Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Kyzlink, John De Jong - The Rock Mass

Published Tuesday 24th March 2015
Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Kyzlink, John De Jong - The Rock Mass
Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Kyzlink, John De Jong - The Rock Mass

STYLE: Orchestral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 154782-22746
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Brendan O'Regan

A fine example of a contemporary approach to the eternal truths of the Christian faith from Czech Republic-based musicians, it's impossible to do justice to the complexity of this work in a short review. The work blends heavy rock stylings with orchestral arrangements - a mixture familiar from Metallica's 'S&M' album. But this prog rock creation is very different, being firmly rooted in Christianity and in particular the Mass. However it's not a work that can be imported, as is, into the Mass. Yes, there are the familiar sections (Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Kyrie, Credo) but these are used as springboards for contemporary reflections, and there are other songs, less immediately recognisable as parts of the Mass. For some reason the Mass parts are in the wrong order, which probably reflects the re-working that's going on here. The first track "Celebration" is a suitable starting point, highlighting the mix of genres and very much echoing your typical prog rock approach - in fact I was reminded of the band Dream Theater on many tracks. "Gloria" has varying moods but at its high points is belted out with gusto by the excellent lead singers for the project - UK-based Kirsten Joy and Gaz Twist. There are plenty of softer moments too, for example in the early stages of "Agnus Dei". The plaintive "Kyrie" is a standout track, while "Credo", though no Apostle's Creed, is an intense declaration of faith. The CD is accompanied by a colourful book which contains all the lyrics (useful as sometimes, typical of the genre, the words can be hard to hear) and deep poetic reflections on the songs. I'd need to be a theologian to do justice to the book and might quibble with some aspects of the opinions expressed. Kudos must go the producer Simon Kalika, composer Daniel Kyzlink and lyricist John De Jong (once a singer/songwriter based in the UK) for engaging so creatively with the pattern of Christian worship.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Sue Brown in NW England @ 11:37 on May 5 2015

I have a copy of this CD and it contains some truly uplifting music. It's my 'CD of choice' just now for when I need reminding I'm alive. A mix of loud (potentially very loud if my neighbour isn't home!) and sweetly gentle coursing through the air. As I'm unfamiliar with the order of the Mass, it's re-ordering is not something I have been aware of. I just turn on, tune in and fly :)

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