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martes, 18 de octubre de 2016

Lunatic Soul - Lunatic Soul (2008)


Y vamos con otro buen bocado de buen rock polaco, el Mago Alberto nos trae ahora el primer disco casi solista del vocalista y bajista de Riverside, Mariusz Duda, en su proyecto Lunatic Soul. Una propuesta climática, oscura, experimental, casi de música étnica de a ratos y llena de pequeños detalles, un disco que puede recordar a los trabajos de Peter Gabriel basados en música africana o a Ulver, un sinfín de melodías y sonidos poco habituales, muy experimental, con estructuras muy atmosféricas, oscuras y relajadas, muy ambiental, con elementos árabes y los africanos, con mucha magia y delicadeza pero sobretodo con muchísima carga emotiva. Si no lo conocías, entrate a este post... un disco muy personal, un disco que hay que sentir más que escuchar.

Artista: Lunatic Soul
Álbum: Lunatic Soul
Año: 2008
Género: Crossover Prog
Duración: 46:00
Nacionalidad: Polonia


Lista de Temas:
1. Prebirth
2. The new beginning
3. Out on a limb
4. Summerland
5. Lunatic soul
6. Where the darkness is deepest
7. Near life experience
8. Adrift
9. The final truth
10. Waiting for the dawn

Alineación:
- Mariusz Duda / vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, percussion
- Maciej Szelenbaum / piano, keyboards, flutes
- Wawrzyniec Dramowicz / drums, percussion
- Michal Lapaj / hammond organ
- Maciej Meller / e-bow
- Anna Maria Buczek / tears





El disco en cuestión parece n viaje a través del mundo, visitando el centro de Europa, Medio Oriente o una aldea de alguna pequeña tribu en el África. Así que seguimos presentando los delicados trabajos que vienen desde Polonia y ésto no podía faltar, y el Mago Alberto lo trae simplemente porque parece que estamos en sintonía.
He aquí su comentario, y por suerte este disco tiene bastantes reseñas, cosa que me salva de escribir mucho.


Esta receta llamada Lunatic Soul, se formula con una pizca de Riverside, Indukti y Quidam, si cabezonas/es, integrantes de esas tres tremendas bandas polacas complementan este proyecto. El alma mater es el señor Mariusz Duda, vocalista y bajista de Riverside, aunque el estilo musical esta un poco alejado del sonido de aquella banda, la voz y las atmósferas traen un dejo y marcan un poco el sello musical de Lunatic Soul.
Acá todo es mas tranqui, disco especial para relajarse y disfrutar de sonidos puros, coros profundos y la voz de Duda, que nos remite inmediatamente a proyectos como los de Steven Wilson, quizás por la cadencia y el tono interpretativo.
Hay una carga muy especial, casi diría muy sentimental, y la instrumentación si le prestan atención está matizada por excelentes arreglos. Si hay algo para destacar con los lanzamientos que llegan de las tierras polacas es básicamente la producción de los sonidos, todos impecables, nítidos, precisos, contundentes, cosa que no se trabaja muy a menudo, y marcan o dan un sello distintivo a los polacos, basta escuchar los discos de Quidam para notar lo que menciono.
Otra banda que engrosa las filas de muchísimas bandas que ya se han posteado en el blog, provenientes de aquellas lejanas tierras.
Lunatic Soul desembarca en la Escuelita de Moe, calidad asegurada para los oídos no muy pretenciosos.

Mago Alberto



Ojo que de primera el disco puede parecer bastante sencillo comparado con lo que ha hecho anteriormente la gente que lo lleva adelante, pero cuando centras la atención en sus detalles, en las cuidadas melodías, en los impresionantes arreglos, cuando escuchas el disco en toda su profundidad y extensión descubres un mundo nuevo en su interior. Es como sumergirse en el océano, no sabemos realmente lo que guardan sus aguas hasta que no buceamos en ellas. Se trata de una obra que te cautiva poco a poco, que te va a abrazando en un manto de sonidos y sensaciones, que te transporta a un mundo diferente. Es una delicada delicia sonora. Sigo copiando comentarios de terceros...

