Captivating prog from Hungary...
Magyar metal! Hungarians Dreamgrave have issued a three track EP (although I believe original physical versions of the release had a couple of live tracks as well) of, well, virtually indescribable music.
By which I mean it’s pretty much impossible to pigeonhole the band. In quiet moments on the first track, Drop the Curtain, you can hear slivers of Kansas escaping into the ether, or little Marillion quotations running hither and thither; second track Monuments starts off like parents day at Jazz Camp before some frankly startling death metal growling turns the track into something Mikael Åkerfeldt might have released in his formative years… before then heading back into bucolic acoustic territory without missing the beat.
However this isn’t just skittery showing off for the sake of it, or a frantic cramming of musical square pegs into round holes, oh no… everything sounds very natural, because these musicians are absolutely top notch; and in Mária Molnár the band has an absolutely wonderful vocal talent just waiting to be heard.
Her beautiful, waiflike tones are savagely countered by the growling of Dömötör Gyimesi in a combination that works well, but perhaps the nicest thing overall about this release is the beautiful violin playing of Krisztina Baranyi, which often soars birdlike above the grind below, elevating the music to a neoclassical beauty it might not otherwise have reached.
These constituent parts mix best of all on closing epic The Passing Faith in Others, which mixes swirling violin, jagged riffage and dissonant jazz phrasing in quick fire succession to provide a very filling smorgasbord of sounds and aural sensation.
Just three tracks then, but Dreamgrave populate them with more ideas than many bands manage in an entire career, and I’m keen to see where their talents take them next.
Dreamgrave’s Monuments I. – The Anxious is out now on Prog Heaven Hungary.