This was a new name for me. State Urge is a relatively young band from Poland that debuted with a demo CD in 2011 and since has released a couple of EPs and the full length CD White Rock Experience in 2013, making Confrontation their second CD. They call their music 'white rock', but I have no clue what this means. I sure hope it isn't meant in a racist manner, and I don't see any clear indications of them being a Christian band ('white' being opposed to 'black' metal and the kind). Whatever it is, they all wear white shirts in the band pictures in the booklet. Speaking of which: I like the playful arty pictures in the booklet. Simple, but very effective.
The album kicks off with the title track which is a compact prog rocker. The first thing I notice are good vocals in the mid-range and a powerful sound. There are some hints of Muse (yet not quite as over the top as Bellamy & co can go) in the second half. This first song flows seamlessly in the next track, the keyboard driven Revival that first brings up-paced prog rock and then turns to a short swinging jazz-piano bit. The second half of the song has vocals and a dreamy guitar that vaguely reminds of Pink Floyd.
Liquid Disease is the first long song (7:10 minutes). It's characterized by short guitar riffs that give it an alternative rock tinge before things dissolve in a melodic Floyd like guitar part over pearly keyboards. Cold As A Lie is a dreamy piece, carried by flowing keyboard chords and emotional vocals by guitar player Marcin Cieślik. After about a minute the music picks up some pace and it reminds me of some 1990s neo prog band, but I can't put my finger on it. As a rough indication you might take some of the more held-back pieces from Arena. A wonderful moody piece!
Midnight Madness is the next long track. Clocking over eight and a half minutes it opens with majestic church organ and sets for a dramatic tone that reminds me of Ennio Morricone. It builds up to a dramatic rock piece and closes off with a complex synth part. New season is another reflective piece, based on acoustic guitar and voice before the rest of the band joins in for a symphonic finale. Before The Dawn brings atmospheric new art-rock that is probably inspired by bands like Pineapple Thief or Porcupine Tree and then we get the closing piece, which is also the album's longest track, More. This passes the 10 minute mark and opens with singer Marcin on his own until dreamy keyboards emerge in the background. The piece then keeps a mid-paced tempo with wavering keys until it develops in a spacious, almost cosmic piece of prog with again some Floyd-references, also in the more complex ending part that vaguely reminds of Echoes.
I might very well have a new favourite band from Poland. Have to check out their other work!
**** Carsten Busch (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2015