2008. El año en que Mariusz Duda, frontman, vocalista y bajista de Riverside decide crear un proyecto solista. ¿El nombre? Lunatic Soul. Al saber que era Duda quien lideraba el proyecto, me imaginé algo como Anno Domini pero diluído. No en calidad, sino que en intensidad, pero estaba equivocadísimo. Lunatic Soul, con su (hasta el momento) único disco, podría ser la antítesis de Riverside. Se deja de lado el metal rápido, las guitarras eléctricas y sus solos y las baterías desmesuradas, para entregar un disco puro, pacífico, privado. Sus tintes oscuros y depresivos entregan una atmósfera inmensamente sobrecogedora. Con muchos ritmos árabes, mas el uso de e-bow y flauta, logran en el rock progresivo una faceta pocas veces explorada que gracias a la influencia polaca de Duda (y creo que la banda entera) nos regala una sencilla obra de arte, étnica, agresiva pero de una línea exquisita, casi sensual. Intenso como pocos, ya que, al igual que casi todas las bandas que publique, crean música con verdadera inspiración. Con sentimiento puro, y no por cumplirle a su discográfica de turno.
Lunatic Soul. Sencillamente, uno de mis discos favoritos.
LateraluSober


Mi aprecio por Mariusz Duda es más que evidente dada la adoración que profeso a Riverside, banda donde ejerce el papel de bajista, cantante, compositor, guitarrista en ocasiones…el típico tío que hace de todo y todo lo que hace lo hace bien, y cuyo perfil musical está llamado a reclamar mi atención y admiración. No es de extrañar que en el momento en el que se anunció la existencia de Lunatic Soul, un proyecto suyo en solitario, se me pusieran los pelos de punta, y ahora que el disco reposa a mi lado en la mesa tengo confirmadas las sospechas de que sería un viaje increíble.
El fan de Riverside no debe buscar en este proyecto similaridades directas con la banda mater de Mariusz Duda: no existen, o si lo hacen es a nivel mínimo. El concepto de Lunatic Soul, aunque sigue el planteamiento de temática común entre temas y está caracterizado por una emocionalidad intensísima marca de la casa, se aleja mucho en el aspecto puramente musical, que es donde destaca sobre todo. Además, el bajo deja de ser el elemento predominante, ya no sujeta las canciones como lo hacía en Riverside: Mariusz Duda ha decidido desmarcarse y romper con lo anterior para dar a luz un trabajo inmenso.
Seguramente el atractivo de Lunatic Soul esté en los detalles que pueblan todos los temas, creando un conjunto de sonidos que hacen de cada canción una experiencia única. La voz de Mariusz Duda es sinuosa y evocadora, las atmósferas sobrecogen por su intensidad, y los arreglos completan cada espacio dando sentido a unas melodías magníficas. Hay percusiones variadas, pianos, e-bow, flautas…pero sobre todo está la habilidad de orquestar todo esto en cada tema para que el sonido fluya suavemente.
Es difícil recomendar este disco tratando de equipararlo a algo para que la gente se haga a la idea de lo que hay. La etiqueta de ambient pega bastante con él, pero al tiempo creo que desvía la atención del oyente, porque sin duda alguna no es música para ambientar algo, para estar de fondo, sino que es un disco para prestar atención y disfrutar con lo exquisito de los detalles. Es un disco perfecto para disfrutarlo a oscuras, sin nada más que interrumpa el ritual entre oyente y álbum.
Grata sorpresa la de este disco, de las mejores cosas que han salido este año sin duda alguna: novedoso, elegante, con mucha clase, y sobre todo profundo y emocional. Puro genio. Así da gusto ser un lunático, ¿no creéis?
ballener0


Por si a alguno le quedan dudas o no lo ha notado, el señor Duda se ha afianzando como uno de los compositores más interesantes de la escena y un maestro en lo que a crear atmósferas se refiere. Con su talento y lo ya hecho aquí o en Riverside lo marca como un fuera de serie. Escúchenlo atentamente...
Esta es una recomendación absoluta para todos aquellos que disfrutan de sonidos experimentales, para los amantes del progresivo y para todos los que gusten de sonidos acústicos. "Lunatic Soul" es un disco muy personal que hay que sentir más que escuchar.


Vamos con algunos comentarios en inglés y no pierdan más tiempo...






