Puzzlewood and The Gates Of Loki

New Band! Introducing Puzzlewood from Moscow Russia:

Artist: Puzzlewood
Genre: Progressive Rock, World
Title: The Gates Of Loki
Label: Self Released
Format: MP3 and Download
Musicians:Tony Legatov / electric guitars, acoustic guitars, vocals
Nikita Lipatov / bass, keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals
Eugen Semenov / drums Kirill Rossolimo / percussion
Additional musicians: Dmitry Ignatov / bouzouki (track 7)
Basem Al-Ashkar / arabic oud (track 10), violin (track 9)
Olga Scotland / flute (track 3) Anastasia Lipatova / backing vocals
Mixing Engineer:Segrey “Grebstel” Kalachov
Engineer:Gennady Wlasow
Mastering: Stas Karyakin at SLON Mastering

Hey look! New music! I was sent information on this band from their PR rep a couple of weeks ago to whom I am grateful for providing this opportunity to not only discover some new music myself, but also for sharing with my readers. With the rich music and cultural history of Russia I have been wondering where today’s artists have been hiding. From the Bio info: Moscow-based post-progressive rock trio PuzzleWood launched their full-length debut Gates of Loki in late 2017. The main idea of the album is the existential journey between the reality and the myth, between different places and even periods of history. Every song is a poem in my opinion, and the majority of tracks are based on the real historical events or myths of different nations of the world. To help the trio’s vision with the album, guest musicians were brought in to shape up the sound implementing various ethnic instruments such as Bouzouki and Arabic Oud, along with flute, violin and percussion. Official band website: http://puzzlewoodband.ru/ru 

Speaking of the band’s approach to recording the album singer and guitarist Anton Legatov says, “Unfortunately, the album was recorded in chaotic conditions, totally unsuitable for this kind of music. As a result we’ve missed a lot of moments that we should have paid more attention to. But nevertheless what’s done is done, and the result is surprisingly nice.” Inspired by some of the progressive rock greats, such King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Riverside, Porcupine Tree, and Pain of Salvation, PuzzleWood went on creating an album that is unique, and somewhat unexpected in 2018. “If you listen to a lot of music and attentively dive into it you always absorb something, whether you want it or not. But creating music with an eye on other artists — it’s not a good idea, if you ask me,” Legatov admits.

That Bio information rings true when you give their debut album “The Gates Of Loki” a listen. Puzzlewood, like Rush and other such bands is a three-piece consisting of Tony Legatov on electric guitars, acoustic guitars, vocals, Nikita Lipatov on bass, keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals and Eugen Semenov on drums. Guest musicians were brought in for certain parts in contribution to this album. While one can hear the inspiration by other bands such as King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Pink Floyd, etc. Puzzlewood also has a unique sound all their own. Apart from Yes, Puzzlewood is the only progressive rock band to incorporate world instruments such as the Oud, Bouzouki, world percussion, etc. and do so in a more forward fashion. This is part of what gives Puzzlewood their unique flavor.

Puzzlewood takes their name of the mysterious English forest, that inspired John R. R. Tolkien and Ursula Le Guin.  And the English lyrics, written by Anton Legatov, can’t be called anything but poetry, suspenseful, with references and quotes to world literature
The other unique thing as mentioned previously is that they are from Russia, Moscow region to be exact. I am somewhat puzzled (no pun intended) that we do not hear more artists from Russia in more recent times. I happen to know that Russians are basically shy, but that still doesn’t explain it. (Just so you know, I also find most Russians to be kind-hearted, warm, accepting, thoughtful people). The band members claim that they play for “their own,” and very rarely give concerts to overcrowded audiences. They disappear from the public’s eye when they need to, and turn up whenever they please with a big concert tour. They alternate between underground pubs, “Aleksey Kozlov’s Club,” provincial performances, and major festivals of the country. In general, they exist not outside the musical industry, but in spite of it. While this story may sound a bit odd to some, it really is not much different from what can be told about some of the more popular bands beginnings from other countries. I guess the only difference may be the overall goal or desire, instead of seeking fame, they seek to just play music, period. (Continued on page 2)