To be fair, I had never heard of the Polish band The Segue before, but was intrigued when I got their album; Holograms as their instrumental music surprised me in a very positive way. The Segue is a quartet, consisting of guitarist Robert Wiercioch, Karolina Wiercioch on grand piano and synthesizers, bass player Marcin Essen and drummer Szymon Piotrowski. Musically they throw jazz, fusion and progressive rock into one big melting pot and come out with an exceptional album.
Starting with the album's title track The Segue, at first, I get the idea I am listening to a Buckethead release. Dominant guitars in a defined way that sound familiar, but this is more, much more. The pronounced bass, solid drumming and delicate keyboards, do add something that go beyond the guitar hero. During the following Questions, the mood changes into something I really appreciate; a grand piano in combination with electric guitar, bass and drums does the trick for me. Questions combines Hiromi referring piano playing with subtle hunches of post rock, creating something very special. With Torrent this “winner” combination continues. Wonderful piano parts go hand in hand with strong guitar parts. Memories of Hiromi and Dave Fiuczynski are relived, equally dividing the solo parts and melodies, but leaving enough space to the rhythm section to also shine. Check out a tune like Exosphere, where smooth parts of progressive jazz guitar playing are supported by delicate piano parts and great produced bass and drum parts. During Future Ways the electronic element has been added to the overall sound, resulting in a more furious composition, perhaps a more chaotic feel at first, but an amazing result. A bit more atmospheric is Broken Mind, electronic additions and subtle spoken words are embedded into the music, nevertheless with an almost progressive metal guitar as well as a fine jazz piano both really shine again. The final track Time Space Illusion again combines all the aforementioned spheres and styles, but lacks the pronounced bass and drums. Perhaps this track was recorded earlier; it does have a different rhythm section as the previous songs. Still a great song though.
Wow, I really love this piano vs guitar thing, also the combination of pure jazz and progressive guitars make this a very interesting debut. Personally I prefer the first part of the album over the last few songs, when the keyboards are pure piano, without too much electronics. Nevertheless, I am sure we will hear more of this promising band.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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