Eternal Wanderers - The Door To A Parallel World,
I was having an email conversation with Andy Didorenko (Lost World Band) one day, and told him that I had recently heard ‘The Mystery of the Cosmic Sorrow’ by Eternal Wanderers, and how impressed I had been with it. Shortly afterwards I opened my inbox to find an email from singer and keyboard player Elena Kanevskaya as he had kindly passed on my details to her. We had some conversations, and not long afterwards she sent me their first albums to see what I thought. This their debut was released in 2008, with Elena joined by her sister Tatyana, her husband Dmitry Shtatnov (bass, also in Quorum) and Sergey Nikonrov on drums (with Sergey Alyamkin providing drums on one song). I have been fortunate enough to hear quite a lot of Russian progressive rock music this year, many of which bring in influences from their homeland, but that is not the case with these guys as they are looking far more to the West, although I am not surprised to find the mighty Polish band Collage mentioned in some reviews.
Much is often made of the fact that the although the rhythm section is male, both the keyboard player/singer and guitarist are female, and that they are sisters. But it never matters the gender/race/sexual orientation/age of anyone in a band, it should always be about the music, and right from the beginning one can only be impressed by this. Sergey provides complex drums patterns, while Dmitry uses many different styles to produce not only the notes but also different inflections. Tatyana sometimes riffs in a good old-fashioned neo prog style, although there are others where she provides a melodic lead, while Elena sometimes uses modern sounds and at others looks back to The Nice and Keith Emerson. She has a wonderful voice, but the band are also comfortable as an instrumental unit which sometimes means long passages with no vocals.
The use of a recorder and jew’s harp at the beginning of “Too Close To Heavens” is another example of how they can mix and match styles, as this leads into some delicate bass while Elena has some reverb placed on her voice and is very much to the fore. This ballad is quite reminiscent of Camel, and shows understanding of the power of restraint and the requirement for space within music to allow the layers to flow and breath. This is quite a superb album, and one I have enjoyed immensely.