Gleb Kolyadin – Gleb Kolyadin

As one half and the musical engine room of one of contemporary Prog’s most beloved groups Iamthemorning, Gleb Kolyadin is one of progressive rock’s hidden gems and undeniably one of its greatest pure musical talents; a virtuoso pianist and a proven composer with Iamthemorning, whose brand of chamber music and progressive rock has gained not only critical and fan acclaim, but earned Gleb plaudits for his talent from peers such as Daniel Cavanagh and Steve Hogarth. Further cementing that reputation, this solo effort (Kscope) further shows off his compositional and playing talents, all in a manner that surprisingly branches out from his main act.

Whereas Iamthemorning has crafted a characteristic sound, Kolyadin’s solo album shows a vivid range of styles and arrangements, showcasing that he is an adaptable and dextrous talent. This is matched by the album’s cast of guests. Where ‘Astral Architecture’ for example is a more classical sounding piece laden with grandeur, and with Antimatter’sMick Moss laying sumptuous, emotion-ridden deep vocals, ‘Kaleidoscope# shows a light jazz streak, with more up-tempo piano and bass playoffs before revealing choral vocal harmonies and folk elements. ‘The Room’ harkens back to the adventurous and explorative style of the likes of Genesis whilst ‘Constellation/The Bell’ is a much more stripped back and slow number which shows his prowess for heart-tugging emotional resonance.

The aforementioned Steve Hogarth makes a couple of appearances, firstly with an echo-like delivery on the sprawling ‘Confluence’ and finally with a frontman’s performance on closer ‘The Best Of Days’; and it this kind of diversity that not only is Kolyadin capable of writing, but has picked the suitable performers to match. This solo album is the sound of Kolyadin free of shackles and able to both experiment and still offer that captivating and poignancy that we have come to expect of him is a chance for him to explore territory that may not fit with Iamthemorning, all further proof of Kolyadin’s exceptional talents, and another reason as to why both he and Iamthemorning are so beloved in the contemporary Prog world.

8.5/10

CHRIS TIPPELL