Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Disperse - Journey Through The Hidden Gardens CD (album) cover



Progressive Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
5 stars OK, I appear to be the first to review this CD, and it is a proud moment for sure! At this time, I've only listened to the first 5 tracks, but they so impressed me that I feel compelled to begin throwing accolades their way! The opener, Balance Of Creators, is a tour de sets the table beautifully for the rest of this release. Starting out, you immediately notice the maturity and care that went into the songwriting. Spanish acoustic guitar tastefully layered over synths leads the listener into a veritable clinic in progressive songwriting.......incredibly complex arrangements, odd time signatures, softer passages allowing the heavier passages to breath and musicianship that, quite frankly, is on a par with the upper echelon of the genre. PA list this as Neo-Prog but I believe this is firmly steeped in the progressive metal discipline. The rhythm section (bass & drums) lead the twisting and turning arrangements very capably, with the drummer just flat-out smoking! The lead guitarist lays down very tasteful lines throughout each song, and when soloing, let fly with a blistering torrent of technical fretwork that is on a par with the premier axemen in the field. This belongs alongside such talent as Enchant, Lemur Voice, Hourglass and Dream Theater. Lofty praise, but it does! You MUST acquire this CD! It is absolutely one of the best progressive albums I've ever heard (and I listen to a TON of this stuff!). I've only elaborated on the first track, but like I said, 5 tracks in, there is not one dull moment....not one! Trust me here, just snag this CD......this band is incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!! response to the PA warning about using 1 and 5 star ratings sparingly, i do not hesitate to give this 5 IS that good!

Report this review (#283360)
Posted Monday, May 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A good debut for the new band of Polish Disperse, a very enjoyable disc, nothing new under the sun but the work retains a good musical tension from first to last song, simple in its architecture but never really hard banale.Il well played, with good precision and technique, without major innovations but has excellent continuity of musical tension and personality fits with the tradition of the best prog music. Many of the calls, even rock and jazz (Chick Corea), Planet X, Cynic and of course Dream Theater not forget a moment that brings us back to the Flower Kings. Less strong but the influence of their more famous countrymen, Riverside. Compared to Riverside in fact appear to be more technical and less tied to the old school prog music. A record that bodes well to become the future, only the new work will tell the real possibility of these young Poles. I think they will still good album, without a moment eccessevimante pop inevitable sin of youth. Good listening, the album is enjoyable and worth
Report this review (#283796)
Posted Friday, May 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow ! What an amazing album !

This albums transcends both neo-prog and prog metal. It has some elements of neo-prog (keyboards) and some elements of prog metal (guitar riffs and drums). But each song is so tightly built, so intricate and with a great sense of purpose, that it avoids the mistakes many new neo-prog or prog metal acts fall into today : pure technicality and obeying prog dogmas (lavish keyboards, 2-min shredding etc.). In this album, each there is a nice contrast between very energetic guitar riffs and drums (which reminded me, in a way, of Gavin Harrison from PT) and melodic keyboards which sometimes produce very mysterious sounds. By the way this is probably the best prog metal guitarist I've heard in a couple of years. Each one of his solos has a wonderful strenght and melody to it, and he knows how to modify his speed. Sometimes it's very fast, sometimes he'll play slow, melodic notes.

Overall, this album is a mix of the Kalisia's Cybion album (a great one BTW) and Seventh Wonder's Mercy Falls album, but at the same time showing a lot of personal identity and originality. It is very far from other Polish prog acts, so don't expect any Satellite/Riverside/Quidam wannabe. Disperse have stamped their mark on the prog world and produce one of the best prog metal albums of recent years.

Report this review (#285832)
Posted Thursday, June 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Poland, oh Poland. The best post-Soviet Prog country. So many bands are here. And the more bands there will be, the easier will be the way for new artists. This tradition is especially strong in Neo-Prog genre, because about 1/5 of bands featured here on PA from Poland are filled under this classification.

Disperse plays music on the verge of Prog Metal and Neo-Prog and while Prog Metal sounds like quite standard, but Neo Prog evolves a lot and because of this, "Journey Through the Hidden Gardens" sounds very original. In this, Disperse scores. Of course, these two genres sometimes overlaps and so there are wild keyboards solos, heavier sound, but more subtle singing, which suggests that it's not typical Prog Metal.

