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Lizard - Tales From The Artichoke Wood CD (album) cover

TALES FROM THE ARTICHOKE WOOD

Lizard

 

Eclectic Prog

3.72 | 62 ratings

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silentman
4 stars This time Lizard recorded their fallow up album to the 2003 _Psychopuls_ in only one year. Having in mind that between the release of their first and their second album was a gap of seven years, I was a little worried, especially remembering that _Psychopuls_ didn't really match my expectations after so long wait. Fortunately my doubts were unnecessary. _Tales From The Artichoke Wood_ is Lizrad's best album to date.

Musically it's much "brighter" then their previous effort, with some strong references to their debut _W Galerii Czasu_ but mostly without it's dullness. The most obvious influences are still King Crimson, but this time it sounds like their also listened a lot to early Genesis records. The album starts with first part of the title composition. A delicate interlude with gentle piano soon morphs into a quite heavy and complex song with an explosive violin solo. Next come the impressions of three painters (Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso) divided into several parts. The Vincent Impression is the first and IMO the best one. It has optimistic tone in the second part, with another superb violin solo, then in part three it becomes the most dramatic piece of the album. Salvador's Impression is weirder and mysterious, when the music tries to reflect Dali's Paintings. Of course the Pablo Impression is the most complex of them all, trying to reflect cubism. It has nothing to do with the complexity of '80's Crimson or Meshuggah, but it gives a quite good illusion of the abstract work of Picasso. The album ends with a reprise of the title track, but this time the music is moody through the whole track.

Don't be fooled by the English title of this album, the lyrics remained in polish and as far as I know there isn't an English version. But to be honest, if you don't understand polish, you don't miss that much. The lyrics are the worst part of this very good album. Just look at the title: _Tales From The Artichoke Wood_ and it will give you an image of what the lyrics are about. I suppose they were intended to sound a little abstract to describe the paintings, but they ended up sounding just dull.

Still, the music is what it keeps the listener pushing the button "play" again and again. It isn't really original, but it's very entertaining. The musicians put a lot of joy and emotion in their playing and that's why this record maintains enjoyable after several listens. If you're a fan of progressive rock it's a must hear. Other curious listeners are also advised to try it.

silentman | 4/5 |

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