RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Starsoup – Bazaar of Wonders
Sublimity Records


Rating: B

Russia’s most famous band at the moment may be Pussy Riot, but there is much more going on in the Red Country than punker/political chicks in ski masks.  For starters, there is a lot of pounding and punishing progressive metal being trotted about, including an interesting project titled Starsoup.  The name must sound way cooler in Russian than it does in English, because let’s face it, the name is terrible.  Luckily, the music is not.

The band does not currently play live, as they are a studio-only project created by vocalist/guitarist/bassist Alexey Markov and keyboardist/sampler Andrew Gryaznov.  Together these guys, along with a slew of their hard rocking and prog loving friends, create a musical landscape best described as early Metallica meets modern day Dream Theater.  In other words, there is plenty of Metal but there also gobs of smart, concise and original progressive elements thrown in the soup, adding to the many unique flavors.

The best song on the album is the first track “Angels” which includes moments of brilliance.  “Bazaar” sees the proggy side of the band come out while “Perfect Loser” includes some tasty guitar playing.

This may be a side project, but for those who like discovering new music that you have to look really hard to discover, then Starsoup is for you.  While they are not yet great, they are damn good.

It would not hurt them to slow down on the guest artists and ask some dudes to join the band permanently, as it would help in the cohesiveness and togetherness-vibe this album struggles at times to keep.  That said, it’s a true diamond in the rough and a most interesting and eclectic slab of music.

Ain't No Superman
Cradle Of War
Rumors Of Better Life
Past Bites
The City And The Stars
Voices Of The Wind
Road To Sunset
Perfect Loser
Rain In The Desert

By Jeb Wright