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

THE WARMEST SUN IN WINTER

Believe

 

Neo-Prog

3.72 | 103 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars I really have a soft spot for Mirek Gil, an accomplished fret slinger that has a hallowed reputation in the prog community, mostly for his Collage work as well as solo outings, participating in early Satellite albums as well as launching Believe. I really enjoyed the debut offering, a little less so for the sophomore and ended my fascination as I was spooked by the poor reviews and the average samples for the following two albums. Well, I am happy to report that I am back behind this Polish band's cause as 'The Warmest Sun in Winter' is perhaps their finest achievement to date, the musicians having finally found their peak moulding. Always solid rhythmically with Zawadski on bass and Tafel on drums, the guitar forever sublime, the main target of any concern was the keys and the vocals. Keyboardist Konrad Wantrych is now in a zone and Karol Wroblewski has a superb voice that fits much better with the mellower moods, a fine combination of Steve Hoggarth and Collage/Satellite's Robert Amirian. But these guys were already in place for 'The Bread is Mine' and 'World is Round', so what happened? Truth is that the material presented here is now finely chiseled with a greater attention to musical detail and sensitive impact. Believe has a rather restrictive romantic neo-prog style that needs and begs for sensible arrangements and high emotional delivery, or else it falls flat. Here, the ingredients are spot on and successful.

There is a strong spirit of creativity on their disc, it becomes evident straight from the beginning by naming the opener 'The End', a brief little appetizer with resonating guitar, delicate piano and brooding bass. Lullaby that would make Chopin proud, the tease is on! 'Beginners' wastes no time on impressing the listener, forcing them from casual interest into immediate aural obedience mostly due to Mirek's seductive guitar, a series of soaringly romantic notes that will tear at your heartstrings. Wroblewski's suave voice has both sonic crispness and emotional pretence, dancing around the curling guitar forays, a lead solo that is all Mirek Gil : guileless, trebly, shattering, trembling and exalted. His craft is closer to Latimer or Hackett, a sound that searches for simplicity and utter beauty above anything overtly technical. This is a tremendous track and a foreboding of what will be coming down the line. The title track is classic Believe, where a hushed vocal introduces a glorious melody, the fierce guitar shining brightly in its simplicity, all effect and no cause, we are in ultra-romantic neo-prog mode, a style I particularly admire. Gil uncorks a 'slowhand' solo that would make Eric smile, all feeling and passion. 'Words' just keeps the groove going, perhaps a little more accessible, quite close to Mr.Gil's debut 'Alone' album, a fine prog-pop song that has depth, meaning and memorability, coated with some definite symphonics (mellotron, piano, synths) , a rare bass ditty and s shrieking axe solo to boot. 'Unborn/Turnaround' showcases a little more experimentation, a slow riff builds up the required tension and it gets really hypnotic, tainted by some dense atmospheres. The track is all about restraint and patience, working effectively in getting the right mood for the day. A cute synth section bodes well for another Gil solo, at a slightly higher pitch, military snare drums leading the parade. 'Please Go Home' is a gut wrenching piece, with spirited vocals within a raging delivery , a musical discussion in sample (in Polish) and a whopper axe solo, gritty and insistent. The desperately repeated title hits the mark with unabashed rage. 'Heartless Land' is the epic finale, a piece that adds a lot more detail to the mix, leisurely infusing various sounds and tones into the overture, where an interesting muffled beat plays hide and seek with the bass and guitar, deliberately building up steam. Very groove- oriented and highly atmospheric, this is Believe at its best, with sweet and heavenly vocals warming the soul. The mid-section mellotron is carved up by Gil's massive fretwork, a colossal exercise that will stun the disbelievers (pun!) , the man is a guitar genius. There is a few minutes of silence and then 'the hidden track' which features former full time violinist Satomi , 'The Bright Day' is exactly that, a simple pop song with some sexy violin and a memorable chorus.

You better believe in Believe.

4 Sunny ideals

tszirmay | 4/5 |

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