LUNATIC SOUL is the solo project of Mariusz Duda, the singer and bass player for RIVERSIDE. I didn't know he was such a multi-instrumentalist as he plays acoustic guitar, percussion, bass, keyboards, kalimba and effects.This is a concept album where Duda gives us his version of life after death. It's dark, ambient and atmospheric with a World Music vibe. No electric guitar in this one. Duda has stated that ULVER and DEAD CAN DANCE among others were his insprirations. We have the drummer from INDUKTI here, as well as RIVERSIDE's keyboardist. Mr.Meller from QUIDAM plays e-bow on one track. Oh, and it's 47 minutes long, just right.
"Prebirth" is the short instrumental intro track with effects and whispers.This is dark with some trumpet sounds. "The New Beginning" opens with gentle guitar as percussion comes in. It's still dark as flute comes and goes in a haunting way. Vocal melodies are softly sung. We get vocals 2 minutes in which are almost speaking. Very cool track. "Out On A Limb" is my favourite. For the first time you can actually tell it's Duda singing. Love his voice. Guitar plays along as synths join in around a minute. We get the heaviest sound yet on the album 2 minutes in,joined by a steady beat. Drums come pounding in after 3 minutes with synths. It calms right down as we can here this female crying. It's quite emotional and then the drums and synths kick back in. "Summerland" brings CHROMA KEY to mind with the piano and atmosphere. Reserved vocals join in as well. I really like this one.
"Lunatic Soul" opens with keys as acoustic guitar then vocals join in.Very mellow and beautiful. It kicks in after 3 minutes, nice bass. Great sound ! The vocals are passionate before 5 1/2 minutes and we get some Hammond organ too. "Where The Darkness Is Deepest" is an instrumental with lots of effects with some deep bass lines, and keys before 2 minutes. "Near Life Experience" is almost pleasant with drums and some vocals before 2 minutes. Piano follows. "Adrift" opens with strummed guitar as drums then vocals join in. The vocals sound so good here. Gorgeous soundscape 2 minutes in as the e-bow comes in. "The Final Truth" opens with percussion as vocals then organ arrive. Drums 5 minutes in and passionate vocals after 6 minutes. "Waiting For The Dawn" features synths that pulse slowly as sounds come and go including flute. Percussion before 2 1/2 minutes. An atmospheric hum ends it.
Just because your a RIVERSIDE fan doesn't mean you will like this one. This is very different from their style of music. Excellent release.
John Davie

A highly fascinating solo project from Riverside member Mariusz Duda.
Fans of his main band may not appreciate too much of this album though; as the similarities between this creation and the highly popular band Duda's a member of aren't too many; a few ballad-like compositions and the general mood and emotion conveyed the two major similarities.
The first half of this album consist of compositio0ns with many ambient textures, rhythms and sounds from folk music in general and eastern folk music in particular adding nuances and textures, and generally dark; complex soundscapes with lots of details and a massive sound - even if no harsh or hard elements are utilized.
A jazz tinged affair, a ballad and a haunting long song carried by Duda's vocals over a drum and organ foundation follows; before the album ends with an eastern-tinged atmospheric piece ending with a brooding, threatening electronic sound engulfing everything else.
Dreamy, dark and haunting music with elements of ambient, folk and progressive rock - extremely well made - are the contents of this production; and those who find the above descriptions intriguing may fall in love with this CD. Recommended!
Olav Martin Bjørnsen

I suppose it's either some kind of obsession to hear Steven Wilson everywhere, or he's just too influental. Anyway, it's just one of the feelings I have about this album. Second though is that is uses familiar, yet new tunes, sounds, or whole composition of songs at all. Blending ambient music with mostly darker sound, our Poland brothers keeps proving that they're great as nation of prog. There's one thing about melodies I like (yes, ambient, but this ambient elements are switching sides with melodic part often, far quicker than (almost) I can watch it.
This is simply great thing, very promising (and fulfilling these promises), and I'm feeling better and better with every listen. That's fine I suppose, it's very eclectic album, as I understand meaning of this word as having a lot of sources, influences and styles. Even with great outro song with feeling of orient.
4(+) / 5, or should I say yet another superb (and super in different way than the rest) Polish prog band ?
Marty McFly

