Rainy Season, Return (Boheme) The Boheme label first caught my attention with their reissue of the frighteningly good Horizont albums (frightening in the sense that these great albums were nearly lost). With the reissue of Rainy Season's Return, the label once again succeeds in rescuing a truly worthy progressive album from the purgatory of unavailability. Like Horizont, Rainy Season were a prog band in the USSR, but their sound is quite different. Rainy Season play a mysterious, cold style of atmospheric instrumental progressive rock. I would almost use the word ambient, but that would seem to deny the group's melodic sensibility and the feeling of eeriness rather than relaxation that comes from listening to the music. Although the style doesn't seem to out there, I'm hard pressed to think of another band that sounds like this (perhaps King Crimson at their darkest improvisational moments). Return consists of three long tracks (7, 14, and 20 minutes), all having names that describe their moods quite well. "Scents of a Forest" starts with beautiful and haunting flute perfectly portraying the night forest. The flute melodies soon disappear as the electric guitar takes over, backed by metallic percussion. Repeating the exchange between flute and guitar, the piece keeps building and building. This is really powerful stuff. "Towards Clear Water" features delicate guitar work and more of the eerie metallic percussion that seems to be so subtly integral to Rainy Season's sound. It's the only mostly mellow track on the album, but is still excellent. "Red Night" (a nod to Crimson, perhaps?) begins with disjointed, spastic percussive sound and slowly builds into a powerful climax with eerie choral voices leading the way. The music then transitions to the second part of the composition, which features passionately angular guitar work against the drone in the background and the electronic and acoustic percussion complete the crescendos. This really a great album and all fans of atmospheric progressive rock should definitely check it out. Many thanks to Boheme for unearthing a lost classic! (by the way, the liner notes say their are other Rainy Season albums of equal quality - I hope we see these soon!) ~Jon Dharma Murphree~, EER-MUSIC.com
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