Retrospective - Re:Search

(CD 2017, 46:36, Progressive Promotion Records PPRCD046 )

The tracks:
  1- Rest Another Time(5:06)
  2- Right Way(4:51)
  3- The End Of Their World(4:49)
  4- Roller Coaster(5:04)
  5- Heaven Is Here(5:45)
  6- Look In The Mirror(4:48)
  7- Last Breath(4:23)
  8- Standby(4:19)
  9- The Wisest Man On Earth(7:33)

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At the end of my review of Retrospective's previous album Lost In perception (2012, see review) I hoped for not another four years of waiting for a successor for this fine album. And now the new album; Re:Search is released five years after their award winning predecessor. Perhaps not the best thing, if you want to establish your name and do justice to the fact you were chosen to be Poland's Best progressive Album of 2012. On the other hand, I see a hiatus of five years, resulting in a wonderful album, rather than a rushed release, filled with half finished, rough compositions. Luckily Retrospective took the five years to perfect the nine songs that Re:Search holds and my first impression turns out to be a very positive one. Over the years Retrospective has remained a very steady line-up, something that should pay off, when it comes to the song writing and recording process.

After so many years of success for fellow Polish musicians Riverside, it becomes obvious for another band that opts in the same genre, that there must be some kind of influence that has been passed on. Therefore Retrospective shows influences of this band, listen to bass player Lukasz Marszalek, who uses a Mariusz Duda style of playing and combines it with a Tool inspired powerful sound. This makes the opener Rest Another Time a strong combination of both mentioned bands. During the next song; Right Way keyboard player Beata Lagoda adds some fine piano parts to the nice progressiveness that the song holds, during the second part the shared the lead vocal duties with Jakub Roszak, something I already was very content with during the previous album. Here the five years of experience paid off into a very fine collaboration of two excellent vocalists. Talking about Retrospective's lead vocalist Jakub Roszak, in my opinion he is a very strong singer, distinguished and gifted with a nice accent. Not aware during my previous review, but during the rougher parts, his voice sounds as a fine combination of Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Godstick's Darran Charles. Something you can witness during The End Of Their World, a song that blends Tool with Steven Wilson's music in a nice relaxed and positive way. Roller Coaster is a song that sees Beate return as a lead vocalists. What stands out is the sphere of the song, the opening that features Beate exhibiting the beautiful and clean side of a progressive composition, when the chance comes Jakub takes over and the song turns darker, rougher and adds a metallic edge. The relaxed and smooth progressive song Heaven Is Here holds a very nice dual guitar section, where both Maciej Klimek and Alan Szczepaniak show their way to play a subtle tasteful solo, the dual vocal combination again adds something special to this beautiful composition. Besides a fine piano and delicate bass sound, Look In The Mirror has a very solid drum sound. Drummer Robert Kusik remains the steady musical backbone for basically all the tracks on the album. A fine heavy slide guitar part and organic sounding keyboards towards the end of the song sound nice and retro. Where on the previous album, hunches of Pink Floyd and Marillion were imbedded in retrospective's sound, I think the overall sound has become more powerful and the influence of Tool has increased. Last Breath is a nice sample of one of the powerful tracks on the album, where these influences come together in a nice harmony. Although Standby is one of the several smoother compositions on the album, the powerful feeling of the previous song remains. Beate's addition on vocals and piano as well as Lukasz brilliant bass form the base for a perfect song. A long soundscape; Toolish style leads in one of the best compositions of Re:Search; The Wisest Man On Earth, a song that holds wonderful guitars, strong vocals, delicate piano and keyboards and excellent bass sounds.

In my opinion it was worth the five years wait for a new Retrospective album. On Re:Search the influence of Tool has taken over the more delicate Pink Floyd elements. I guess this is the right step to take, listening to the progressive compositions nowadays. Again the combination of two different vocalists works pretty well and both guitarists do sound amazing together. The icing for me is the more prominent sound of the bass on Re:Search.

****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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