Starsoup is the creation of Russian vocalist Alexey Markov (ex-Crime of Passion) with the participation of additional musicians from the Moscow area. A large portion of music was composed by Andrew Gryaznov for Crime of Passion, and Markov developed several more during his tenure. The result is Bazaar of Wonders.
The larger context of the album is progressive rock and metal, reaching from Aryeon to Dream Theater in its sound. Of course, at the center is Markov's vocals where he has some significant range, from smooth (Try or Voice of the Wind) to more intense (Past Bites). Sometimes he sways between the two as within Cradle of War.
Musically, Markov and company have created some ambitious and entertaining music. Some songs are simply straight up progressive rock or metal, intriguing without being overly technical like Angels, Cradle of War, and Perfect Loser. That last song probably captures best both the depth of song composition and musicianship on this work. It starts with this deep heavy metal feeling only to turn to a sort of jazzy metal fusion with bass, guitar, and drums at the forefront.
Other songs take different directions. Road to Sunset drifts more toward AOR melodic rock, with a bouncy, breezy, sometimes blues feel, and some nice saxophone. Try moves more towards a ballad or anthem, definitely driven by Markov's vocals, but also by a significant guitar line with a soaring solo. Bazaar of Wonders also includes two instrumentals, Bazaar and Rain in the Desert. The former is the heaviest of the two, but also with an interesting lighter guitar and keyboard driven breakdown in the middle which has a bit of a world music feel. Rain in the Desert, a completely piano composition, is a quiet and reflective piece.
While I found the band name quite odd, the music within Starsoup's Bazaar of Wonders is quite impressive and entertaining progressive rock, and vocalist Alexey Markov and company should be pleased with their accomplishment. Hailing from Russia, I suppose your best bet is to get the album through digital download at Bandcamp, iTunes, or some other such avenue. Easily recommended.
While I found the band name quite odd, the music within Starsoup's Bazaar of Wonders is quite impressive and entertaining progressive rock, and vocalist Alexey Markov and company should be pleased with their accomplishment.
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