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Peter Pan


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erik neuteboom
3 stars This polish quartet is a project by drummer Wojtek Szadowski, known from Collage and Satellite.

The sound on their debut CD entitled Days sounds as heavy melodic rock with interesting progressive tendencies in which the drummer with his powerful and lush sound and the guitarist with his propulsive riffs and lots of fiery and biting soli (somewhere between Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore and Joe Satriani) are omnipresent. The vocals by Peter (who is very grateful to the inventor of beer on the back sleeve) are strong with frequent emotional undertones, from warm and dreamy to raw and expressive, especially in the final track Cold As Stone (captivating combination of percussion and fiery guitar runs). The keyboards sound a bit on the background but I enjoyed the tender Grand piano work and some spectacular synthesizer soli. My highlights on this CD are I Am The One (fiery and propulsive with a Red-King Crimson-like rhythm-section and sensational work on guitar and keyboards), Flying Over Paradise (breathtaking, very varied guitarplay), Living On Your Own (spectacular duel between guitar and synthesizer) and the varied Island (from dreamy to compelling with a great grand finale featuring howling electric guitar and heavy drumming).

This is an exciting album for the prog fans who are into more heavy prog and who love heavy guitarwork!My rating 3,5 stars.

Report this review (#138730)
Posted Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Just for the record - the singer signed as Peter is in fact Wojtek Szadkowski and he does great things with his voice, sometimes imitating Fish, sometimes Roger Waters, and sometimes even Bruce Dickinson (Days, sadly these comparisons are not mine). Very energetic, guitar-and-rhythm section oriented music without ambition of writing seventeen-pieces suitas. However, very refreshing, long solos (especially days) and theatrical vocals are omnipresent, therefore there is juicy prog for every progfan, especially with the inclination into hard rock, like Deep Purple. This album reminds me a lot of The Yes Album, and maybe next albums from theis project would be as good as Yes, they've got the potential. Good, but not essential, but every progfan who gets it will not be disappointed.
Report this review (#142551)
Posted Sunday, October 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have listened to a pair of times Peter Pan. Mexcla of many successful groups within the progressive rock seems to me one, in fact it sees clearly several influences in the vocalista Peter, (Fish and Water mainly), who shows to much descriptive creativity and with his diverse and touching modulations and accents. The guitarist, Radek Chwieralski, make solos tremendous that makes vibrate the soul, also riff are powerful, complex, sometimes. The drummer, Wojtek Szadkowski, are impeccable and contribute rates, at some moments, that sound ancestral. I like as she sounds to the great piano in some subjects and general the contribution of the tecladista Konrad Biliński. In line general, Peter Pan is a group with important contributions to melodias of the Neo Progressive rock, like Blind Ego, Abigails Ghost, Frost, among others. I will be to the delay of its new production
Report this review (#152372)
Posted Friday, November 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wojtek Szadkowski was the virtuoso drummer for Polish prog phenomenon Collage ("Moonshine" is a classic) , then started up Satellite with immense success (the 3rd installment is already drawing praise as I await its arrival with intense trepidation) as drummer/composer and in order to satisfy his wilder musical demons , he now unleashes this frenzied form of "frantic Prog" illustrating three new major elements while keeping the Satellite bass-drum combo intact : first a zipping keyboardist a la Jordan Rudess by the name of Konrad Bilinski, secondly , a simply manic lead guitarist , Radek Chwieralski, who just loves to bleed ultra melodic lead forays that are seemingly laser guided billows of smoke and finally, a vocalist (Peter Pan) who profusely thanks the creator of beer in the credits , which explains the somewhat hysterical delivery (a drunken combination of Waters-Fish with a thick heavy metal Polish accent! Where is the Wodka when you need it? ). It is alleged that this mysterious singer is none other then Wojtek the jolly drummer! The art work is simply superb in a "Batteries not Included" style that oddly fits the contents quite effectively. There are some great songs: "We are Invincible" is not a Pat Benatar cover but a brash neo-proggy workout with all the fixins', the title track "Days" almost veers into Iron Maiden territory, a blistering and infectious rave-up that has some sizzling "phasers on stun" lead guitar runs, the serenely attractive "Flying over Paradise", the grandiose "Island" and the "howling" freeze of "Cold as Stone" . A masterpiece you ask? No, this is no way near the magnificence of the Satellite material but is an amusing and worthy addition to any collection, cradling the abyss between prog and metal with absolute fun. Wojtek is blessed to have worked with some amazing six-stringers (Mirek Gil, Sirhan Kubeisi and now this Radek fellow!!!) but he consistently writes prolific material, head and shoulders above most neo-prog releases. 4 Pans .
Report this review (#155265)
Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I must say I was really glad I tried this album out. Even though itīs in the Neo Progressive genre which is not my favorite. I think there are some things that makes this album more than just another Neo Progressive album.

The keyboards are of course omnipresent throughout the whole album, but surprisingly enough itīs the guitar from Radek Chwieralski that controls the songs. This could in some places be considered a hard rock album if it wasnīt for the wall of keyboards. Radek Chwieralski plays many exciting solos on Days, and even though I just wrote a wall of keyboards, I think the keyboards are a little more subtle than on other neo prog albums. In my eyes the music on this album deserves 4 stars. But there are problems that devaluates the album.