Generally interesting, because even it is easy to make something melodic, or dissonant, it is very hard to be innovative and incorporate new elements to your music. I slowly start to understand why other reviewers used so high ratings.

Atmospheric, but without stronger melodic pieces. This band simply don't use traditional sounds at all in a way we are used. There isn't also strong track here, all of them are quite equal.

4(+). I don't feel it's a masterpiece, for this I lack more heart in this. Perfect, but little bit artificial. But that's just my opinion.

Report this review (#286040)
Posted Friday, June 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars So, is this album an "Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music"?

I mean certainly not! Good recorded, beautifully packed consumer product, nothing more.

Four young Polishmen created their debut album with high-hearted ambitions, but they don´t succeed to bring something new, innovative, surprising to their music, unfortunately. The band stay behind on well-tried musical procedures without impressing its own face here.

What the music contains? Quite good collection of ordinary kind of Neo-Prog with all its ordinary cliches. It means: nice, melodic, little mysterious vocals, metal scented guitar (playing all along the same riffs and solos around), ubiquitous keyboards (usually plays in semibreves), solid drums with frequent using of double bass drum. Only bass guitar is inexpressive, staying in background (what´s a pity!). Not enough strong, easy forgettable tunes.

Well. There are a few songs with complicated rhythm structure here (e.g. "Above Clouds", "Spirit of Age"). This is just little lucid moments of the promising, but staying-in- middle-of-the-road debut.

I hope Disperse´s second album will be truly better.

Report this review (#286168)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yea!!! Now we are in front of a real MASTERPIECE! This is great music, very great atmosphere. What I was recently looking for was something new..Damn I got it now. These guys are now how to play, the guitarist is awsome. After seeing the first reviews I was wondering if the Poland land of great musicians could offer to us again another Masterpiece and baby it turned out to satisfy me. These guys used to be Riverside's concert opening band and now I think taht with this album we will see them as the primary band in the future. The singer is very good but who will get your attention is Jakub Zytecki, the guitarist, very very good. Well folks what we got here is "Progressive To Comunicate". 5 stars no doubt about it.
Report this review (#286199)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Here we have a surprising debut from a young Polish band. Debut albums are rarely this good, this is an album marked by an outstanding level of confidence and maturity that many older bands would crave for. The sound of Disperse can basically be described as unique mix of neo prog and prog metal. The music on this album is beautifully melodic and quite atmospheric giving it an epic and emotionally satisfying feel. The most impressive part of the album is the amazing guitar work of Jakub Żytecki, both technical and played with such emotion. Truly breathtaking. One of the year's best albums so far.
Report this review (#286265)
Posted Sunday, June 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars I can,t be in the station of other reviews.

This is not neo prog.This is progressive metal.

A mix between Symphony X and Andromeda.

Guitar riffs are prog prog metal and synths in that way too.

Synths are very secondary.

Is this music a really addition to prog music.?

To neo prog sure not.

To prog metal ..I think the same not an addition.

Nothing new in this boring debut album.

Listen to some good albums of Symphony X or Andromeda and i think you will be much more delighted.

So another group in this modern line of prog metal-post metal with nothing to add.

Songs are not bad and musicians are not bad...but ¿is this a real addition.? I don,t think so.

