Millenium -
Notes Without Words

(CD 2018, 64:16, Lynx Music LM140dgcd)

The tracks:
  1- Talk To Aliens(3:07)
  2- Reincarnations(5:08)
  3- Eden?(1:53)
  4- Lost Teddy Bear(5:39)
  5- Chaos(4:12)
  6- Puzzled(6:00)
  7- Mirage(3:00)
  8- It Could Have Happened To You(3:08)
  9- Burning(3:50)
10- The Mirror Of Memories(6:56)
11- Calling!(4:06)
12- Broken Rule(6:36)
13- The Big Dream Of Mr Sunders(3:42)
14- Notes Without Words (Epilogue)(6:58)

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To celebrate the 40th anniversary of record label, Lynx Music, this is a special edition of all the instrumental tracks published by Krakow-based group Millenium, including a rare version of Notes Without Words, a short instrumental version of the Three Brothers Epilogue suite as the closing track. So apart from that, there would be little here to grab the attention of long-term fans of these experienced musicians who have put out some dozen studio albums since their foundation at the turn of the century.

As an introduction also, this would be a slightly odd package, forming only a particular cross-section of the band's oeuvre. Nonetheless it does stand on its own merits. As a package, it is necessarily uneven and disjointed due to the lack of a unifying theme or overarching concept (not counting 'instrumentals' as a concept!). Having removed these pieces from their original context there are a few rough edges in the sequencing. However there is still much to admire in these strongly melodic tracks infused with Pink Floyd style guitar and Tangerine Dream electronic atmospherics. As a taster this collection shows what an accomplished group of musicians Millenium are, fully deserving to be recognised amongst the great Polish neo-Prog bands, succeeding even within the limits of this collection, in displaying a wide range of attributes from great delicacy to full-bodied symphonic themes.

For me the band have gone up a notch since the addition of saxophone player Dariusz Rybka brought in that extra warmth and range and the tracks featuring this more recent line up are the more assured of the collection. Inevitably, I have to make the observation that only total completists will be lured by the one rare item on offer, and while this selection provides a pleasing introduction to the work of Millenium, new fans will want to move on and explore these tracks in the context where they were originally released.

*** Andrew Cottrell

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