It’s a rare occurrence when a stellar group of musicians coalesce bringing their combined talents to a prestigious studio project thereby enhancing their reputations in the process. Corralling a group of artisanal talents to create artistic gold, Bulgarian composer Milen Vrabevski has produced his fifth IMP release of deeply satisfying and bewitching AOR vignettes.
Not too dissimilar to the modus operandi of The Alan Parsons Project, finely balanced on the cutting edge of compositional and technical excellence, the twelve tracks earworm into the subconscious with a multi-layered acuity.
Building on four previous studio-recordings, Rainbow’s Ronnie Romero, former Asia and Dukes Of The Orient John Payne, and newcomer Richard Grisman of the River Hounds, deliver their vocal talents progressing the elite class DNA chemistry of this musical entity across fifty minutes of enchanting music.
Sinuously demanding of heavy rotation, A Kind Of Real Life’s shimmering acoustic opening is driven forward on a chunky wave of MOR riffing by Ronnie Romero’s attention-grabbing vocal; driven superbly from behind by co-producer Simon Phillip’s percussive brilliance. Dramatic rock power ballad Where I Belong builds upon a swell of richly embroidered cushioned instrumentation enabling Rich Grisman’s vocal to take flight.
The Ronnie Romero fronted Styx like operatic rock riffing grandiosity on We Keep Running, is complemented by the contrasting epic sweep of By The Side Of The Minute as John Payne, Romero and Grisman unveil their quality phalanx of larynx. Which all three frontmen top on the monumental The Final Act which showcases exemplary band interplay throughout.
Backed by some of Bulgaria’s leading musicians, this deeply immersive faultless recording of immaculately presented musicianship, orchestration and performance of Milen Vrabevski compositions continues the stellar output of this genre-leading project.
Words: Paul Davies