Zlye Kukly - Strange Tomorrow [Ahnstern - 2007]Zlye Kukly are a Russian project who offer up an invigorating, tuneful and often flamboyant mix of styles dropping down in; Folk, Prog rock, 70ís rock, gothic rock, weird soundtrack elements, world pop, piano and classical touches . All topped off with a mix of melodic and dramatic Russian male and female vocals -along with rich peacks female operatic vocals.
Strange Tomorrow is their first official release after a few self released Cdrs Ė released here on the always excellent, varied and quality bound Austrian Ahnstern label which is the home of other genre defying projects like: Allerseelen, Sturmpercht, Sangre Cavallum- so their in good company. Zlye Kukly sound is often very layered with all manner of common instruments i.e.; electric/ acoustic guitar, piano, retro synths, flutes, violin and not so common instruments ; mandolin, bells, etc. But their sound never becomes swamped or crowded, each song has such an memorable & inventive air thats littered with charming, epic and beautiful sonic touches. Itís all played in such an accomplished, warm and charming manner, with the production having a comforting analogue sound to it like a polished 1970ís gem. To pick favourite from the over 70 minutes running time here is near on impossible as each track is as memorable and inventive as the last, which in it self quite a feat. One band that did keep popping into my head here for the flamboyant, grand & multi-layered vocal feel of the music was Arcturus especially around La Masquerade Infernale album - but of course with little of their metal trappings.
An album that fans of 70ís soundtracks, world prog, folk- rock and general inventive/varied yet tuneful music will want to revel in again and again. But donít just take my word for it go ahead and download some samples from here and tast for your self exotic, memorable, epic and highly rewarding world of Zlye Kukly. Roger Batty