Band: Michael’s Statement
Band Website: www.michaelsstatement.com
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2012
I got an email out of the blue a few weeks back from a band in Germany called Michael’s Statement. The samples sounded right up my alley so I inquired further. Turns out this is the first solo effort from multi-instrumentalist Michael Vuckovac (drums, guitar, Mellotron, additional instruments, vocals) however as it turns out this is far from a solo effort. He’s enlisted the help of quite a stellar lineup including Valentin Alvarez (saxophone), Giulio Cataldo (Grand Piano), Paul Cecchetti (flute), Dereck Higgins (bass), Stefan Grob (guitar), Peter Jonasson (guitar), Ray Kurtz (frettless bass), Art Lip (trumpet, vocals), Dave Meros (bass) and Steve Mills (vocals). Vuckovac’s email identifies his music as unabashedly progressive rock and it certainly is.
The Beauty of Sadness is six-tracks clocking in at fifty-five minutes in total length. Most of these compositions are on the longish side allowing for more than your average complexity. The overall tone is somewhat dark, dramatic and moody with a style that clearly hearkens back to a classic King Crimson feel. More than one of these tracks features a dissonant or angular passage that separates or distinguishes the more melodic segments. While there are vocals, they don’t seem to take over the musical proceedings in any significant way. What truly stands out are the many longer complex and sometimes dense musical passages. Mellotron features powerfully throughout. The vocals, certainly on the opening “Black Sea Incident” [8:26] betray a Peter Hammill or David Bowie tone and style; very emotional and expressive. The ‘Tron makes it’s mark with massed strings and choirs at every turn. The shortest track “Old Road Home” [4:27] is a slow ballad and features mostly piano, acoustic guitar, fretless bass, with keyboard support. It is open and airy. The longest track is the epic closer “Enter Sadness” [17:40] which opens in grand symphonic fashion, Mellotron a blazing before descending into an angular, minor chord spiral at just past the one-minute mark. From that point on, all bets are off as the music takes on a life of its own; all at once grand and the nest dark and discordant. It is truly “epic.”
The Beauty of Sadness is an amazingly bold musical statement and as a first time effort is made even more spectacular by the musical virtuosity. Clearly the music of Michael’s Statement is something we need to watch out for. I certainly look forward to future musical recordings. Recommended for fans of complex symphonic progressive rock.