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Albion - Broken Hopes CD (album) cover

BROKEN HOPES

Albion

Neo-Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I remember vividly that I received a demo-tape from this band when I was working for a Dutch progrock magazine in the early Nineties. The recording quality was a bit sloppy but I liked the pleasant atmosphere with strong hints from early Marillion. More than 15 years later I received this new album, this is my second musical encounter with Albion while they have made five albums in the meantime.

After a short first track that contains Hitler his horrible voice, I notice again strong early Marillion echoes in the long and compelling second composition entitled The Place (almost 12 minutes): the guitar player sounds as the Polish twin-brother of Steve Rothery and the synthesizer flights strongly evoke Mark Kelly. Halfway we can enjoy a raw guitar solo with lush organ and in the final part a slow saxophone solo, this is obviously not early Marillion inspired! In the other seven songs the climates range from dreamy to often compelling with wonderful female vocals, lots of howling guitar solos and now and then a flashy synthesizer solo (like in Angel) or bombastic eruptions like in Once Upon A Time and the strong This Is The Way Where We Go (beautiful final part with exciting guitar - and keyboard work). The final track evokes Mostly Autumn: first twanging acoustic guitar with high pitched vocals, then a moving atmosphere with fluent synthesizer runs and in the end a sensitive guitar solo, simply wonderful!

For me this new musical meeting after many years was a very pleasant one. I like the modern and elaborate album with strong female vocals, outstanding guitarwork and tasteful keyboards. Incredible how many good progrock bands Poland delivers at this moment, from Riverside, Osada Vida and Satellite to Quidam, Exodus and . Albion! My rating: 3,5 stars.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#150412)
Posted Monday, November 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4,5 stars, really. Albion seems to have some problem keeping a stable line up through their short career so far. Only original members remaining are guitarrist Jerzy Antczak and keyboards player Krzysztof Malec. Fortunatly they still have singer Katarzyna Sobkowicz-Malec on vocals (who joined them for their second official CD). Former drummer Rafal Paszcz is listed as a guest musician. Unlike their line up thought, the quality of Albion´s music only grew since it inception. If Albion (1995) was good and Wabiac Ciene (2005) was very good, Broken Hopes reaches the excellency leavel.

The group has matured both as players and as songwriters. Their music sounds like an interesting mix of early Quidam and latter day Satellite, with some strong Pink Floyd overtones. But make no mistake, they have their own sound and Katarzyna Sobkowicz-Malec is a gifted and unique singer, in a country that seems to have some of the finest prog female vocalists in the world nowadays. Oddly enough, guest bassist Krzysztof Wyrwa is one fo the best features in this CD, with fine bass runs throught the whole CD.

The arrangements are varied and tasteful, with lush keyboards passages and some great guitar licks and solos. Those guys do understand about writing songs and make their music emotional and creative. The CD is a little short for my liking, but the band did not waste a single note, something really hard to hear lately. The second track is the 11 minute epic The Place, one of the most beautiful prog songs I ever heard. I get chills down my spine every time I hear it. This tune alone is worth the price of the CD.

I´m glad to say Albion more than fulfilled their promising start. Broken Hopes was one of the best new releases in 2007. Fans of early Marillion, Pendragon, Quidam, Satellite, etc. should not miss this terrific work. Highly recommended for any music lover.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#167955)
Posted Friday, April 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I got my first taste of this band recently with the self titled album from 1995 followed shortly after by Broken Hopes...These discs have been in high rotation since then. I now want more and have been searching high and low for their CDs of course not to be found in the traditional retail environment.

Enough ramblings about my quest let's focus on the music. Lush arrangements great guitar work gorgeous vocals inventive composing and never boring kind of sums it up in my mind. One of the really interesting Neo-prog bands in my humble opinion. I would welcome that kind of album any day and wish more surprises like Albion will turn up for me :) Marillion influences can be heard throughout like in a lot of Neo Progressive bands but Albion manage to maintain their own identity to keep our interest going.

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Send comments to pollux (BETA) | Report this review (#170888)
Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars Sad thing, this could be better and it also should. But it is not, due to several things. First, its symphonisity isn't as good as it's supposed to be, its neo element lacks wilder synths and other signature parts and only thing that's left is atmospheric music, which also fails, because this record is trying to do more than it can bear. Wants to be many things at once, but is unsuccessful in deriving them to listeners. And easily, this could all be much more interesting. Because what is supposed to be atmosphere here are boring passages for me, full of nothing. And nothing like in krautrock for example (this music is intending to be different, lacks composition structure of these), these parts here are just empty. And that's not good. Guitar spots, solos, riffs are average, but not much more. Vocals are nice, they can really please (if they're on, which isn't truth at half a time).

3(-), you know why. I've heard much better from Poland.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#250832)
Posted Sunday, November 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Beautiful and captivating female voice leading this group, with good long instrumental passages, especially in the two larger tracks. In addition, some identification with Polish music.

This is a neo-prog rather complacent. The arrangements are acceptable and guitars intelligent and well executed. When the sax enters contributes to make the music more colorful. The keyboards usually do not take a leading role, but also of support.

Nothing spectacular, which does not mean it is bad or not wanting to give back to listen. The shorter songs, especially Once Upon a Time and I Am, are interesting and well done. It is attractive and appropriate for progressive hearing.

3 star well deserved.

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Send comments to sinslice (BETA) | Report this review (#993465)
Posted Monday, July 08, 2013 | Review Permalink

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