Album Review of
Edwin Durant Kovtun

Written by Robert Silverstein
December 5, 2019 - 12:13am EST
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American guitarist / composer Jon Durant has proven to be one of the most diverse and versatile musicians on the 21st century progressive music scene. His solo albums on his self-owned label Alchemy Records have always been highly-regarded as are his rock-fusion albums with bassist Colin Edwin in their side project called Burnt Belief. In early 2019 Jon pleased music fans with his experimental New Age instrumental album Alternate Landscapes, which blended guitars, synths and a range of subdued and mysterious moods. During that time, Jon also began working with Colin again, bringing in a singer from Ukraine called Inna Kovtun. The results of that project finally materialized in late 2019 as the self-titled album called Edwin Durant Kovtun. Thanks to Inna’s soaring vocals, sung in Ukrainian language, the 12-track, 60-minute album has gained acclaim among World Music fans as well as experimental hard rock fans. Adding to the album, powerhouse drummer Robert Gualdi brings in a strong beat. The recorded sound is superb and features equally potent sonic grooves to those that Jon and Colin brought to the Burnt Belief albums, while the exotic Ukrainian language vocals from Inna offers another layer of sonic intrigue. The CD cover art with the bridge is kind of symbolic in that the sound here is similar to a bridge that spans guitar-centric avant-gard rock fusion with World Music. Jon further adds that, “Ukrainian music is sadly underrepresented around the world and we tried to bring some of these wonderful ancient melodies to a new life using modern production and creative ideas, all the while keeping the song forms accessible.” For rock fans looking for a familiar musical signpost, the sound and style of music draws somewhat of a comparison to alternative rock bands such as Dead Can Dance and The Cocteau Twins. With its stunning amalgamation of Ukrainian and Slavic folk music, balanced by guitar-centric electronica and deeply atmospheric progressive rock, this first album by Edwin Durant Kovtun is an epic culture-spanning moment that merges modern and ancient music.