2 stars for me

Report this review (#286755)
Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Disperse is a young band from Poland releasing this year their acclaimed debute named Journey Through the Hidden Gardens. I can say from the beggining that I find this album a very pleasent one, with catchy tunes, complex parts but far from being a masterpice of today's prog music. The music is defintly towards neo prog, specially on vocal department but aswell has some hints of progressive metal here and there. This is not a progresive metal in tratidional way, even in places some Riverside or even Osada Vida can be traced. The linear section in parts remind me a lot of neo prog bands from Poland, like Collage for instance. The melodic parts are very well melted with the rougher ones, creating a great album, with diffrent moods and fantastic songwritting. Guitar playing from Jakub Zytecki and great moments offered by keybordist Rafal Biernacki who is also the vocalist worth having this album. While is not really in the Iq or Pendragon category but aswell not in DT style , Disperse really known to create something pleasent and full of intristing chops. Best pieces , Reflection of a Dying World, the intro here is a killer with intristing guitar meets keys of the highest calibre and Above Clouds, the rest are ok, well developed in musical termes, lenghty with complex and catchy musicianship. I will give 3.5 rounded to 4, while is a good album is not quite a masterpiece as many listners pretend to be but not a 2 star album aswell.
Report this review (#287557)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars When I read some of reviews for this recording I can't understand one thing. One says: this is not a NeoProg but ProgMetal the other says that it's oposit. You know what? When I hear this fabulous album I don't care what kind of progerssive subgenre is it. I just close my eyes and enter these imagined places in which I've never been before. In my opinion guys from Disperse have made a kind of bridge betwean these two genres and it came out great! Trully this album is really dreamy one from first to last track because of massive usage of keyboards. Each track is very melodic with changes of rythm and many passeges from slow moody parts to more agressive metal-like moments. There are also elements of fusion (influence of Planet X) which I really like and many of instrumental work. Composition which I like the most? It would be the longest on the album "Above Clouds" - there's a fantastic long over 4 minutes intro and generally its mostly instrumental. I'd also like to track your attension to "On the Windows Of A Dove" which is for a change the shortest track but I find it really interesting from the side of the rythmick and I think there is very good vocal part. "Spirit Of Ages" has probably the darkest and heaviest solo with tremendous climax and double bass drums. There really is no track which I don't like but for me "Entering Newlands" is slightly the weakest point of the album - at some moments it reminds me of A.C.T. (keys, refrain lyrics and generally positive emotions). In the end I would like to give an opinion on the guitarist Jakub Żytecki whos talent is undeniable. He made a very good impression on me from the first time I sow him play at the koncert (Disperse played there as a support for Riverside) and not only his technique of play but also the way of feeling the music made the impression. Amasing quitarist.

I give the album 4,5 stars rounded to 5*!!!

Report this review (#287667)
Posted Monday, June 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I thought the music was excellent, especially Entering new Lands and Spririt of Age.

Unfortunately, whoever mastered the CD was of the belief that louder is always better, and the end result is such poor quality that it's actually uncomfortable to listen to. I checked in an audio editor, and indeed the songs all appear as a nearly solid block of sound, the mix between quiet and loud has been all but destroyed with rife clipping and distortion.

Such a shame, why do people have to ruin music this way? I expect it from mainstream music, but not from real musicians.

Report this review (#287729)
Posted Monday, June 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Disperse is a young Polish progressive rock band that made a convincing entry on the scene with Journey Through the Hidden Gardens. They play a kind of neo-prog that sits close to Riverside, especially so on a first listen. The lush spacey sound and the warm melodic vocals stand out as most prominent features. Repeated listens reveal a more technical and heavier edge to their music, with some jazzy lead guitars and shredding solos that might also please progressive metal fans.

At their best, they bring very atmospheric heavy prog soliciting for the love of Marillion, Pink Floyd, Anathema and possibly also Porcupine Tree fans. Also the British modern neo-prog of Frost* comes to mind. Great examples are the two opening tracks, which feature epic song writing and pleasant vocal melodies.

Entering Newlands is the first of 4 songs that show the band's roots in neo-prog, resulting in a fairly old-school and commercial sound. With Let Me Get My Colours Back and the touching ballad Far Away the quality gradually improves again till it reaches the level of the opening songs on Above Clouds and Spirit of Age.

Journey Through the Hidden Gardens is not always highly original material but it's a very competent and well-crafted album of a talented young band. Disperse seem to feel especially at ease on the lengthier epic material, which is very promising! A pleasant listen. 3.5 stars

PS: the band streams their album at

Report this review (#288054)
Posted Thursday, June 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars The way this comes advertised as being heavy with lots of atmosphere ala RIVERSIDE certainly caught my attention.The problem for me is that RIVERSIDE never once came to mind in the many listens i've given this recording. I really have had a hard time getting into this which does surprise me because there is lots of heaviness and atmosphere. It's just not capturing my imagination at all. The heavier sections do little for me just as the lighter ones don't. The middle ground stuff works for me though. Go figure. DISPERSE are four young guys from Poland who in the liner notes say hi to RIVERSIDE among others. I like where they list the musicians who've insprired them like Allan Holdsworth, Sean Malone, Paul Masvidal & Sean Reinert, Steve Lukather, John Pertucci and others.

