Karfagen returns with a new release in 2010 called Solitary Sandpiper Journey. Joining Antony Kalugin this time are Alexander Pavlov (guitars) and Marina Zacharova (vocals). Together they create the next chapter of Karfagen‘s musical legacy. The music is familiar to the first two releases but with a slightly more driving presence.
Some highlights are “Magic Moment” which has a Celtic feel to it. It also contains beautiful vocals by Marina. "Searching for Love", is another vocal based song, this time with Antony on lead vocals with Marina on backing vocals. Nothing against Antony but I think future Karfagen would be better with more vocals by Marina.
Next highlight is the almost 14 minute instrumental track “Carpathians”. There’s an ethnic sound throughout the song. It also has a heavier guitar presence from around the 10 minute mark, which brings even more character to the music of Karfagen.
Ending off the album is the epic 22 plus minute “Mystery” which alone is worth the price of admission. It features both Marina and Antony on vocals, in some places they duet. “Mystery” is also another song that features a heavier guitar presence yet not over powering. At times the song reminds me of Snow Goose which is a good enough reason to put Karfagen in the classic sounding symphonic band camp.
Solitary Sandpiper Journey is a highly recommended release and has effortlessly become a part of my top favorites of 2010.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on July 23rd, 2010