The Web is a concept album from seasoned Polish neo-prog band Millenium and a follow up to MMXVIII (see review) released as a part of Lynx Records' 40th anniversary series. This collection features a 5-person line-up again featuring Łukasz Gall as lyricist and vocalist, Peter Płonka on electric & acoustic guitars, Krzysztof Breach on bass, Grzegorz Bauer on drums & percussion and Ryszard Kramarski on keyboards & acoustic guitars.
The concept is the internet as a symbol for the traps of addiction which each of us can fall into and the search for friendship and love of another which can offer redemption from such a trap. As with the previous Millenium releases the musicianship is assured and the album abounds with moments to admire, Gall's vocals are commanding and Płonka's guitar can be a potent instrument. On the last two releases I commented that I thought Millenium were on an upward trajectory. With this I am not so sure, though. As a metaphor for addiction, the web works well enough. But for me this never really engages the listener with the characters. Web-spinners are notoriously lazy and this was all a bit like commentating on the arachnid in the room. Still there? Yup. Catch anything? Nope. “Every moment of your life is a never-ending fight" sounds gruesome, like spending an evening watching someone endlessly swiping whatever way it is on Tinder. The whole thing is well-enough executed but never gets away from a remorselessly plodding beat and for all it ploughs “The oceans of your soul,” it never really gets to grips with love in the time of alienation in the way that “Two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl,” does. And Pink Floyd didn't even have the internet.
There are moments of genuine tenderness such as I Remember You, and sections of Name On the Sand but except in patches this collection never ever deviates from its monochrome dullness. By the time the spoken word passage kicked in on Someone's Feet Will Cover the Traces, I couldn't throw my player at the wall for chewing my knuckles. It may be something that fans will enjoy, and if you get your kicks waving your cigarette lighter in the air, then there are plenty of those moments for you, whenever anyone plays live again. However, I have to put this down as a blip and hope that Millenium didn't run out of ideas at that 40th birthday party.
** Andrew Cottrell
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