless Desert (17:37) : First spoken words and freaky sounds, then a hypnotizing beat in a hypnotizing psychedelic climate, like the Pink Floyd At Pompeii sound, with awesome spacey synthesizers flights, goose bumps, how compelling! Then howling electric guitar with a sultry Arabian flavour, what a captivating sound.This is followed by a spacey synthesizer solo and raw, pretty heavy guitar, an interesting contrast, fuelled by pumping bass and slow beats. Finally a slow rhythm with excellent guitar sound, with powerful bass and drums in a surprising prog metal climate, and ending with a sultry synthesizer solo, so many strong musical ideas, from start to end.

The CD reissue contains the two live bonus tracks Journey (dynamic with lush Hammond and awesome Blackmore inspired guitar play) and Woods Made Of Stone (strong interplay between psychedelic organ and Arabian sounding electric guitar).

Highly recommended, whan an exciting musical experience!

**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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