"Balance Of Creators" opens with atmosphere as the music and vocals kick in at 1 1/2 minutes.The tempo then picks up with some aggressive guitar before it settles back. "Reflection Of A Dying World" builds then it kicks in. It settles with spoken vocals 1 1/2 minutes in.The tempo continues to shift. Some instrumental bombast then the vocals return. "Entering Newlands" opens with drums and atmosphere before kicking in. Vocals after a minute. Atmosphere after 3 1/2 minutes as it settles followed by a tasteful guitar solo. Vocals before 5 minutes as the tempo picks up.

"On The Windows Of A Dove" features keyboards as almost spoken vocals and guitar take over. I like when the vocals get more passionate. Some nice guitar before 2 1/2 minutes. "Let Me Get My Colours Back" opens with atmosphere as it builds. Reserved vocals before 1 1/2 minutes as it settles.Vocals and sound do get fuller. It settles back with some good guitar. "Far Away" again contrasts the the lighter and fuller sounds. As do the next two tracks.The closer "Circles Complete" is a mellow track throughout really with reserved vocals.

A definite disappointment for me. Barely 3 stars.

Report this review (#342249)
Posted Friday, December 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Young virtuosos from Slav forests

Disperse, young yet professional band from Poland, country of beautiful forests and unfinished motorways. Despite that, their musical technique is very impressive. Is it neo-prog or prog metal? People are divided on the issue. My personal opinion is as follows: it's a neo prog metal music - full of keyboards, small bells and other... things, but with participation of distortion guitar and metal riffs as well.

Now, since I established the facts, I'll try to pick some interesting features out of this release. First of all it is quite well produced, some tones are not balanced but overall impression is good. There are also some very interesting ideas and haunting melodies (unfortunately many annoying and trite too... well, it's normal for neo prog). The band tries to experiment with rhythm and complex composition which is admirable. However, lack of musical intuition often condemns this experiments to be overdone. Despite their young age, the musicians manage to create very consistent album with well-defined concept, but as a whole, JOURNEY THROUGH THE HIDDEN GARDENS is rather exhausting experience. Excessive abundance of sounds, synths and... in fact everything, is overwhelming. I prefer listening to it in fragments. You see? I don't even know when I've begun with criticism.

But seriously, this band has great potential and their debut is actually a decent record. The singer is quite talented guy with nice, strong voice and the guitarist is a guitar hero under the influence of such virtuosos as Steve Vai and John Petrucci. Therefore, if you are a fan of awe-inspiring guitar and rhythmical twists and turns and you enjoy rich neo-proggy musical landscapes, this album is for you.

Report this review (#368856)
Posted Friday, December 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars POLAND again!!! again a very auspicious band from Poland that succeeded in grapping my attention.. melodic, progy and emotional which generate a perfect scene to prog rock/metal fans without debating the genre:)

to begin, literally the guitarist has the most important role in this band, his imagination and playing style is so impressive that I'm repeating his solos all over again without even getting bored of each note, its like combining Vai and Petrucci together. in addition to the smart solid and creative structure of the songs which makes the whole picture intimately perfect..

although of very good and catchy vocal melodies, the vocalist is suffering weak English pronunciation like many other polish bands, still, his emotional and good performance overcome this weakness, creating with the other musicians en-bloc a master piece in prog scene,

I'm not exaggerating by the above depiction, its has been now more than 6 months since I start listening to their debut album and still find something new in the songs with Goose- bumps from time to time..

Far away, balance of creator and let me get my colours back are my favorites songs orderly.. in a nutshell, "Journey Through the Hidden Gardens" is DISPERSE debut album and I think in the next few years they will carpe diem and climb the ladder rapidly?

