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Walfad - Colloids CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.75 | 25 ratings

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4 stars Poland has always been and continues to be a fountain of progressive rock, continuously releasing thrilling albums from a plethora of old and new bands , consistently adding quality to their quantity. There is a fondness for both the more romantic side (neo-prog) as well as symphonic oriented material that always showcases suprior musicianship and great sense of stylistics. There are many veteran bands still doing their thing like Albion, Millenium, Riverside, Lebowski, Believe and Lizard, among many others, there are also young upstarts that keep the flame alight, such as Walfad.

''Colloids'' is their latest offering , after 3 previous releases dating back to their debut in 2013. Wojciech Ciuraj leads his young crew on guitar and vocals as well as writing the material that has a grimy knife edge to it both sonically as well as in intent. After a dreamy and cinematic intro, the album kicks off mercilessly, drums pounding relentlessly, the aptly named ''In A Powder Keg'' explodes out of the speakers . The effect is one of solid insanity, musically edgy and unrestrained, with a greasy organ fill that is quite savory. Definitely rock-prog instead of prog-rock, it provides a nice hard slap in the face. Twangy and jangly guitars introduce ''Sysyphus' Sons'', giving the spotlight to Wojciech's high pitched voice to great effect, fueled by a sturdy beat and a quirky rhythmic package that takes over and lumbers forward , unabashedly noisy, with a nice serpentine synthesizer solo.

The 10 minute + title track should be the main attraction here, a slow building composition that starts off in sweet simplicity, twangy guitar licks and a pleading voice that begs for attention. When the intensity ratchets up, its time to let loose, first with a slithering synth foray and then followed by a tortuous guitar solo . The subsequent musical elevation swerves into a passionate section that is utterly tasty. The fact that the tracks are not overtly candy-coated with bombastic production certainly gives the work a sense of genuineness that is frankly appealing. The rawness in fact is the first impression that comes to mind. Take the wah-wah drenched electric guitar solo at the end of this piece, a shrieking slice of beauty, delicious prog tartare!

''Rust'' is a swirling vocal melody wrapped in an airy arrangement, solidly punctuated by tough drum flurries, an interesting contrast between anger and bliss, featuring another spectacular bluesy guitar romp. The fade out sparkles in the rain, with wild synthesizers ablaze and the marshalling beat pushing the flame along.

Things get hot and heavy on 'Jotting', a rambling tirade immersed in unkempt rage and fury, this is perhaps the most intense track on this offering, another fine piece of intensitywhat with a gritty guitar being the star of the show. The voice is a combination of high-pitched delivery and angry lyrics, a bludgeoning slice of sweaty prog. But unexpectedly, the second part evolves into blissful harmony, pushed along by a gorgeous electric axe solo.

The disc finishes off on a one more piece of quality, 'To Walk on Water' with its initial acoustic guitar morphing into another frazzled composition that has quite the indie feel to it, with shimmering guitars and syncopated drum fills , a vocal full of pleading sincerity. The guitar solo once again rages, complex and fiery , thus keeping the prog fans happy.

The band offers two vocal versions, one in Polish and the other in English. Certainly a band with a promising future in view of their apparent youth, proving once again that Poland keeps on delivering quality progressive rock music.

4 aerosol particles

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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