Well, I got Lunatic Soul II before I got the debut; nattily titled Lunatic Soul I, which only proves that I can still function according to all cardinal points I guess. Mariusz Duda needs no introduction to any of us and his solo project reflects the diversity that most artists aspire to, which proves that his cardinal points are still functioning. Nothing worse than being pigeon- holed in a style and then, like Harry Houdini strapped in an underwater coffin, struggling to be free of the chains, straps and ropes of market demands. There are few mainstream artists that can get away with side projects that diverge wildly from their claim to fame, but in our wonderful world of Prog, the artistic autonomy is encouraged with often brilliant results ( Porcupine Tree/Steve Wilson/Bass Communion/IEM being a good example or The Tangent/Transatlantic/ TFK/ Karmakanik community). The premise behind Lunatic Soul is the emergence of a sonic palette that is way more ethereal than Riverside, full of luxuriant ambiance and forlorn melancholia, introducing instruments that would never fit in the 'harder' mould: Tibetan bells, soporific voices, massive swaths of flute ripplings and mellotron waves and Asian percussives. The tracks sort of bleed into one another as if one long suite, perfect evolution of sound as if motored by some sonic dream. 'The New Beginning 'dives straight into the dark matter of fragile brooding proving that menacing does not have to be harsh and growly. 'Out on a Limb' starts out gently before exploding into a savage thump that suddenly introduces audible and fraught crying (tears), a moment where things get quite agonizing and desperate. Duda has mastered the contrast between lament and exaltation, his hushed voice often downcast but occasionally flashing a glimmer of relief. 'Summerland' is this window of sun, preparing for the epic title track, nearly 7 minutes of aural experimentation with the kalimba , also known as the thumb piano but exploding into a bass rumble that would make Squire blush as the blazing fire of Michal Lapaj's Hammond sweeps emotions in the backcourt , this is seriously fine music. The torment becomes quickly visceral (the organ knows how to perform that task) but Duda's angered vocals evoke the inner rage of his anguished soul to perfection. This is a composer on top of his game. 'Where the Darkness is Deeper' is outright creepy, like an outtake from a horror movie, growling dissonance and echoing pings of menace combine to elicit doom and despair, the mellotron strings and the slippery synths fluttering among the unfathomable valleys of peril. This is perhaps the best track here, totally unexpected but deliciously evil. The amusingly and cleverly titled 'Near Life Experience' is another twist in the paranoia, the acoustic guitar cutting an almost Saharan swath, jangling piano mirages and discordant drums give this a very Avant-jazz feel , the wobbly bass providing the only anchor as Arabic-styled wailing serenades the arrival at the oasis. Weird, man! 'Adrift' is a heartrending ballad that has tinges of ELP's 'C'est La Vie', a gorgeous hymn to loneliness and despair, featuring Quidam's Maciej Meller on e-bow, a thoroughly expressive song with a deep sense of painful resolve. The longest track here is 'The Final Truth', a miraculous vocal from Mariusz that expresses all the pain of a life's existence, the Hammond gently caressing the bubbly drums. The lyrics deal with the human condition, asking what is our existence all about, the unfocused blur between life and death. This is ideal funeral music when you think about it, the perfect sonic backdrop to the unavoidable moment where we all must pass on to the next universe. But the 'why?' needs to be answered first, which is why the finale 'Waiting For the Dawn' takes on such great significance. The Chinese plucked zither (Quzheng) takes us into the Himalayan heights of consciousness, far way from the mundane and regimented routine we call life. As Khalil Gibran wisely stated 'And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb'.
Wow, what a ride this was''. Sad music can be uplifting and inspirational, the 2 albums (I and II) certainly aspire to those lofty heights
4.5/5 madcap spirits
Thomas Szirmay

I always keep away from music made by members of a group I like. Not all the times It plays well (I am looking right at You Peter Gabriel), but also can be said of Ian Anderson, Steven Wison and all the members of The Clash.
So at first I was esceptical of Lunatic Soul (no lead guitar, really?) but don't be afraid to face the music here. It is well written, well produced and Duda is not all over singing.
Really pleasant music, and of course, progressive enough to be here, bordering on World music sometimes but great music nonetheless.
So I am giving this one 4 stars and I'll keep searching for this band in the future. Do the same.
steelyhead

Mariusz Duda, as leader of Riverside, is outstanding in different aspects: he has a wonderful voice that ranges from melodic to aggressive; and, he plays the bass incredibly at Riverside. It was time for him to probe his composition side in a solo project. Working with some guest musicians, he created the LUNATIC SOUL project, and the first album, the black one, is an incredible effort where we can hear sounds of desperation, craziness, and landscapes, lots of landscapes that create a wonderful and varied album, maintaining the same melancholic and dark tone all the way through. Definitely, an incredible and different concept to that of Riverside.
Guillermo Barrera

