The Ad Libitum project was created by Sergey Vasilenko in Saint Petersburg. In 1995 the band recorded its first CD "In a Strange Land". In 1998 there came another album, "Procession". At writing the band is recording the third one.
"In a Strange Land" - 1995 (self released CD)
"Procession" - 1998 (self released tape)
AD LIBITUM "In a Strange Land" - 1995
There is no doubt that this CD is the most gothic of all our collection. Of course, everybody understands and interprets the term "gothic" in his own way, as for me, I associate it with "ancient" and "historical" and "noble". All that is presented here: the Latin name of the band, the logo written in gothic type, the cover picture where the musicians wear historical costumes, and of course music. This is live music - both in the sense of used acoustic instruments (fluts, violins, mandolins, guitars) and in the sense of emotional listening. I'd like to mention the natural lightness with which the musicians play folk song they've written themselves: these songs have very deep mediaeval and celtic colouring. Male vocals with attractive temper. Lyrics in Russian. Texts written under the influence of ancient legends and myths, perfectly blend with the moods and themes of the music. These texts might seem abstract, or in some way naive, but it's the absence of everyday rationalism and sincerety that appeals to the "new old" music of AD LIBITUM.
AD LIBITUM "In a Strange Land" - 1995
I have been looking for this CD for a long time, but it's for the Maxim's power of observation that I finally got it. This is one of the gothiest Russian albums. Great stylisation under mediaeval music with male vocals and Russian lyrics. Unfortunately the vocal leaves much to be desired and I guess it would be better if there were no vocals at all; I'm not against Russian lyrics (that are mostly "Tolkiened") but it seems to me that the very vocal spoils the impression. Strongly recommended to all fans of Russian Gothic, and of course "Tolkiened" persons, I'm sure they'd be death over such lines as "Nearby some elves were flying", "Don't forget your sword and flute", etc.
AD LIBITUM "Procession" - 1998
The release of this CD was a complete surprise to me that I got during the recent Moscow tour of AD LIBITUM. The debut of this band, "In a Strange Land" was the best Russian album of all I'd heard during the last year. The new work produces double impressions: on one hand, it's good that this great band is still alive and records new CDs. And on the other hand... This is an album of an absolutely different band - the only musician left of those who recorded "In a Strange Land" is S. Vasilenko. These changes don't seem to have influences the music in a good way. Thus is still acoustic folk with a great part of mediaeval romanticism. I'm not a musician and I'm not keen on hidden aspects of making music, so all of my impressions are emotional and in comparison with the debut. It seems to me that the music became more fatuous, expressive and active, in some certain aspects even simpler. There is no longer any sophisticated airlikeness of the arrangements and the sound lost its former camera style, which was once so appealing and with which the gothic darkness was so alike. The album lacks balance: together with very good "Don't Trust" or "Queen" one can find extremely unimpressive "While Jesus Was Passing by Our Town" and especially "Contradictory Ballad" - a pathetic declamation with noisy background ending with something Bach-like... Of course, fine songs are quite few, and the album itself isn't at all bad, but it took me some effort to "switch" after the debut. The musicians have chosen a very exciting mediaeval folk theme, they use the appropriate instruments, pay a lot of attention to the album design. I hope the music itself reflected more of this theme.
Musicians who participated in recording "Procession":
Sergey Vasilenko - guitars, vocals, flute, mandoline, keyboards
Maria Bessonova - violin, mandolin, vocals, percussion
Arcady Zypkin - flute
Olga Alexandrova - vocals
Andrew Vedernikov - bass
Eugene Bobrov - drums, vocals, percussion
e-mail: [email protected]
(c) 1999 Russian Gothic Project
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