Eternal Wanderers - So Far And So Near,
2011 saw the second album from Eternal Wanderers, and by now they had increased to a quintet with the addition of Dmitry Drogunov on flute, plus some guest musicians. To my ears this album is more complex than the debut, with Tatyana providing some wonderful guitar runs which show just how important rock can be to the progressive scene. Yes, she knows how to provide widdly widdly with the best of them, and can also provide basic backing when it is time for Elena to move to the front, but she has a mastery of many styles outside those normally used within the progressive scene and the album is all the better for it.
Having an additional melodic instrument in a flute has also allowed the band to spread their wings musically, while Elena also seems to be far more comfortable providing string keyboard solos when the need is there. If anyone wants an example of just how powerful these guys are then just listen to track two, which not only is the title cut but is a ten-minute long instrumental. Using a variety of keyboard sounds (some of which are very Eighties), and complex interplay between the two sisters, it is surprising in some respects at just how well Dmitry and Sergey manage to keep the music grounded, while also playing multi-faceted combinations of their own. They can go from blistering complex symphonic prog with neo elements to Camel at the drop of a hat, then revert into an arrangement that contains multiple layers but is never over-crowded or muddy.
Elena tells me that they hope to have the fourth album out inside the next few years, and I really hope that is the case as they are one of the strongest bands I have heard out of Russia, and all their albums are well worth investigating.