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Starsoup: Castles Of Sand
Starsoup - Castles Of Sand CD Album Review

Starsoup: Castles Of Sand

Progressive Rock/Metal
4.5/5.0

From Russia, Starsoup is the creation of guitarist and vocalist Alexey Markov (Distant Sun). Essentially a studio project with assorted guest musicians, Markov released his first recording Bazaar Of Wonders in 2013. It was an eclectic album featuring Markov's exploration of various musical genres. Now four years later, he visits Starsoup and once more Markov's musical imagination is running wild with Castles Of Sand.

Alexey Markov Photo

Alexey Markov

Much like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, you're not sure what you're going get from Castles Of Sand. Markov traverses diverse genres, like progressive metal to AOR melodic rock to classical music, with inventive creativity and sublime ease. With Catcher In The Lie, Escapist, and Brother's Plea you get heavy progressive metal, sometimes with riffage and vocals bordering on modern metal in their assertiveness. Yet even within Brother's Plea, Markov offers twists, like Mid-Eastern-like guitar to start and a calm synth solo in the center.

Alternatively, Markove mellows with songs such as Into The Woods and Your World Is Dead, which features a female vocal duet. Both songs turn on guitar lines for melodic hard rock. Another duet comes with the gentle The World That has Moved On, led by a delightful piano melody. With Light Up The Stars, Markov delivers a melodic and symphonic anthem with Celtic undertones, then building to guitar solo crescendo. Castle is basically a prog rock instrumental that moves on the twin rails of guitar and synth exchanges. Finally, though not the last song here, there's Moon On The Shore where Markov connects with his classical music muse. It can best be called a piano concerto, and a delightful one at that. It's enough to say, with Starsoup's Castles Of Sand, Alexey Markov gives you much to explore, ponder, and enjoy as he molds and manipulates various and diverse musical styles. Recommended.



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The Bottom Line

With Starsoup's Castles Of Sand, Alexey Markov gives you much to explore, ponder, and enjoy as he molds and manipulates various and diverse musical styles. Recommended.

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