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Believe - Seven Widows CD (album) cover

SEVEN WIDOWS

Believe

 

Neo-Prog

4.07 | 155 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I really don´t get it! Why on earth some reviewer wastes his (and everybody´s) time writing a review bashing a CD from a genre he obviously does not like or understand? Really, some people do not seem to know what prog music is all about. And this is more annoying when the album in question is a masterpiece of that genre. Yes, a Masterpiece with capital M. If on their previous effort, The Warmest Sun In The Winter (2013), polish neo proggers Believe had finally carved a style completely of their own and delivered an excellent disc, on Seven Widows they evolved even more, reaching the edge of perfection. If you´re missing Satomi´s violin on The Warmest... then the good news is that she´s back in full force! But that is not all.

It looks like Believe finally got rid of all the elements that hampered their music (i.e. the grunge connections and some heavy metal traits) and concentrated on writing fine tunes and subtle deliveries. Maybe leader and guitarist Mirek Gil had finally realized he should do what he does best, both on Collage and Satellite, but with a different approach to make his band unique: instead of the bombastic, several layers of instruments, typical fo those two bands, Believe´s new sound is the epitome of the saying Less Is More: the instrumentation is much more sparse, some parts bare to the bone (like Satomi´s solo on IV, where for several bars her violin is only backed by only a few notes on the lower keys of a piano and some tribal drums). Yet, it sounds full, complete and symphonic all the way. Instruments come and go at the right moment, showing a great team work. Gil´s trademark guitar solos and licks blend with Satomi´s mournful and beautiful violin, accompanied by Przemas Zawadzki discreet, but elegant, bass lines and the very skillful Robert "Qba" Kubajek on drums. That rhythm section really knows about light and shade. Surprisingly, Satomi herself handles all the keyboards duties and does a fine job too.

New singer Lukasz Ociepa has a very nice voice and his passionate delivering is quite moving. Both his timbre and interpretation is very similar to the previous vocalist, Karol Wróblewski, making this transition very smooth. You hardly notice any difference. The songwriting sees the band again at its best: 7 tracks (all over the 8 minute mark) and 65 minutes of music in total that seems to end too fast. Not a single note wasted all the way, with several entrancing guitar and violin duets/duels (and experience made even more delightful when heard on headphones). Emotional vocals, tasteful arrangements and beautiful solos all wrapped up by a crystal clear production. Who could ask for more? There are no weak tracks and it´s hard to even point a highlight since the whole CD is a highlight itself. Every tracks is a gem and they all blend in for a smooth listening. Only the closer VI (the tunes have no titles, only numbers) with its heavy rhythm guitar intro does have a slightly gothic metal feeling, but it is only for a few moments before it segues into the the new style Believe has created and finishes the album with a high note.

Conclusion: my favorite album of 2017, and one of the best I heard in decades. It is really a joy to see a band like Believe, which started quite promising but never seeming to reach its full potential for years, finally surpassing all expectations and evolving into something so marvelous, in the tradition of bands like Collage, Quidam and Albion. Poland still delivers great prog music!

Rating: ten stars with honors! Essential for any neo prog lover and highly recommended to anyone who enjoys fine music!

Tarcisio Moura | 5/5 |

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