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Collage - Moonshine CD (album) cover

MOONSHINE

Collage

 

Neo-Prog

4.01 | 267 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
4 stars The 1990-1992 period was definitely the more intense in Collage's history.''Basnie'' was warmly accepted by the prog audience, leading to concerts even abroad for the band and to a reissue of the album in 1992 by Vinyl Magic.On the other hand Tomasz Rozycki left the band suddenly to be replaced by Zbyszek Bieniak.Bieniak was a great singer and songwriter but he also quit in early 92', leaving his place for a while to Jarek Wajk.1993 was even more shocking for the band.Only Gil and Szadkowski remained from the ''Basnie'' line-up.The bass was now handled by Piotr Witkowski, keyboards by Krzysztof Palczewski, while the new singer was Robert Amirian.To test his voice Collage released the album ''Nine Songs of John Lennon'' in 1993 with cover tracks of Lennon's discography, followed a year later by the first full-length album of the new line-up ''Moonshine'' on Metal Mind Records.

The new album presented two big differences compared to ''Basnie''.Amirian would sing exclusively in English, having a more sensitive and romantic voice, eventually reflecting on the atmosphere of the album.Additionally the darker compositions of ''Basnie'' left their place to less-raw and more elaborate arrangements with a more positive aura.Of course the style of Collage remained equally grandiose, bombastic at moments and quite adventurous, enriched by series of softer passages inbetween.Overall the extremely unique band's style had developed even more with an aim towards foreign markets but always delivering a pure Neo/Symphonic Rock with dramatic arrangements and a huge rich sound throughout.Dreamy keyboards alternate with bombastic orchestral passages, smooth vocal-based parts are followed by superb guitar solos, the trademark of Mirek Gil, and polished melodies are blended with a great number of breaks.More importantly Collage set the basis of what we would call ''Polish Prog'' in the future, apparently having influenced a great number of local bands.A style characterized by the lovely symphonic keyboards, the deep esoteric vocal lines, the dramatic solos and often the very personal atmosphere of Polish vocals, which are absent on this album.

A great comeback by one of the most original Polish bands.Despite the line-up changes Collage returned with an album full of excellent, dreamy and challenging musicianship, an almost classic of the Neo Prog scene and highly recommended to fans of prog in general.

apps79 | 4/5 |

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