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Exodus - Hazard CD (album) cover

HAZARD

Exodus

 

Symphonic Prog

2.78 | 22 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
3 stars According to the polish Wikipedia this album was released in 1983 and it makes sense, when you hear it. It is very much a product of the 80's and not the 00's. Though this remark might seem picky it is really not. Especially so if you are expecting quite a different soundscape.

Now that I have got that out of the way I will proceed to discussing the album. Exodus is one of the finer polish groups of the era. They released quite a few albums in the 70's and 80's, all containing well crafted and potent progressive rock. This effort, being their last, is somewhat different than in their grandest and most progressive phase. The music has alot in common with Eloy in the same period, circa Metromania or Solaris album "Marsbeli Kronikak".

It is an odd mix, though not entirely unique and certainly not entirely bad. There are quite a few things to cherish here. There are enough progressive elements here to please most people, given that one is prepared for something that is also blessed with pop and hardrock elements in that 80's kind of way. Commercial? Well, some of it maybe. At least if that means accessible. But then again the music is often complex and demanding, as progressive music ought to.

The songs are quite average in length. The longest fails to reach the 6 minute mark but one has to discuss whether it is length or what is inside that matters. I, for one and not at all claiming to be the only one, loves lengthy tracks. I am all for a song stretching out into half an hour. If they pull it of, that is. Nothing more tedious than a poor and never ending song. The tracks are all quite concise and manageable. They have kept the songs within their capacity and that is something to applaud.

Hazard opens up very forcefully with the instrumental "Intro". That is powerful statement of heavy progressive that really wakes the listener. It is like they want to say "Listen, we do not kid around!" The next track keeps the direction and makes it all very focused. "A to planeta" is a solemn yet aggressive tune. I love the keyboards on this one. Very effective and certainly very 80's. The most aggressive and metal stricken song must be "Dybuk". The vocalist is screaming his head off and the simple yet effective riff makes it a very forceful track.

The title track starts off nice with a plucked electric guitar, keyboards and drums before going into what one could say is sort of commercial phase. Melodic and moody it is quite alright. Not the best track they ever made made I have a fondness for it. The ending "Nie wiemy nic" beging with an eerie keyboard, drums and bass. High pitched vocals kick in and I feel like I am in a sci-fi horror movie from the era. This is really good stuff.

The overall feeling of the album is one of much aggressiveness and frustration. Now, I have no way of telling if that is correct or no, since I do not speak polish. (Wish I did, though.) The band seems to have something important to say, whether it is openly or simply mentioning it in a more sublime way. The vocals are quite special. It feels like the singer really screams his heart out. There are times that he sings in a more gentle manner but often enough you get the notion that he's pouring his heart out just before the door is kicked in and he's to be taken away. (This is all down to my vivid imagination and pure speculation, of course.)

All in all, I like this album. It has a certain charm and vibrancy that keeps it interesting. The most intriguing part is the very east euopean sound they possess. I love the local experience to shine through in music and it does on Hazard. Give it a spin or two. I am not promising groundbreaking stuff but it is interesting and demanding in it's own right. As a timepiece it is also of interest. Not only by way of displaying the different sounds of prog throughout it's 45 years (or so) of existence but certainly that good music comes from all corners of the world and experiences. Despite my rating I hope someone will pick it up and give it a go. Exodus as a band and the album itself are certainly worth it.

On a final note I would like to add that this is an album worthy of three stars. Good but non essential.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |

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