First of all the vocals. I find them a real turn off. I donīt think the man can sing, at least not very nice. Itīs enough for me to take away one star. I guess I can get used to the vocals since the music is so strong, but I will never really like them.

The production is not the best either. You can hear every instrument clearly, but the drums have a very artificial sound. I thought the drums was programmed until I read there was a drummer involved on the album.

So all in all this is a good neo prog album where especially guitar and keyboards stand out as being excellent while vocals and drums are not so good. 3 stars.

Report this review (#158403)
Posted Saturday, January 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars It would seem that Wojtek Szadkowski is incapable of being involved in a bad album. While he tried to re-energize the Satellite saga with their latest offering, my preference is his Peter Pan offshoot, which really is something different, without any history or a particular sound to live up to. Wojtek's fascination with Peter Pan (the story) is already documented in the "Never Never" track of Satellite's "Evening Games", but here he dedicates an entire album to the idea that even aging rockers can play hard prog with a metallic sheen.

The CD is flawed to be sure, as the sound is about as synthesized as you can get, the vocals, by the front man himself (PP, or WS) are a bit odd, and the lyrics are minimalist both in quality and quantity. But the star is Radek Chwieralski on lead guitar who manages to bleed every drop out of his muse in frenetic fashion. Several hearings reveal heartfelt melodies underneath the raucous exterior, especially in the verses of the two openers, as well as the bluesy instrumental "Flying Over Paradise" which follows seamlessly from "Smiling in the Rain". While the album is not uniformly heavy, that is the prevailing quality, though it manages to transition brilliantly between moods (especially in "Island"), which is an area where the last Satellite album failed badly.

If you are really expecting and demanding something in the neo progressive genre, this may disappoint you on first or fifth listen, and it is not for every mood, but it works really well when you are having one of those Days.

Report this review (#159436)
Posted Monday, January 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, the excellent band description on our site says it all really. In fact there's not too much more to add except for my personal feelings. Peter Pan is a band strongly related to Satellite (and indeed therefore also to Collage) and if I go through that bands discography I notice much similarity with their Into the Night studio effort. This third release by the Polish band has the same metal edge as this one by PP from the same birth year. It makes you wonder if these are left over tracks from Into the Night and whether Wojtek got the idea to form this side project Peter Pan around them. Creative guy, this Wojtek Szadkowski.

The only complaint I can think of is the length of the album which is way too short for a 2007 release. But this deficit is strongly compensated by some excellent (almost masterpiece level for my taste) music like third (title) track Days. This sounds just about like 100% my cup of tea and it secures a four star rating definitely. Other more than excellent tracks are the instrumental Flying over Paradise and the compact Living on your Own.

Four stars because the rest is not as great I have to admit. But most songs are worth at least 3,5 stars so that makes the final rating pretty easy. Extremely recommended for fans of Satellite unless you dislike their harder edge. But if you enjoyed Into the Night this is a must have !

Report this review (#266496)
Posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars As one reviewer mentioned, this is a very energetic album, anchored by strong guitar driven music and Wojtek's powerful vocals. Might be better suited/classified in the Heavy Prog category, as it's a mix of Satellite and Rush more so than most Neo-prog submissions. This is one of those albums that one needs to be in a mood for to appreciate it's ferocity. It took a couple of listens to acknowledge that it's better listened to when in the mood for something more upbeat. The downside to this disc is it's hint of antiseptic. It almost feels that some of the flavour was diluted in a hospital bleachy kind of way. Special attentiopn should be paid to "Flying Over Paradise" as this albums' strongest track.

3.9 stars rounds this up to a 4

Report this review (#865806)
Posted Saturday, November 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This was a side-project of Wojciech Szadkowski, leader of the great Prog band Satellite and also among the members of the legendary Collage.For the creation of Peter Pan he collaborated with guitarist Radoslaw Chwieralski, keyboardist Konrad Biliński and bassist Jarosław Michalski, musicians mostly with a Metal background.Their only album ''Days'' came out in 2007 on the Polish label Mystic Production.

This neither Satellite nor Collage, this is more of a Hard Prog/Prog Metal meet Heavy Rock affair, containing some straight rockin' material, lacking the artistic generosity of the aforementioned bands, still offering branches of Prog Rock throughout, but bear in mind that the material in here is much heavier/ more powerful than any of Szadkowski's main groups.You'll get some Hard Rock tunes, DREAM THEATER-like keyboard twists and lots of mascular guitar riffs, passionate singing and frenetic synths with ''Days'', but quite often you'll also feel like listening to a harder version of MARILLION, the emotional parts and atmospheric keyboard- and guitar textures and solos seem like based on the Neo Prog archetype.The pair of laid-back pieces could have easily ended up in a SATELLITE album with the expressive voices and smooth instrumental plays, but most of the tracks are amazingly dynamic compared to what Szadkowski had offered thus far.Despite the less progressive vein of the album, ''Days'' is full of striking melodies and impressive grooves/instrumental solos, offering some space for virtuosic executions with the most proggy vibes adding a nice complementary status to an otherwise very energetic and angular music, often overpowered by irritating vocals.

This work opened the doors for Michalski to join Satellite, as he later appeared in the 2009 ''Into the night'' album.As for Peter Pan, the project was actually a one-shot documentary in a harder version of Polish Prog with elaborate parts snipping in the more fiery themes.Cool stuff, recommended.

Report this review (#1348627)
Posted Monday, January 19, 2015 | Review Permalink

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