I'm always interested to hear an artist from a favourite band moving into the solo realm, especially when it's something quite different from his or her previous work.
This is what we're given with Mariusz Duda's 'Lunatic Soul'. Here we see the frontman from Riverside moving to arrangements centred around acoustic guitars and other instruments unseen on his previous works.
This is apparent from the very beginning. After the ambient intro track, 'Prebirth', track number two 'The New Beginning' treats us to flutes, acoustic percussion and subtle, almost whispered vocals. 'Out on a Limb' ramps things up a little as Duda's distorted bass injects some groove into the album. There's also the interesting use of a woman crying to punctuate the track midway through. I found this entirely disconcerting the first time through. A number of listens later I'm still not sure what to make of it, but it is admittedly effective in evoking a response.
The title track 'Lunatic Soul' is my favourite on this album. It begins with a dreamlike chiming that immediately transports me deep inside the music. It's an example of something simple, something subtle that is also very powerful. Acoustic guitar melts in and Duda's subdued vocals are soon accompanied by synths that gradually build the tension of the song. A memorable bassline drives the second half of the song until the chiming that escorted us into the track returns to echo in our ears as the song ends.
'Adrift' is another track that shares many of these strengths - a dreamlike acoustic intro, a killer bassline and a wonderful build up are all prominent as other instruments join the tapestry. This song clocks in at around three minutes and always leaves me wanting more.
'The Final Truth' is a track of two halves - the first mixes an organ, vocals and a highly reverberated side stick. It then builds to a more orchestral feel for the second half as the tempo picks up and other instruments join in. 'Waiting for the Dawn' closes the album with the same sense of ambience with which it began.
This album was a complete surprise for me, and one of my favourites for the year. It shows that Mariusz Duda has plenty to offer outside the confines of Riverside, and that his talents extend beyond just the one genre or style.
Mark

In my opinion the best release from Mariusz Duda, it appears in my CD player far more than the other Lunatic Soul albums and indeed those from Riverside. With respect to the so called white album and 'Impressions', this album seems somewhat more urgent and also exhibits more coherence; while songs such as 'Asoulum' and 'Wanderings' were impressive in their own right, the white album suffered from a lack of flow from one track to the next.
The music on Lunatic Soul is almost solely the work of Duda having written and played virtually all of the instruments, and unlike the crushing riffs utilized in Riverside's music, this album is quiet and atmospheric. However despite this, and the predominantly short song lengths, the music can be powerful and emotive at times and hypnotic at others. Lyrically the album is intriguing too, exploring into the realms of what could happen after death. Track by Track;
1. Prebirth/The New Beggining - Do a good job of setting the scene for what is to come; they showcase the variety of instruments, and a haunting atmosphere is created by Duda's vocals on the latter track. They sit more in the hypnotic category than the powerful one, but are very pleasant on the ears.
2.Out on a Limb - A bit more urgent. Brilliant opening vocals lead into a faster passage of percussion and crunchy bass playing, before a pacy yet very melodic climax. Even has a crying woman in the midsection for emotional impact. Production really sounds good here, though it 's pretty much perfect throughout the album. 3. Summerland - One of the the three real big hitters on the album. Really beautiful song all round, nice piano melody and a strangely catchy chorus. This song in more lyrically populated than the previous songs, and the subject matter certainly gives you something to think about! Pretty damn good outro; Duda knows how to end songs!
4.Lunatic soul - Another big hitter. A very stylistic song, hypnotic keyboards keyboards swirl around throughout, accompanied by some rather nice drumming. With the vocals too, it kinda makes you feel as if you are floating. Great use of electronics, as on the previous track.
5. Where the Darkness is Deepest - Bit of a interlude, lots of random sounds that work together in somehow. Pulled along by a pulsating electric bass line joined by piano and some rather scary keyboard work.
6. Near Life Experience - Another Instrumental, but has somewhat more power than the previous number. Thing that stands out here is the quality of the bass playing and the general interplay between the instruments. Despite having little sense of direction the song just works so well.
7. Adrift - Small slow acoustic song with good lyrics. The tracks on this album often flow into each other, and this works to great effect here. The E-bow (played by Maciej Meller - not Duda!) really makes this song though.
8. The Final Truth - One of my favourite tracks of all time. Opens with just Duda's singing with a really fitting Hammond Organ backdrop and a simple beat. Lyrics are the best on the album here. Just past the halfway mark though, things start to liven up with some awesome speedy drumming and amazing keyboards. Then the vocals pick up the pace. This is the climax of the album. Seriously good track.
9. Waiting for the Dawn - Much in the way that 'Pebirth' led you in to the album this takes you out of it. Soothing keys, Flutes, and what ever a Quzheng create a lush instrumental landscape before an electronic drum noise thing sobers you up!
This is not usually my sort of music, but this album is really quite something (That's why it is the subject of my first ever review!). It is unique and has real emotional power. Buy it, make sure nothing is going on and just get lost in the music.
Henry Russell

