Thursday, May 18, 2006

oic2/Angelika and Demons - Iisus Christos #3

Hear The Track Here

This rather enigmatic bandname hides a familiar face and one not so familiar. Our ol' mate Gem Watson (aka Watsonica) arranged and - I presume - produced this, the original coming from Angelika and Demons. They prove to be a progressive rock outfit from Moscow, Russia and - before this review - I hadn't heard anything at all by them. Watsonica, on the other hand, I reviewed his Talking Backwards track last month (first time I had ever heard him too) after a bit of forum banter and discovered he was a very able guitarist. A deft, emotional player that sounded as good in tone as any you care to name.

Iisus Christos #3 (to give the track it's 'proper' title ;) ) is the third (the 3 being the clue, d'you see?) version of this particular song. It always fascinated me how a track develops and here is a classic example why. It's a song about Angelika's awakening to Christianity and - believe it or not - it's actually highly listenable to in ALL its varieties. The original version is as rough as old boots in production style but nevertheless packed a neat punch but - being sung in Russian - the context completely escaped me. I liked the groove of the track and Angelika's vocals sounded great. The only letdown was the awful sound quality. #3, the one I have spent most time with, adds enormously to that initial promise; the sound fleshed out and glittering with neat little keyboard/guitar flourishes. The third version, also a fly-by listen while I'm writing this review, is a redux of the track I have been listening to, only lusher...

Whichever version you listen to, you will find a sweet voiced, lovely toned ballad peppered with some trademark Watsonica licks. For my money, now that I have heard it, I'd go for the version at the top of Angelika's page here. It's not exactly progressive rock (even though it has some of the same elements) more like a kinda classic rock tune with some hefty chunks of classical structure to keep the roof up. If I had any gripe at all, I would have to say that the vocal tended to overshadow the subtlety of the backing track at times but that's just me being picky. To be sure, you would have to like a slice of rock, and a taste for someone singing in a language other than English or Ebonics (that's peep my s***, to those in the know) but I found this track very likeable in all its versions. I think I'd like to see something a little more substantial from this quarter before I get to frothing at the mouth but a good start...

Recommended - for exotic tastes :D

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