In decades of reviewing instrumental music, no album until Matias Bacoñsky’s sweeping, literally breathtaking (and perfectly titled) piano and orchestra work Epochal has gotten me off my feet cheering and waving my arms (to simulate a conductor’s wand), wishing I was watching an epic movie to go along with the powerful narrative journey of a man surviving doomsday looking for another soul to connect with.
From the reflective, cautiously hopeful dramatic melody of the opener “New Dawn” through the lyrical, soulful and triumphant closer “You” (featuring ethereal vocals by Marina La Torraca, the 26 year old Argentine born composer/pianist weaves a brilliant, multi-movement, emotionally dynamic tale that we can collectively relate to at a time when we are emerging from a year of fear, despair, anxiety and lockdown.
There’s certainly no way Bacoñsky could have known the impending world situation when he started his unique series of releases with the foundation laying dark and haunting solo piano collections Straight from the Heart (2017) and When the World Ends (2018). Yet those works, followed now by a set balancing optimistic pieces like “Light on the Horizon” (empowered by a jubilant vocal choir) and “Tree of Life” with moments of “Ambivalence” and doubt (“All in Vain”), feel uniquely prophetic and meet our moment as we push through the moments of “Breakdown,” finally with a “Reason to Believe” (perhaps Epochal’s most beautiful, exciting and soul-transformative piece).
Inspired to start playing the piano by Amy Lee of Evanescence and inspired to think bigger and bolder by symphonic Euro metal bands like the Epica (Netherlands) and Diabulus in Musica (Spain), Bacoñsky is an ambitious, wildly inventive and adventurous multi-talent who has an empowering future ahead of him as a player/composer.