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Józef Skrzek - Wojna Światów - następne stulecie CD (album) cover


Józef Skrzek

Eclectic Prog

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2 stars Deeply disappointing!

Skrzek's works with his band SBB had a massive influence on the Prog scene in Eastern Europe and beyond. A prolific composer and performer, some of his rather indulgent pieces didn't really fit the band's repertoire for a largely improvising trio. This led to numerous side projects by Skrzek where he had complete artistic freedom to his ultimate liking. Some of those albums are more memorable than others.

I can only guess that at this stage his artistic talents may have been at crossroads, suffering from creative crisis as the album lacks any sense of clear direction and cohesion. The result is a confusing mix of mismatching material, some of which are outright horrible.

The album begins with the sound of marching drums that just keep going on for far too long. By the time a groovy riff emerges, this short tune is already over without getting anywhere in the first place. This groove is reminiscent of the start of SBB's "Nowy Horizont" and is repeated again as a separate tune. I fail to see the point in doing a weaker rendition of this SBB tune - especially twice. I wouldn't call them "bad", more like harmless and unnecessary and there is much worse yet to come.

A nod, or two towards Jazz-Fusion are also featured where Skrzek provides a soft background on keyboards to support some meandering soprano sax. These compositions I would regard as boring, filler material on any Jazz album and fail to lift the works to any extent.

To add to the confusion, some fast paced and very forgettable Rock pieces with horrible vocals are also thrown into this mix, representing another extreme approach from a different angle. I can't really make out if the words are in English or in a different language, but it's largely irrelevant as I am not at all tempted to hear them again.

Finally at track 7 (that's also the title track of the album) we get to some substance expected of Skrzek, alas it's barely 2 mins long.

"Wonderful Sky-ride" stands out as a really pleasing Prog tune - of which I would have loved to hear more. The only piece considered as excellent. Sadly, one, or maybe two tracks with a combined duration of just over 8 mins are not sufficient to lift this album of 11 pieces. Quite a let-down as a whole.

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Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2013 | Review Permalink

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