2000 . :
The Periferic label has had the great idea of releasing a series of 3 CDs of unpublished material and non-released versions from the archives of Solaris. In this review we present you the first of the series that contains pieces from the period February-September 1980. The trajectory of this great Hungarian group began in 1980 when several friends from the university decided to form a rock band with creative and experimental intentions. The passing of time would give a series of big albums such as "Martian chronicles" (a classic), the double 1990 or the most recent "Nostradamus" (considered by many as their best work), all shining for their quality and good instrumental displays.
To define the sound of Solaris is difficult as despite being disciples of several classic bands of the genre, they present an undeniable own personality. The instrumental base of their music are flute, electric guitar and synthesizers that run away from the classic analogue sound of the progressive, moving into an undeniably strong technological sound. As for influences, we could mention the classic sound of bands like Camel or Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Yes, Hungarian folk and medieval music. The musicians that played in these recordings are the deceased István Cziglán (guitars), Róbert Erdész (organ), Attila Kollár (flute), Attila Seres (bass), Vilmos Tóth (drums) and István Tereh (manager). The instrumental level is, as usual, excellent and the bunch of songs included in the CD is very interesting. The work, of roughly 48 minutes, contains five pieces of a diverse length: "Revival" (11:54), "Counterpoint - original version" (4:33), "Solaris suite (Ancient-Viking-Solaris-Waves of the dune)" (18:53), "Distant fire" (4:21) and "Undefeatable - 1980" (9:06). Listening to the CD one realizes that certainly they all correspond to the same artistic period of the band, as the general sound, structure of the compositions and developments are extremely similar in all the pieces. In general we should highlight a much rawer and rougher sound than that of the albums the band would publish later on, much more primitive and next to the seventies prog sound, mainly to Jethro Tull. All the pieces come from recordings in concert that were arranged to be released in the CD format, and the general sound quality is very good. In spite of the similarity of the topics, the most interesting are the first and the suite of 18 minutes, with really incredible moments and a completely happy audience. It is particularly interesting to notice that the musical distance of this CD with the "Martian chronicles" is very remarkable. The weight of the music lies here in the flute and the guitar, while keyboards are relegated at a second line and they are not so spacey, having excellent interventions of the organ. The music is less lineal and has countless rhythm changes, so musically speaking, this work is closer to "Nostradamus" and Attila Kóllar's "Musical witchcraft" than to the rest of the work of Solaris.
A very praiseworthy initiative of the Hungarian label, that I recommend mainly to the fans of Solaris for whom this work is a must. It contains good music, it transmits energy and positivism, and it provides a lot of information on the origins of the band thanks to the inclusion of a very well documented booklet. The best news is that there are still two official bootlegs to publish.