[Review] Solaris – Nostradamus 2.0 – Returnity

Solaris is a Symphonic Neo Prog band, from Hungary and formed in 1980. From the first album released in 1984 to the present day the band has recorded 4 more albums, the last of which was “Nostradamus 2.0 – Returnity” which the sequel to “Nostradamus Book Of Prophecies ” from 1999. Containing four tracks, produced for the Solaris Music Productions, it was released on November 16, 2019 and is available on CD. The album consists of a long suite of over 34 minutes, divided into 6 parts and 3 instrumental tracks, resuming the discourse is musical that thematic of the first part released twenty years ago. The central focus of the album revolves around the “Returnity” suite divided into 6 parts, before which “1960 Augusztus 1” is the date of birth of the recently deceased Toth Vilmos former drummer. It opens with a piano intro that turns into a pompous Neo Prog song with a female opera voice. Extensive use of synths, orchestrations and symphonic openings in classic Solaris style, sometimes more aggressive with electric guitar and flute inserts. The second part “1942 December 2” is the date of the first human-made self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at Chicago. Characterized by stronger refs with flutes and keyboards that actually give the sensation of a nuclear reaction, more in a modern Prog style. The time changes are continuous and embellish the song. “1986 Aprilis 26” has as its theme another nuclear “event,” with the Chernobyl power plant disaster. With more electronic sounds at the beginning, mixing more folkloristic contracts given by the flute, and distinct guitars that give a more electric touch. They return to the extractions and a symphonic and again pompous moment takes place, returns to the piano and the flute and returns a sweet melody. “1905 Junius 30” Albert Einstein publishes his treatise “the electrodynamics of moving bodies.” With solid Riff of guitar and synth that intertwine, recalling the 70s style of Prog, with sweeter tempo changes and melodies that stratify. The highest level instrumental parts are greater than the vocals, which in this phase is inserted with choirs in Latin. A more airy symphonic theme theorizes this part, even for the less catastrophic theme is more positive, one of the best instrumental moments of the album. The fifth part “1969 Szeptember 2” is the date of the first communication between a computer and another through the Interface Message Processor (IMP) which took place at UCLA. It is more aggressive and has a fast rhythm, as if to represent the message that runs from one PC to another. The synth and the flute and play again well on the melodies of the theme giving life to another high leveled instrumental. Here the keyboards are the protagonists on a hypnotic bass line and the male and female vocal inserts. Closing the “1969 Julius 20” suite is the date of the first man on the Moon, who alternates choral moments and sudden aggressive guitar and synth entrances, solid rock riffs and a solid drum bass base. Notable time changes, the song closes with a choral between instruments and voice with a more symphonic and dreamy melody. The second track “Double Helix – 1953 Fébruar 28” is the first of three instrumentals. Start with a more linear rhythm and melodies of acoustic guitar and flute, on which are inserted layers of keyboards, the synth on all. In the end all the instruments intertwine in a solo and then close. The third “Deep Blue – 1997 Majus 11” is more Heavy Prog as setting, remembering the sounds of Jethro Tull with distorted guitars and winds. A sudden change takes us into an acoustic Folk ground, with the flute protagonist in the melody with acoustic guitar and percussion. In the final he returns on more Heavy tones with the return of the initial theme closes. The final “Radioscope – 1926 Marcius 20” is a more direct piece where all the instruments collaborate in a powerful and rhythmic instrumental between solos with distorted guitars, synth and more symphonic openings. An album that highlights the excellent technique and good ideas of the band, ask for experience it has to sell. The long suite is the backbone of the work, and does not disappoint the expectations, indeed it offers ideas in pure Progressive style. It is well-used without leaving empty moments or dispersed sections. Even the final, shorter direct tracks, with different characteristics than the suite, close this excellent album. An excellent output for the Hungarians Solaris, which confirm the good things heard in the previous 40 years. For all Prog and Neo Prog fans, an essential side between the releases of 2019, a comeback in style.


1. Returnity I-VI (34:00)
– I 1960 Augusztus 1.
– II 1942 December 2.
– III 1986 Április 26.
– IV 1905 Június 30.
– V 1969 Szeptember 2.
– VI 1969 Július 20.
2. Double Helix – 1953 Február 28. (3:04)
3. Deep Blue – 1997 Május 11. (3:33)
4. Radioscope – 1926 Március 20. (3:54)


Attila Kollár / Lead Vocals, Flutes, Tambourine
Csaba Bogdan / Guitars
Róbert Erdész / Keyboards, Vocals
Attila Seres / Bass
László Gömör / Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Vilmos Tóth / Drums (1)
Ferenc Raus / Drums (2,4)

Edina Szirtes ‘Mokus’ / Violin
Zsuzsa Ullmann / Vocals
Gyorgy Demeter / Vocals
Ferenz Gerdesits / Vocals

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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