why. oh why.

My readers most likely remember that Victor Smolski and Peavy Wagner parted ways a couple of years ago. This is Victor’s side of the equation, and I have a genuine love/hate affair with this band.

Musically, it’s damn close to being perfect. I mean, songs have interesting structures, melodies are moderately catchy without being saccharine, and Smolski is the guitar player, so can’t find no faults with that.

But vocally…

The band has three singers. Two venerable dudes with similar oldschool metal voices and styles, and a lady whom I have never heard sing lead at all.

Kinda three singers too many, y’know. No-one of them is really bad. They’re all doing their job well enough – they carry the tune, they harmonise as far as they can hear each other (not always an easy fit live, so not taking any points off for that). But, as I said, the redundancy factor is too damn high with those three.

Peavy Wagner may have gotten damn lazy with his vocals over the years, but when you hear him, you know who that is, right away. Some instruments are just distinctive.

I have a hard time believing someone like Smolski hasn’t been able to find a truly original voice for his band. His singular guitar playing needs a worthy counterpart.

Three okay singers are totally not the same as a single OMG one.


one day I will hunt down this DVD, I promise

There was a day when Hansi Kürsch appeared live on three songs with his friends from Rage – in the days of Victor Smolski looking the way that even this asexual Fox can’t describe him any other way but “smoking hot”.

And this appearance gave rise to three amazing duets between Hansi and Peavy, which have thankfully been recorded in high quality for a rare but official release.

…people who maintain Hansi is a “baritone” should really give it some more thought.

…another fun tidbit: for many a fan/reviewer, that DVD came as a shock – since it was the first time they saw Mr Kürsch after that Important Haircut ™ (here’s the link if you don’t recognise the TV Trope concept), y’know. Some didn’t even recognise him; some got worried; and, well, that all was a subject of many a joke for quite some time.

But of course, if the first time you saw Hansi was here on my blog, you are going to recognise him no problem.

what a singer’s worth

Ария and Кипелов inevitably make me think of Victor Smolski, a wonderful Belarusian guitarist who had played a long time with Peavy Wagner’s Rage and finally quit this year. You can imagine he speaks Russian well, being from a neighbouring country, and so he kinda hung out with these folks for a while. Which generated some controversy, but I’m not really going into that.

What I want to say is that Victor Smolski once produced a sort of a compilation for the Nuclear Blast record company, called “Into the Light”, featuring various tracks sung by a basically who’s who in Teutonic sympho/power/speed metal (and Tarja Turunen).

Two tracks – one of them the one given to Tarja – were covers of Victor’s older band, Mind Odyssey. The other one was entrusted to none other than Hansi Kürsch (believe me, I would have said “the one who can’t do wrong”, but there’s that guest performance on a Van Canto album – which is best described as “lacklustre”… so this would be technically a marketing lie).

It’s a very non-BG kinda track, although it also has a bit of electronics going on; and Hansi uses his rougher style on there, which goes so well with electronics, so a decidedly interesting one to listen to:

So I went and found the original. Here is the album on Yandex.Music, Russia’s leading legal streaming music provider, – but I don’t know if you can listen to it outside of Russia and neighbouring countries. It won’t hurt to try, though.

The arrangement is virtually the same (I would even say the same backing tracks are being used), but…