The Moon Pierrot: Illusion - CD Review

 

"Illusion" by the Russian prog rock legend "The Moon Pierrot" is a finest piece of work recorded by just two original band members - Arthur Mountaniol (guitars, lead vocals, bass) and Valentin Trofimov (piano, keyboards, vocals). Since both musicians now live in two different countries, Mountaniol in the USA and Trofimov in France, this project has been recorded exclusively using the internet. Despite that, it's nothing short of amazing.

 

Truly of symphonic proportions, powered by the extraordinary musicianship and refined orchestration, this music takes you on journey back to the 1980's Moscow, Russia. That's when this material had been originally created and performed by the band.

 

The classically trained piano of Trofimov, who also does a great job on keyboards, makes a perfect match with Mountaniol's ultra innovative and virtuosic guitar and his vocals that excel at different manners, delicate nuances and powerful outrage.

 

The album opens with "Fortress Street" - a colorful rock freak show with a Halloween vibe that serves as an introduction to the whole world of illusions that follow.

 

Most of these songs are sung in Russian, except for "Tower of Death" and "Pierrot" that are in English and French. There are also two instrumentals -  "Toccata" and "Elegy".  Brilliant in their own way, these two pieces are like an intermission between the songs, giving the listener time to reflect.

 

The band's music incorporates a wide range of musical styles such as jazz, art rock, avant-guard, pop, new wave and classical music with influences from Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Mussorgsky and Debussy, And in terms of rock music - King Crimson, Frank Zappa, ELP, Genesis, UK, Deep Purple and Queen.

 

The album is well balanced and doesn't overload you with a serious content. It also offers some humor, grotesque and fun in songs like "Railroad Song", "Za Rub Ezhom", "Moon dance" and "Pierrot" which help make it all sound really enjoyable and exciting.

 

"Illusion" is a retrospective work  that builds a bridge between now and then. Rediscovered and totally reimagined material presents itself as a completely new rock spectacle offering the listener to experience long gone life that still seems to be around, but only as an illusion.

 

Highly recommended!

  

Hugo Dinkum
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