"Russian quintet Vespero have a sound that strikes you from the opening second of their latest album, Foam. They blend world and ethnic instrumentation with western synths and guitars to create a refreshing global atmosphere. While it may not be the most original combination these days, the band keep their sound fresh with variation in rhythm and instruments throughout each track. What's more impressive is the whole album is performed live (which is nearly impossible to notice). The album kick-starts with "Float", a teasing opener that fits nicely with the description above. It serves its purpose of introducing the listeners to the unique sounds and the beautiful vocals that they can expect more of, willing them to continue on with anticipation. The album then moves on to "Overture", and as the title suggests it serves as a rather engrossing introduction to the proceeding song, "Instruments Of The Road". Like "Float", it clocks in at over eight minutes and has a good soft to loud progression. Guitar leads the song here with percussion that helps lay the groundwork for the first half. In the second half the highlight of the album returns with the breathtaking vocals of "Tjurina Natalia". The end of the song is the usual crescendo affair, with layers upon layers of sounds cascading until the finish. While it's not an entirely original formula, it certainly doesn't serve as a distraction. The title track and in fact the album as a whole can be summed up in a similar fashion, and I don't feel the need to repeat myself. The fact is, Vespero have a formula that they stick to and it works. But I can't help but want more from their striking sound. Overall, this is a good album and I now definitely have this band on my radar. However, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a little structural variation in their forthcoming releases." -Idris Hussain
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