Aviva Omnibus -
Nutcracker In A Fury

(CD 2008, 40:22, Musea FGBG 4768)

The tracks:
1- Sisoehtopa(00:52)
2- Overture In Fury(05:08)
3- Heavy March(06:58)
4- Children Of The Damned(04:29)
5- The Frozen Doll's Town(06:34)
6- Dance Of The Tea Giants(04:55)
7- Flower Fever(02:28)
8- Coda Cold(06:02)
9- Apotheosis(02:54)

Aviva Website        samples        Musea Records

In 2007, the world of prog rock was pleasantly surprised with the instrumental debut album Rokus Tonalis by the Russian musical project Aviva, led by Russian keyboard player Dimitri A. Loukanienko. On this album, he played grand piano, keyboards, bass, drums and percussion and he also was responsible for the samples and the programmed drums. The music on Rokus Tonalis had strong echoes from bombastic keyboard driven prog in the vein of ELP and Japanese Gerard, featuring a powerful Hammond sound, fluent piano runs and flashy synthesizer flights, all very spectacular. On The Valse At The End Of Times, a guest guitar player gave a very powerful touch to the music with raw and propulsive guitar work. Some tracks sounded quite experimental with soaring keyboards and weird voices.

On his new album Nutcracker In A Fury (2008), Dimitri has changed the name into Aviva Omnibus. Two guitarists, a bass player/drummer and a second keyboard player who also plays the violin, accompany him. The sound is similar to his debut album, even more bombastic and spectacular and the compositions are more elaborate and balanced. I am delighted with the exciting propulsive rhythms and the spectacular work on synthesizer and guitar as in the tracks Overture In Fury. This track has lots of shifting moods, varied keyboard sounds, fiery guitar and sensational synthesizer flights. Dance Of The Tea Giants is a piece with very dynamic interplay, sensational sounding keyboard runs and guitar riffs that alternates between prog metal and the sound of King Crimson during the Red-album. Coda Cold is swinging with propulsive rhythms, ELP-inspired keyboard work and a heavy guitar solo. Heavy March includes organ runs that are paying tribute to ELP's Nut Rocker, based upon Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. We hear exciting, bombastic keyboards playing and heavy guitar work, simply sensational! Although it is obvious that Keith Emerson was Dimitri's great example, he succeeds in sounding original with varied and modern sounding keyboards and the use of many samples like singing African tribes, steel drums and many other voices. Some songs sound mellow like the sound collage Flower Fever. Apotheosis really is a great finale with sumptuous classical orchestrations, but in general, Aviva Omnibus's sound is bombastic with many exciting propulsive rhythms and spectacular work on keyboards and guitar. It really is a thrill to listen to Nutcracker In A Fury. The album is highly recommended, especially to the aficionados of keyboard-driven prog rock!

**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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