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Believe - The Warmest Sun In Winter CD (album) cover

THE WARMEST SUN IN WINTER

Believe

 

Neo-Prog

3.72 | 102 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A warm glow

A little over two years have elapsed since the release of the fine "World is round" album, during which time Believe kept us interested with the superb live DVD "Seeing is believing". Interestingly, for this album violinist Satomi is listed as a "special guest", her presence being restricted to just two of the eight tracks.

Most of the songs are band compositions, with Karol Wróblewski writing all the lyrics (in English). The album's concept is that of a reunion between old friends, who find that their lives have followed starkly different paths, and how their enduring friendship brings sun into their lives.

The album opens with a brief reflective instrumental, "The end", featuring piano and guitar. This serves as an atmospheric prelude to "Beginners", an 8 minute piece written by keyboards player Konrad Wantrych (with lyrics by vocalist Wróblewski). Right from the start, Mirek Gil re-establishes his lead guitar as the principal instrumental sound for the album. The track is majestic, with a strong melody and a fine vocal performance from Wróblewski. It is though Gil's distinctive guitar work that brings out the depth and strength of the song.

The title track is characterised by a delicate, high vocal underpinned by a floating lead guitar. The song is quite simply one of the most beautiful the band have recorded. "Words" continues in a similar vein, the mood being slightly lighter with a multi-tracked vocal on the main chorus. "Unborn/Turn around" is the second of the longer tracks. Here the rhythm section move things into slightly heavier territories, but the emphasis remains firmly on the strength of the melody. Gil's lead guitar harmonises with the lead vocal, the track developing all the while and driven on latterly by a marching drumbeat.

"Please go home" follows on from the band's cover of Marillion's "Chelsea morning" as a tribute to the late Polish music journalist Robert Roszak. Here we get our first chance to hear the wonderful violin of Satomi. The song is the most powerful on the album, Wróblewski's vocals being full of emotion while Gil's guitar prowess is unrestrained. The longest track on the album is the 11 minute "Heartless land", which brings together the moods of the tracks thus far in a slightly retro sounding synth based finale. Gil's lead guitar still prevails, complementing the fine vocal performance.

The album has an additional "hidden" track "The bright day" (not that well hidden though given that it appears in the track listing!). This is the only other song to feature the violin of Satomi, and makes for a pleasantly light coda to the album.

Overall, an excellent album from this highly accomplished Polish band. The changes from the previous album "World is round" are subtle rather than revolutionary. Nevertheless, "The warmest sun in winter" does see the band moving on, and is possibly their most progressive and most cohesive album to date. It is also good to see the guitar Mirek Gil being given such prominence throughout the album.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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