(All Album Reviews by maribor)
Vlatko Stefanovski - guitars, vocals
Nikola Dimusevski - keyboards
Bodan Arsovski - bass guitar
Garabet Tavitijan - drums
Guest: Milivoj Markovic - saxophones
Yugoslavia had many great progressive bands in the 70s and Leb i Sol is one of them. Their first three albums are all wonderful fusion. Later, they would start playing more commercially oriented music, with lots of new wave influences.
Rucni Rad is their third offering and, the last of their “great” albums. It would also be the last album that the keyboard player Nikola “Koki” Dimusevski would play on. His absence is very strongly felt on their later albums. Although he would rejoin the band for one more album (before they called it quits), the magic of the first three albums was never recaptured.
The unofficial leader of the band was guitarist Vlatko Stefanovski. After disbanding Leb i Sol, he has made quite a name for himself as a solo artist and is considered as one of the best guitarists from the former Yugoslavia region. His role on this album is more subdued, with occasional flashes of his immense guitar skills. I've heard accusations that he “borrowed” whole passages from Al Di Meola but as I'm unfamiliar with Di Meola’s work I can't confirm nor deny this.
The true star of this record is Dimusevski. Especially his electric piano work, which is sublime. His contribution on synthesizer and piano is also very nice. He wrote the songs “Rebus” and “Verni Pas”; “Rebus” is especially worth paying attention to.
The drummer is also quite prominent on this album. Besides composing two tracks (“Hogar” and “Put U Vedro”), he also displays some very tasty drum passages. His song “Hogar” is one of the highlights of the album.
The bass player Bodan Arsovski is responsible for the best track on this album: “Rucni Rad”. From the simple guitar riff to the wonderful electric piano and synth passages and to the chorus where the vocals act as another instrument and sing the melody the synth played the first time round. This is a true jewel.
Leb i Sol is a highly melodic fusion band with emphasis on the keyboards. The melodies they create are absolutely wonderful and the songs grow on you after repeated listening. If you're interested in exploring the Yugoslavian progressive scene of the 70s, this band should be included on your list.
8 out of 10.