This biography is provided by Daniel Eliseev; He grew up at a time when Bulgaria was part of the so-called communist Eastern Bloc, in these difficult times rock music was like a semi-legal way of expressing yourself and standing out of the communist system. When Daniel was 10 years old he listened to The Beatles, his mother loved to play their music, and he started to be interested in music. When he was 13 a friend gave him an acoustic guitar for one night, he was enchanted and arranged on the first three strings of the guitar a popular melody of a movie, then his musical adventure started. Classic progressive rock played a huge role in his development as a musician, especially the albums Going For The One by Yes and Three Friends by Gentle Giant. He also got inspiration from Genesis, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson, The Beatles, Van Der Graaf Generator, Kansas, UK, Rush, Allan Holdsworth, Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips. More modern favourite bands are Echolyn, The Flower Kings, Enchant, Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson, Cairo, Tears For Fears, Frost, Spock's Beard and Magellan. Bulgaria is a country where progressive rock is not very popular. FSB are one of the most successful Bulgarian bands but “it's not easy to be a non-commercial musician, you are like a lone wolf” Daniel says. Progrock concerts are rare but there is much more attention for world-known bands like Dream Theater, Riverside, Steven Wilson and Steve Hackett. In 1995 Daniel started his professional career with the band Avalon and their eponymous debut album, followed by playing with the bands Travelhouse, Arx, Insight, Led Zeppelin Tribute Bulgaria, Prog-Rock Tribute Bulgaria, Sekta, Modus, Surbahar, TubeFx and Samodelia. Since 2013 he focused on one side writing and producing his own author's music, and on other side in developing his own private music school Infinity. In 2018 he released his first solo album under the name Daniel Eliseev Project (D.E.P.) entitled Night Shadow. In the autumn the first single will appear, and in the first half of the year 2020 the second album of Daniel Eliseev Project (D.E.P.) can be expected. Meanwhile, in parallel with the second D.E.P. album, he is also working on an entirely instrumental album, which will appear in 2020.
1. Alter Ego (5:27): The album kicks off with powerful and dynamic Heavy Prog (Rush inspired) featuring Yes-like vocal harmonies, a captivating contrast with the exciting heavy guitar riffs and blistering guitar solo, topped with subtle Supertramp-like electric piano runs. An impressive start!
2. Night Shadow (7:06) : This track is more song-oriented with a blend of electric - and acoustic guitar, and a strong vocal performance by Konstantin Djambazov. It sounds very melodic and harmonic, like Eighties Yes. Halfway a break with spectacular keyboard runs and heavy guitar riffs, then a tight mid-tempo with exciting heavy guitar solo, I enjoy the huge tension between the mellow and heavy parts. The bombastic final part delivers thunderous drums.
3. Pandora And Epimetheus (7:12) : First a mellow intro with soft fretless bass runs by Venci Pavlov, and subtle work on guitar and keyboards. Now the climate turns first into bombastic with powerful guitar, lush Hammond organ rhythm, and then into catchy beat with male and female vocal duet. The second part is Heavy Prog Extravaganza with lots of strong musical ideas: from a break with acoustic guitar runs, Mellotron violins, Hammond and a vocal duet to flashy synthesizer runs and a fiery guitar solo. The interplay between the musicians is awesome and I am blown away by the bombastic atmosphere featuring heavy riffs, lush Hammond and powerful guitar, top notch Heavy Prog!
4. Awakening (2:18) : After lots of Heavy Prog this composition is dreamy with warm classical guitar and nature sounds, then wonderful violin and a viola da gamba (rooted in Italy), simply beautiful.
5. Broken Consciousness (5:09) : The first part contains twanging acoustic guitar, a mellow mid-tempo with pleasant vocals, song-oriented, embellished with viola da gamba and acoustic guitar. Halfway the mood shifts to an acceleration with sensational solo work on guitar and keyboards, fuelled by excellent rhythm-section, wow!
6. Hidden Voices (3:50) : This one is a tribute to the distinctive Gentle Giant vocal harmonies, with tasteful synthesizer layers. Then an acceleration with spectacular synthesizer sounds and vocal harmonies, the music sounds very dynamic and powerful, with hints from Rush.
7. A Song For You (3:01) : This very mellow piece is dedicated to Daniel his mother, she died too early, the fairy tale-like atmosphere evokes an imaginary world, with voices of children, and celestial female vocals by Anelia Toteva. Daniel puts his emotion into the music with outstanding twanging acoustic guitar, and a few words, something he hardly could do because she died when he was a young guy, a very moving and personal song.
8. The Journey Along (9:58) : This epic final composition begins with spacey synthesizer and sensitive electric guitar. The lots of shifting moods, between mellow and bombastic, the one moment acoustic guitar (twanging and flageolets), the other moment heavy guitar work (from propulsive riffs to biting runs) or sensational synthesizer flights, and a powerful Hammond solo, I love that distinctive sound! In the final part the music alternates between dreamy with a ticking clock sound and exciting heavy guitar (again Rush comes to my mind), topped with strong vocal harmonies. Finally, subtle guitar work with the volume pedal and strumming acoustic guitar, slowly fading away, what an awesome and elaborate composition!
Wow, what a debut album, so dynamic, varied, so many interesting musical ideas and surprising musical twist and turns, performed by outstanding musicians, highly recommended!
**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Dave Smith)
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