Intelligent Music 2021
Reaching for the source of life, international troupe of soul healers hit their stride and find their ground.
Ever since Milen Vrabevski began this project, it seemed as if the Bulgarian doctor has simply been living a post-socialist dream of having Western stars deliver his melodic missives to the masses – but then, it became a perfect illustration of the positive thinking principle resulting in a reverie come true. Still, by the series’ fifth installment there was a feeling of the endeavor turning stale and the musical consistency hardly inherent in the record’s grooves – only the follow-up to 2020’a "Life Motion" instills the entire enterprise with a life-affirming vigor. While the album offers nothing new in stylistic terms, classic hard rock pushing all the right buttons, the appearance of ASIA’s John Payne, RAINBOW’s Ronnie Romero and RIVER HOUNDS’ Richard Grisman – the same singers who served up the predecessor to “The Creation” – allows the static vehicle impressively move forward.
It’s hardly a coincidence, of course, that the disc’s pulsing opener is called “A Sense Of Progress” and is possessed with infectious riff and refrain which invites the listener to sing along before a piano respite sends them into a blissful state of mind, setting the scene for the underlying balladry of “The Story” where all the three vocalists put in an appearance to drive the piece to the ’70s-smelling dancefloor and spiritual rapture where “A Sight” also resides. Yet while Bobby Rondinelli’s robust beats push “Sometimes” to the brink of earthly ecstasy, the acoustically linked serenades “Listen” and “Your Thoughts” find the ensemble reaching for an orchestral higher ground, and “Back To The Truth” brings forth the unmistakable Balkan exuberance – enhanced with Bisser Ivanov’s six-string lace.
Equaling it is the heavy panache of “I Know” – and one has to believe such swagger this time: looks like Dr. Vrabevski finally achieved the full awareness of his endeavor.