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Jerzy Antczak - String Theory (as Georgius) CD (album) cover

STRING THEORY (AS GEORGIUS)

Jerzy Antczak

 

Crossover Prog

3.92 | 35 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BrufordFreak
4 stars The new album from Poland's ALBION's founder and guitarist/singer/songwriter, Jerzy Antczak. His previous solo effort totally caught me by surprise and ended up one of my favorite albums of 2014. It turns out that the title of that previous effort, Ego, Georgius was actually a shout out as to the name/identity of Jerzy's new solo band--here correctly noted as "Georgius."

1. "Howling Winds of Jezebel" (12:10) opens with a Blade Runner-like prickly, spacey group of synth sounds layered to provide a two minute foundational intro. Lead guitar opens a solo at the two minute mark as Berlin School electronic sequenced "drums" begin to quickly pan around the background soundscape. Quite a nice, emotive guitar solo--one that lasts over two minutes. After that it's all synthesizers and samples until 4:46 when a vocoder- like female voice (Aisha) starts to ooo, eee, and aaah. At 5:45 a heavy bass-filled rhythm section enters. Soon Jerzy's treated and mirrored voice enters with a Gilmour-like emotional insistency. The instrumental section that follows has some awesome keyboard work but the bass, chunky, full and forward, is the center of my attention. Nice work, Krzystof Wyrwa (from Millenium). Awesome! At 8:45 the vocal(s) return for another go. The song then fades to end over the last minute with the wind sounds of an empty planet. Awesome song! My favorite on the album! (9/10)

2. "Little Ant" (11:36) opens with one synth chord--sustained over the next two minutes while Japanese flute and other ethereal sounds and percussives slowly begin entering and creating a fuller soundscape. Still, it is a sparsely populated soundscape until 3:07 when the first front and center main line instrument (electronic piano) enters and starts to disclose its melody. so much happening electronically in the soundscape--but so subtly. At 4:20 guitar, bass and some drums enter the fore. Jerzy begins singing in a up-close and personal funneled almost-Leonard Cohen voice. Though his English is clear and well-enunciated, an accent is strong. Keyboard solo using a solo soprano female voice, then Jerzy comes back, singing over the robot female. The simple rhythm section is quite dull and repetitive. Synth solo over electrified acoustic guitar picking is nice. Despite a very cool opening, it feels like the song never really takes off. Even the guitar soloing in the final minutes is a bit too restrained--takes too long to build and explode. I can't help it; I feel disappointed. (8/10)

3. "Precipice" (7:20) opens with acoustic guitar strumming--which is then, eventually, joined by vocals for the first ninety seconds that's about it. Then organ, synth, and military-style snare drum play join Jerzy. At 2:55 synth, organ, bass, full drums and electric guitars shift the song into a proggy instrumental section. First Arp-like synth then guitar take turns in the fore before Jerzy's more impassioned vocal returns. Nice section! Guitar solo in the sixth minute is good but then gets better. Return to vocal 'chorus' before all instruments drop out sauf distant-sounding acoustic guitar. (8/10)

4. "Pill" (7:41) this one sounds quite a bit like it came form the previous album, Ego, Georgius. It tries hard to be special, to be powerful, but somehow it fails; it feels false--except for the excellent two-minute long guitar solo running through the fourth, fifth and sixth minutes. (9/10)

5. "(Apathy) In the Garden of Despair" (8:44) opens with some of that wonderful 'world music' sound and feel to it for the first two minutes. As Jerzy starts to sing the vocal part, it feels great, but then, surprise, surprise! We find him mirrored and then dueting with a KATE BUSH-sound-alike, Aisha. But, alas! it ends too soon. By the end of the third minute Jerzy wanders off into a prolonged Dire Straits-like guitar solo. The vocal returns in the fifth minute but is totally dominated by Jerzy. Then a pleasant electric piano solo ensues before the song bursts into a section of vocal and instrumental passion which pretty much plays out to the end. My second favorite song on the album. I only wish the duet part would go on longer. (9/10)

6. "The Saddest Piece in the World" (8:25) isn't really that sad--though it's instrumental melodies and vocals do convey some powerful emotional impact. The main melody--first established by the lead guitar--is very catchy and repeated by both guitar, keys, and vocal throughout the song. (8/10)

Despite a promising start with the excellent opening epic, I am quite a little disappointed with Jerzy's follow up to his surprise masterpiece from 2014.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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