I am a recent convert to the music of Sunchild’s driving force, Antony Kalugin. I was turned on to another of the Ukrainian’s projects Karfagen by ProgNaut Ron last year. I am very impressed with Karfagen’s The Key to Perception that includes the first two Karfagen albums with a lot of bonus material. It is an outstandingly beautiful collection of Symphonic Progressive Rock songs which hinted at classic 70’s material. Sunchild is another of Kalugin’s projects as he assembles a true band of crack musicians (and a small wind and string section) to support his creative mind.
The feature song on The Wrap is the 38 minute opus “Under the Wrap,” that pops in towards the middle of the album. It has much good about it. It starts off especially strong. Powerful and moving it begins and holds attention through much of its length. It perhaps overstays its welcome just a bit, but 38 minutes is a long time and few prog artists have been able to sustain a song of that length and make it magic (maybe Tull or Nektar? But even they had two sides of vinyl.). “Under the Wrap” is truly on the edge of magic.
It’s not just about the epic however. “Day of Destiny” is a powerful opener. There is “An Angel” with lilting keyboards and a falsetto-drenched vocal, a range that seems a bit more comfortable to Kalugin. The guitar solo here by Maxim Velichko is especially impressive. Also compelling is a lovely instrumental with a dynamic build in “The Wrap” that serves as an intro to the epic. This song is also revisited with lyrics for the closer.
I would recommend this to fans of neo-prog with symphonic tendencies like Ageness, Glass Hammer, Galleon and Clepsydra. I anxiously await what Antony Kalugin’s next step is. He is now become my new “artist to watch for.”
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on May 17th, 2011