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





3.70 | 124 ratings

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4 stars Emotional, melodic, sophisticated - 7.5/10

Another nice surprise found on "The Warmest Sun in Winter", the new album of Polish quintet Believe, stroke the right chord with me almost from first listen. I am a bit of sucker for both melancholic atmospheres and great vocals, and the album delivers on both fronts. The overall tone of the album is rather sombre and reflective - think about the moods you would find in an Anathema, Riverside or Porcupine Tree album. Yet, Believe's TWSIW does not fall entirely in post-rock/metal territory like the bands referenced above, but maintains a foot firmly planted in symphonic neo-prog, also thanks to the tasteful and elegant arrangements of keyboard player Konrad Wantrych. This is what makes TWSIW stand out for me. And then, of course, there's singer Karol Wobrelski's excellent vocal performance. His lead vocals are truly superb - he has a clear but powerful and expressive voice, and he uses it to great effect. The vocal melodies are also very good as they succeed in being catchy and memorable without being trite and unoriginal. The guitar work of Mirek Gil is another highlight of the album - check out his passionate, inventive solos on "Words" or "Heatless Land".

Coming to the negatives, the lyrics are rather disappointing and really not up to scratch with the music. They are very vague and expressed in a somewhat limited and basic English, and it is really hard to make sense of the story supposedly underlying the album (about two friends reuniting after a long time). The production is also somewhat lacking - I would have wished for a more full-rounded and well-balanced sound. Also, while I do like Gil's guitar playing, I felt his guitar is a bit too much upfront in the mix. But that's more a personal taste. It's also a pity that the violin of Satomi is used on only two songs ("Please go home" and "The Bright Day"), as it is an added value to their already sophisticated sound.

Overall, I am very happy to have discovered this band (kudos to again!) and to have bought their album, which will often find a place in my CD player, I am sure. I would definitely recommend this to anyone with a taste for melancholy-tinged music and great lead vocals.

**** songs: "Words", "Unborn / Turn Around", and "Heartless Land"; *** songs "Please Go Home", "Beginners", "The Warmest Sun in Winter", "The End" and the "hidden track" "The Bright Day".

lukretio | 4/5 |


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