I have the honor to review the second CD of our Polish friends of proAge. As I was quite critical about their first release, titled A Different State Of Reality (2017, see review) , but there is always time for improvement.
As I said: “A band to watch!”
This album treats you with 12 shorts and one 10minute+ track. I got a sweet spot for the longs.
The experience of the first album makes me curious.
As Homecoming takes off with an attractive piano intro it switches to a filthy rock guitar battle with synth riffing, Hammond, guitar solos and flutes! And yes, Mariusz Filosek is present too. He whirls through the song with his typical voice.
Housed in a nice folded digipack with a lyric book you can't deny that this album is about a psychological disorder called MPD.
As I continue to listen to this album I travel through different corners of prog, It has Krautrock, Hard Rock (John Lord comes to mind) but also electronics (the intro of The Alchemist!) You notice their music has matured and keeps my attention.
Saving the best for last? Yes, the last 3 tracks of this concept rise above the rest (in my opinion) beginning with a nice introduction done by Małgosia Łydka on the “Transverse Flute” is followed by a dark theme that would suit Black Sabbath when Mariusz kicks in its slightly undone, but still, it's impressive. The monotonous vocals are alternated with chants. The multi vocals (electronic) remind me of Threshold, but alas of lesser quality. The instrumental breaks are very welcome, frivolous I'd say. To end with soundscaping on guitar and flow into My Name Is Twilight that answers to every term of a well-balanced prog song. With the minor piano notes just on the right places in the couplets and in a beautiful ¾tempo. The subtle synth layer under the refrain reminds me of eighties Eloy.
I think the album represents the aspects of the theme. It has different personalities. But they are all in the same mind.
My point of critic is milder than before but still present. The vocals in English still need some work. So I surfed to Spotify to listen to the Polish version of this album. I can say Mariusz sounds a bit more relaxed, less convulsive so it seems. For the Polish undoubtedly easier to listen too, and proAge should definitely continue in this fashion. I think it deserves respect for taking the effort to release albums in two languages.
Concluding for me, this album is a step forward for proAge. Tough the production still sounds a bit flat, it misses the “sparkle” of a better balanced production, and Mariusz' English should be more intelligible.
I certainly will look forward to a next album.
***+ Erik van Os (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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