Lunatic Soul is a side project by Riverside bassist and vocalist Mariusz Duda, who handles most instruments himself on this production, as well as writing most of the music and lyrics. The self-titled debut album by this project was issued towards the tail end of 2008.
To do away with this one first: Fans of Duda's main band Riverside may not find this album too interesting. Some may enjoy this creation as well of course, as this is a matter of personal taste, but the musical output from Duda in this case is not very similar to the works of Riverside. Indeed, apart from the ballad "Adrift" there's few musical similarities at all. The moods and atmospheres are somewhat of the same nature though, even if the stylistic attributes are different there's a melancholy, dark and even despairing emotional touch to all the compositions on this production that I personally find in Riverside's albums, too.
The first 5 songs on this release are all of a similar-sounding nature, and form a sort of a first half on the album. Floating synth layers, acoustic guitars and percussion are the main instruments here as on the rest of this release; with melodic and at times driving bass lines as a foundation. And Duda's vocals convey emotions by the bucketful - as expected. On these first tunes a distinct stylistic leaning are used extensively though; folk-tinged percussions and rhythms run like a red thread through these compositions; eastern-tinged synths flavor the songs and even the string instruments contain a strong folk-tinged flavor in general and eastern tinge in particular. The songs themselves are dreamy in nature, with some majestic segments mainly created by synths; slow melodic searching guitar soloing and of course Duda's wonderful voice on the tracks that aren't instrumental.
After a few excursions into other musical realms the album ends with songs in this nature as well, which means that most of this production has that trademark sound to it. However; "Where The Darkness Is Deepest" is more of a grim, industrial-tinged exploration - aptly named as such when thinking about the mood explored there. "Near Life Experience" is more of a happy song, venturing closer to jazz territories in style. "Adrift" is a melancholy ballad more than anything else, while the outstanding song "The Final Truth" explores a basic song containing rhythms, organ and vocals only for most of its length, fleshed out with intense drums and symphonic synths of a majestic variety towards the end.
All in all this is a very solid debut by Mariusz Duda's side project Lunatic Soul. The compositions are high class, and a few of them are truly outstanding. Those who think that mixing progressive rock with ambient sounding moods to create dark, haunting yet dreamy and beautiful music sounds like a good thing should find this production compelling, and I'd hazard a guess for this CD to become a personal favorite for quite a few listeners.
Ian Parker

Wow! I heard this album long months ago but I wanted to left behind the passion, emotion and surprise of the first moment to write a review more rational... But I can't...
Mariusz Duda's first solo project is nos just for prog metal or Riverside fans. Duda plays and mix several prog genres into a dark serie of tracks which left a very sour but nice taste after the end of every song. In fact, you wouldn't want the albums comes to the end after few minutes of listening. Half way between prog metal influences, some Porcupine Tree sounds, cathartic rhythmical drums sequences and awsome crescendos, "Lunatic Soul" turns into a very enjoyable piece of art, full of powerfull musical landscapes constructed by Duda's omnipresential vocals and brilliant but dark atmospheres based on keyboards work.
Definitively, one of the most valuable prog rock pieces of the last years and a proof that Duda's is one of the most talented European musicians by these days... An album that everyone deserves to have in any music colection... 4.5/5...
Iván Avila

Mariusz Duda, founder of Lunatic Soul is a hardworking musician. As soon as he finish a tour or recording session with Riverside he hides in a studio and start with something else. However, whereas other artists often ape their main band' releases, he decided to do something completely different than Riverside.
Lunatic Soul is an album whose main merit is atmosphere. The music flows slowly, sometimes springing into more lively theme. The concept and music itself are really good. The story of the protagonist is intriguing and suits the music very well.
There is one thing I don't like about that though. Monotony. It's almost everywhere (with an exception for Out on a Limb and Summerland) on the album and even if track evolve, there are no real turnabouts which usually make music more interesting. I'm not saying that it's boring or much less tiresome, it just would be more captivating if it was less predictable.
Lunatic Soul is good and dark-atmospheric collection of songs which attracts with nice melodies and genuine emotions. This album needs a special approach though to discover its full potential. It's good to put it into your player in the evening, lie down on the floor and savour the music.
Bartosz Bartosso

