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kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Walfad were back with their fourth studio album towards the end of 2018, and between this and their previous one, singer/guitarist Wojciech Ciuraj had found time to release a solo album which wasinspired by the Polish romantic poetry of Adam Mickiewicz. None of the musicians involved in the solo effort had been in Walfad, and on the subsequent band album only bassist Radosław Żelazny previously been involved (and then only on 'Momentum') so it really is a brand new band with Wojciech driving it on. Unfortunately their web site hasn't been updated in a few years, so I actually have no idea what has been happening within the band, but it is certainly unusual to see such a change in just two years. The band has also reverted back to a quintet, which is what they were like for the debut, bringing back an additional guitarist.

This album does feel very much like a logical progression from the last one, even though most of the band have changed, with twin guitars providing additional depth and bass to the sound. There isn't as much space within the music as one has come to expect, but it still feels fresh and inviting. The use of a Hammond Organ is also a nice touch, as it adds to depth and presence, powering over the top of piano or other keyboard sounds. Even though there is a larger rock element, the different approach to keyboards has meant the band now appear even more melodic and much more crossover than previously. The vocals are sweetly sung (apparently the album has again been released in two versions, one English and one Polish), and the album is beautifully produced and engineered. Walfad have yet to make much of an impact outside their home country, but having now heard all four of their studio albums I am at a loss to understand why that is, as this is again an incredibly accessible and enjoyable piece of work.

Report this review (#2083941)
Posted Friday, December 7, 2018 | Review Permalink
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
3 stars The band's fourth album delivers catchy prog rock songs again, for what it's worth. Obviously Wojciech Ciuraj (guitar, vocals) is taking the lead when it comes to this outfit from Poland. While alternating between quartet and quintet during the recent years, he is representing the main constant by all means. With Pawel Krawiec 'Colloids' now features a second guitarist. Interestingly enough their facebook account still is provided with the extension 'We Are Looking For A Drummer'. Don't know if we should take this seriously. Well, all their productions are showing Kacper Kucharski aboard, though yet it's Jakub Dabrowski who has occupied the drum kit.

Not really unusual, especially when it comes to bands hailing from this country, there are two versions available which differentiate due to the language. What we get is a technically flawless album, art rock flavoured, with some singer/songwriter appeal plus psychedelic touch. Unfortunately and surprisingly, for me the album title track will not start a fire really, hence belongs to the weaker songs. On the other hand at least Sisyphus' Sons showing some mandolin input, Jottings and To Walk On The Water are top-notch compositions, highly enjoyable. Comfortable vocals and great guitar work, including the bass. Keyboards are having a minor role. If you like easy to grasp rock songs I can recommend this one without any restriction. 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#2167166)
Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Polish band WALFAD has been a presence in the Polish progressive rock scene ever since 2011, and various incarnations of the band have released 4 studio albums so far. "Colloids" is their most recent one, and was self-released by the band in 2018.

Those who have an affection for the more accessible and contemporary branches of the progressive rock universe is the audience I suspect Walfad is aiming for with "Colloids". Tight, melodic and usually energetic, this is music easy to listen to and easy to tap your feet too as well. Enjoyable, well made modern progressive rock, but in sum a good rather than great album in my book. That being said, for the presumed target audience I suspect this album will be rather more highly treasured than by this writer.

Report this review (#2184361)
Posted Saturday, April 20, 2019 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Poland has always been and continues to be a fountain of progressive rock, continuously releasing thrilling albums from a plethora of old and new bands , consistently adding quality to their quantity. There is a fondness for both the more romantic side (neo-prog) as well as symphonic oriented material that always showcases suprior musicianship and great sense of stylistics. There are many veteran bands still doing their thing like Albion, Millenium, Riverside, Lebowski, Believe and Lizard, among many others, there are also young upstarts that keep the flame alight, such as Walfad.

''Colloids'' is their latest offering , after 3 previous releases dating back to their debut in 2013. Wojciech Ciuraj leads his young crew on guitar and vocals as well as writing the material that has a grimy knife edge to it both sonically as well as in intent. After a dreamy and cinematic intro, the album kicks off mercilessly, drums pounding relentlessly, the aptly named ''In A Powder Keg'' explodes out of the speakers . The effect is one of solid insanity, musically edgy and unrestrained, with a greasy organ fill that is quite savory. Definitely rock-prog instead of prog-rock, it provides a nice hard slap in the face. Twangy and jangly guitars introduce ''Sysyphus' Sons'', giving the spotlight to Wojciech's high pitched voice to great effect, fueled by a sturdy beat and a quirky rhythmic package that takes over and lumbers forward , unabashedly noisy, with a nice serpentine synthesizer solo.

The 10 minute + title track should be the main attraction here, a slow building composition that starts off in sweet simplicity, twangy guitar licks and a pleading voice that begs for attention. When the intensity ratchets up, its time to let loose, first with a slithering synth foray and then followed by a tortuous guitar solo . The subsequent musical elevation swerves into a passionate section that is utterly tasty. The fact that the tracks are not overtly candy-coated with bombastic production certainly gives the work a sense of genuineness that is frankly appealing. The rawness in fact is the first impression that comes to mind. Take the wah-wah drenched electric guitar solo at the end of this piece, a shrieking slice of beauty, delicious prog tartare!

''Rust'' is a swirling vocal melody wrapped in an airy arrangement, solidly punctuated by tough drum flurries, an interesting contrast between anger and bliss, featuring another spectacular bluesy guitar romp. The fade out sparkles in the rain, with wild synthesizers ablaze and the marshalling beat pushing the flame along.

Things get hot and heavy on 'Jotting', a rambling tirade immersed in unkempt rage and fury, this is perhaps the most intense track on this offering, another fine piece of intensitywhat with a gritty guitar being the star of the show. The voice is a combination of high-pitched delivery and angry lyrics, a bludgeoning slice of sweaty prog. But unexpectedly, the second part evolves into blissful harmony, pushed along by a gorgeous electric axe solo.

The disc finishes off on a one more piece of quality, 'To Walk on Water' with its initial acoustic guitar morphing into another frazzled composition that has quite the indie feel to it, with shimmering guitars and syncopated drum fills , a vocal full of pleading sincerity. The guitar solo once again rages, complex and fiery , thus keeping the prog fans happy.

The band offers two vocal versions, one in Polish and the other in English. Certainly a band with a promising future in view of their apparent youth, proving once again that Poland keeps on delivering quality progressive rock music.

4 aerosol particles

Report this review (#2184588)
Posted Sunday, April 21, 2019 | Review Permalink

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