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Mr. Gil - Skellig CD (album) cover

SKELLIG

Mr. Gil

 

Neo-Prog

3.44 | 31 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Well it is a comfort to know that Mirek Gil and Wojtek Szadkowski are still friends after all, which means that maybe one day we will see COLLAGE reform and produce a sequel to "Moonshine". The virtuosic drummer of SATELLITE and other offshoots joins the now equally prolific Mr Gil for Gil's second "solo" album and first in a dozen years, and, even if I'm having trouble understanding where one project ends and another begins, I'm having fun trying.

If you have been following Mirek's main group BELIEVE, you will know that he has issued 3 rather different albums under that moniker and, while the last was the most disappointing, he has returned more to the sound of "Hope to See Another Day" and "Yesterday is a Friend" for this release, with several significant differences: the vocals are by the latest Believe singer, the lyrics are in Polish, and all sounds other than drums and bass emanate from guitars.

While Gil wisely employs acoustic guitars for variety, this is definitely a rock album in which he pretty much sticks to his viscous Frippian style, yet somehow encourages enough variety through vocal and tempo changes to generally maintain freshness. The title cut might be the best of the lot, calling upon both his highly melodic and grungy instincts, while "Otwieram Drzwi" isn't far behind, beginning pedestrian enough, with even processed vocals, but just shy of the three minute mark it adopts a more weathered and nostalgic quality, where one can imagine Believe's violinist contributing fills. "Druga Půłnoc" is a somewhat mellower cut more reminiscent of what Believe captured on their second and best album, although it does culminate in a heroic solo. It's a major tribute to Gil that he can concoct such a richly symphonic mix just with his guitars and crafty exploitation of a rather average vocalist.

While this disk is a winner by almost any measure, Gil's insistence on adhering to a particular school of guitar means that it's not for every mood, and even when in the mood one might be hard pressed to tolerate some of the more tedious and droning leads of "Mnie tu już nie ma" or the mealy folk-pop of "Mnie tu już nie ma".

If you are hesitating about this disk because you weren't a fan of the first Mr Gil album from so long ago, I'm here to say that this has much more in common with Gil's recent output. It's a portfolio of his harder hitting work, yet balladic at the same time. Such a sensitive balance can only be achieved by a few masters, and after 20 years at the forefront of continental neo progressive rock, this fellow has earned the right to be counted among them.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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