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SBB - Nowy Horyzont CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.86 | 176 ratings

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4 stars This was the first studio album from this Polish group, with their debut being a live album. SBB originally stood for Silesian Blues Band, but was later changed to three Polish words instead. These guys got their start backing Polish singer Czeslaw Niemen(also included here on PA). Their own music has some similarities to their stint with Niemen, but generally they have their own style: a mix of jazz-rock, space rock and symphonic prog. I'm not an expert in prog from eastern Europe, but SBB are one of the more well known prog groups from that part of the world. The music here, at least, is generally just as good as the prog coming from western Europe at the time.

"Na Pierwszy Ogien" opens the album with the sound of footsteps. Then a gong and some squiggly synth sounds. Goes into some boogie rock with good guitar and synth. Later a guitar solo. Near the end is just lovely piano playing. This segues into..."Blysk" which is an upbeat symphonic rock jam. Some more lovely piano at the end. The title track, which translates to "new horizon", has a terrific riff that would be worthy of some Canterbury bands. Some guitar arpeggios with synth sounds for awhile. Then cymbals and what sounds like a duck quacking. Drums and bass come in and the song starts to build up. A guitar solo about halfway. The music dies down and then some snare rolls and some fingertapping on the guitar before it goes to a section similar to the beginning. All of a sudden the music changes to some very fast piano playing which gets more subdued.

"Ballada O Pieciu" is almost entirely synth drones with talking in Polish. Only song with lyrics which drags on for too long. "Wolnosc Z Nami" is a 20 minute epic. Mostly piano and some cymbals with random sounds for the first few minutes. Some wordless vocals enter. Before 6 minutes the piano starts playing a repeated melody, then the rhythm section comes in with a guitar solo. More wordless vocals mimicing the guitar. The music then starts to calm down and the instruments kind of go their own way. Strange noises from synth and guitar for awhile. Later a drumbeat arrives along with a guitar solo. Then a synth solo; the guitar and synth trade solos. After awhile a riff that would be worthy of Sabbath. After a synth drone plays the same riff, now with more laid-back drumming. The drumming slowly stops and some piano enters. The piano gets more classical sounding at the end.

Overall, a great album. I have not heard the follow up to this, but I have heard a couple of their late '70s albums where they get more funky and electronic sounding. Bandleader Josef Skrzek plays keyboards, bass and does the vocals. This is mostly instrumental, so the language barrier should not be too much of an obstacle to non-Polish speakers. Anyway, I'll give this 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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