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Fomalgaut: Kray Vselennoy (2018)

Written by: Kev Rowland

It is true to say that I am not intimately familiar with the rock scene in Uzbekistan, and I don’t understand the Cyrillic alphabet either, which means that I am at a total loss when looking at Fomalgaut’s website and trying to understand what it all means. I believe they were formed about 15 years ago, and that this is their fifth studio album. The reason I have come across this, is because the lead singer is Dmitriy Menshikov, whose father, Vitaliy, set up the famous Progressor website. Vitaliy sadly passed away a year ago, but Dmitriy and Olav Martin Bjørnsen still keep the site running and up to date, and it was Olav who felt that I would be interested in hearing this.

All the lyrics are in Russian, which means of course that to me they are totally incomprehensible, so instead I have to concentrate on the music. What we have here is an almost naïve take on rock, which moves into multiple other areas. While firmly based on the classic style of the Seventies, there are quite a few such as “Tancuem Do Utra”, that sound as if they have come out of the early Eighties power pop and rock scene with a heavy focus on commerciality and pop hooks. It follows the standard verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/solo set up, and I found it incredibly refreshing. Songs like this just bounce along, while others are more emotional and reflective, and the independent scene has had an impact on the overall sound and feel. I did find the snare drum incredibly annoying for the most part, as it is too high in the mix, and the overall production of the drums is easily the weakest part of the mix as they sound quite boxy with little in terms of power and impact.

It is a solid as opposed to essential album, and I feel that many would say that this is sort of what they would expect a Western-influenced band from Uzbekistan to sound like. Lyrics are important in this style of music, and possibly if they had been in English there would be better cut through, but this isn’t really for me.

Rating: 6/10

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Track list:
01. Budu Vsegda S Toboy
02. Astral
03. Kray Vselennoy
04. My Vdvoyom
05. Signal
06. Vremya Ya Ne Tvoy
07. Tancuem Do Utra
08. Bilet v Vechnost’
09. Litsa
10. Ne Odni
11. Jiznnaslajdeniye
12. Dorogaya Ya Skuchayu
13. Vozdukh
14. Pamyat’ Navsegda
15. Rodina

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Links:
http://fomalgaut.uz/
https://www.facebook.com/officialfomalgaut/

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