Report this review (#430169)
Posted Sunday, April 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Disperse's debut album presents a mildly spacey brand of prog metal reminiscent of the work on Porcupine Tree's recent album, with influences from the heavier side of the neo-prog scene for flavour. It presents good performances and is well-produced, but at the same time it feels a little cheesy and artificial to me; Rafal Biernacki's vocals aren't really to my taste, and the band don't really offer very much in the way of really compelling musical motifs beyond those they borrow from their influences. It's a good, enjoyable debut album, but it could be a lot better, though on balance I think Disperse have as good a chance to grow musically as anyone.
Report this review (#744727)
Posted Thursday, April 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars When I first saw the album cover I was fairly convinced that what I would be hearing would be a doom album, so to say I was somewhat surprised when I put this on and realized that here was yet another top quality Polish prog act is something of an understatement. Apparently the band made their breakthough when they supported Riverside on a national tour and it was from there that they were invited to record this their debut album which was released in 2010 but has only just come to my attention. Poland seems to have way more than their fair share of great prog acts, and on the basis of their debut Disperse should soon be gaining the same sort of attention that is normally reserved for Riverside, Quidam, Millenium and the like.

For the most part this is prog metal, but with large amounts of neo-prog thrown in for good measure. It is hard to pick out a highlight from the album as it is so good throughout, and while the guys are all strong musicians it is the guitar of Jakub Żytecki that really takes this to the next level. They say that they are heavily influenced by bands as diverse as Cynic, Toto, Portal, Aeon Spoke, Planet X, Devin Townsend and Allan Holdsworth, and they certainly manage to capture the fluidity of Holdsworth's guitar solos. There is loads of atmosphere on this album, and the result is something that is polished and packed full of emotion. Given that this is now two years old we can only hope that there is a new album due sometime soon.

Report this review (#874273)
Posted Monday, December 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Polish Prog Rock/Metal act Disperse was found in 2007 in Przeworsk under the forces of bassist Marcin Kicyk, guitarist Jakub Zytecki and singer/keyboardist Rafal Biernacki, soon to be joined by drummer Szymon Balicki.Balicki's experience with the band was short, dating only a few months, and he was replaced by Konrad Biczak, with whom Disperse recorded a promo in 2008.The band slowly starts performing in concerts, however Biczak would also quit in summer 08', replaced by Przemyslaw Nycz.Disperse start becoming a live beast and Piotr Kozieradzki, drummer of Riverside as well as manager of the new label ProgTeam Management takes notice of the band.In July/August 2009 Disperse record their debut in Progersja Studios in Warsaw and release ''Journey Through the Hidden Gardens'' the following year on Kozierdaski's label.

Disperse propose an affair between atmospheric and virtuosic Progressive Metal in the vein of RIVERSIDE and DREAM THEATER along with touches of more melodic Polish Progressive/Art Rock akin to bands such as SATELLITE, LOONYPARK or ANANKE.Most of the time the sound swirls around impressive and rich keyboard parts and very angular riffs with the group delivering technical and sharp musicianship with endless big-time breaks, leading this virtuosic style either to deep atmospheric textures or accesible and memorable choruses.There is a great and mature balance between instrumental grandiosity and vocal performances with even some narration parts and the overall offering is as professional as it gets, as the tracks have an appropriate length for such flexible changes.Disperse never forget to add a few good melodies here and there and their style can be heard by the majority of prog fans, incorporating elements from Space Rock, Neo Prog, Symphonic Rock/Metal and Progressive Metal.My only complaint is the rather unpersonal style, which springs to mind a different legend of the Prog Metal/Rock scene each time, but the well-played material is very rewarding.

A young Polish group with a strong amount of talent.Challenging, intricate and balanced arrangements with great performances, that only need a bit of refreshment towards a more original style.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#925574)
Posted Thursday, March 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I want to keep this short: in my ears this is simply a masterpiece! The likes of which you only come across once in a while, without expectations - fully blown away!

Prepare for your journey through the hidden gardens of sheer beauty, intriguing brilliance and exciting and colourful encounters of emotional depth while exploring the vastness of this enchanting wonderworld...

Each and every song is so well thought out, full of phantastic ideas, that inspire your imagination and litteraly take you on a journey. Overall this little gem is so pure and fresh and one of the best debuts I ever had the pleasure to discover.

Consistency, versatility of the songs and the throughout masterful compositions make this an unforgettable experience, very unique in it's own way!

4.8 / 5 Stars!

Report this review (#1184719)
Posted Wednesday, June 4, 2014 | Review Permalink

DISPERSE Journey Through The Hidden Gardens ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of DISPERSE Journey Through The Hidden Gardens

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.