Lunatic Soul is the solo project of the lead singer of Riverside; Mariusz Duda. Do not expect to hear anything like Riverside or anything metal for that matter. This is experimental music it may not even be considered prog outside the fact that prog is experimental in its self. There are no electric guitars and the only distortion comes from a bass guitar. Lunatic Soul is mostly atmospheric with mellow vocals. It may be considered a concept album because the lyrics seem to be about death but, I'm not sure if the songs are connected in any way beyond their subject matter. Mariusz Duda shows his true talent here with his song writing ability. He is obviously influenced by Porcupine Tree but he manages to create music that is quite different from anything Steven Wilson has done. I truly love this CD it has great song writing and a great vibe.
Kipp Wilson

Lunatic Soul's debut record is really something special, by any standards. It creates chilling, hypnotic, and ambient music in a way that will really move you. The music is extremely organic, but it has a hypnotic, processed feel to it that gives it a sort of beckoning and foreboding characteristic. The percussion is excellent... tribal, rhythmic beats are placed instead of the overused modern kick hi-hat snare combo we are so used to. The flute is also amazing, and the guitars are simplistic but well used - distorted solos such as those in Riverside would have killed it. Track #2 is what brought me in, and it is the best song on the album. I had never heard anything like it. There was only 2 vocal lines, but the vocals are not the focus, and neither are the instruments. The focus is in the simply amazing sonic atmospheres that are created by all the respective instruments, woven around the listener in complex or beautifully simple arrangements. This is music for headphones, preferably in a dark room, just lay down and become immersed in the warm, chilling, thick atmospheres of this incredible music. Other excellent tracks are "The Final Truth" "Adrift" and the surreal, haunting ambiance of "Where The Darkness is Deepest" My first 5 star rating, and well deserved, an incredible experience!
Seth

This one is really growing on me. I'm not even that big a fan of Riverside, but on this album Duda really shines. Moody, atmospheric ... just that little sense of mystery that can make a record unforgettable or unbearable. I've even put at the start of my playlist so that everytime I mistakenly restart my winamp this is what comes on first, and let me tell you, it has soe serious competion in there. Did I mention that Dudas vocals are better than ever. Best of the polish bunch for sure. This one gets a strong 4 stars from me and here's hoping that he focuses on Lunatic Soul more than on Riverside in the future.
C. Holmes

Soundscape masterpiece with dreamy, mysterious atmosphere.
Lunatic Soul is the new solo project by Riverside frontman Mariusz Duda. Supported by musicians from other Polish bands including INDUKTI and QUIDAM, he created the album being unique journey through the dark soundscape.
As Mariusz has noted himself 'an interesting fact is that there is no electric guitar here at all'. Instead you can find various keyboards, strings, flutes, drums, piano, Hammond and of course great voice of Duda. The album is full of gentle tones forming dreamy and melancholic atmosphere. The sundry textures and layers of sounds make up well crafted mixture of ambient, rock and eastern folk. It evokes works by No-Man, Dead Can Dance and instrumental albums by David Sylvian.
One thing that you might consider doing while reviewing Lunatic Soul, is comparing this solo project with the albums by Riverside. I'm not sure if it's necessary, as they have quite different stylistics. Lunatic Soul being more meditative, more demanding may not be highly rated by some of the Riverside fans. However 'Lunatic Soul' is a great album that can bring you more than you expected.
Marcin W.

Well, at the first listenings to this album I was quite upset of this new project of one of my favourite artists: Mariusz Duda Riverside's singer. But this is one those albums that needs time to understand and appreciate. I can now say that Mariusz Duda did it again: he astonished me! This time without one of the best guitarist Piotr Grudzinski, in fact one of the reasons that this album didn't get to me so fast is his absence; but ok these guys are not Riverside but Lunatic Soul, meaning a different sound and different experimental atmospheres: really more soft and etnical. A very nice and above all "new" (progressive) project. This album deserves from 4 to 4.5 stars but since the electrical guitar is missing (and for me it is essential) and comparing it to other of my favourite albums I give it 4 full stars.
Vittorio Delmedico





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