Metal Mind 2013
Going conceptual, Polish art rockers dim the lights but glow brightly if not quite eloquently.
It’s been a progressive motion for this sextet whose every new record builds on a previous experience, so if 2010’s "World Is Round" had the band hit their stride, its successor makes a step forward – in a paradoxical way, though, starting with the elegiac piano of “The End”. Yet there’s a perfect logic in play, as the album spins around two childhood friends’ walk down the memory lane, albeit it’s difficult to grasp from the awkward lyrics that bend the rules of English but nicely wrap around the tunes. They don’t come at once, “Beginners” flowing exquisitely on the waves of Mirek Gil’s guitar rippled with Przemas Zawadzki’s supple bass, and when Karol Wroblewski emotes over acoustic strum the words don’t matter much. The sound does – that comfortable, shimmering sound that carries on the title track, where instrumental layers interchange, floating to the front and back, all the time casting aural splinters all around.
But there’s a piece called “Words” which burns slow and soulful with no fear of approaching pop before it flowers into a quasi-orchestral tapestry embroidered with Konrad Wantrych’s purring organ and begins to rock wild at the end. Such heaviness gets passed to “Please Go Home” to be streamlined by the rich tone of Satomi’s swirling violin and demonstrate the quiet-loud dynamics, an interesting field of exploration, even though a snippet of a radio programme pitching the group’s chosen genre seems a perfunctory addition to the mix. Undermining this seriousness, hints at British prog classics are strewn generously across the 11-minute “Heartless Land” – without a single direct quote. The music’s so warm here, and once “The Bright Day”, a hidden track, comes up it feels like a titular sun indeed, welcoming one to bask in its light.