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The Adekaem - The Great Lie CD (album) cover

THE GREAT LIE

The Adekaem

Neo-Prog


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3 stars The Polish prog formation The Adekaem was founded in early 2013 by Andrzej Biełas (keyboards) and Krzysztof Wala (guitars ), a few months later joined by Marcin "Budda" Pękała on bass and Dariusz Goiński on drums. Band info. "Hence the name of the band was created from the first letters of the first four members written in Polish: A De Ka eM. From their start The Adekaem was going to create music that was the result of musical inspirations, namely progressive rock, psychedelic music and elements of classical rock and jazz-rock. At the beginning a large part of their work was based on team improvisations directed towards space rock." In 2015 the band released their eponymous first album The Adekaem and in 2017 the successor entitled Sound Coloring. Like so many good Polish prog bands, The Adekaem delivers very tastefully arranged, melodic and accessible progressive rock, with neo-prog hints. The emphasis in their music is on creating pleasant and compelling climates, rather than impressing with awesome skills on instruments or complex rhythms and climates. The vocals are in decent English, with a slight accent but not disturbing. Especially the often David Gilmour (but also Steve Rothery and Andy Latimer) inspired electric guitar soli deserve a special mention. And now, anno 2021, the new album The Great Lie, the cover art is amazing.

Like on the previous album The Adekaem operates here as a duo, featuring Andrzej Bielas (keyboards, synthesizers and vocal on 5 part 1) and Krzysztof Wala (guitars, guitar synthesizer, synthesizers and voice on 5 part 2), with additional guest musicans, including members from other Polish prog bands Moonrise and Millenium. The band presents nine melodic and harmonic compositions (between 5 and 14 minutes), with a remarkable variety of atmospheres, in comparison with the previous album.

Woodland Frolics At 3 AM (13:43) First a slow rhythm, in a bombastic climate, then senstitive electric guitar work joins, followed by a synthesizer solo. Now the moving guitar returns with a wonderful solo, halfway a spacey break, and finally the slow rhythm rhythm and bombastic climate of the start returns. This composition sounds as a pleasant blend of Seventies Symphonic rock and Neo-Prog, with hints from Pink Floyd, Camel and Pendragon.

The Tightrope Walker (10:51) starts with twanging acoustic guitar and tender acoustic guitar runs, dreamy English vocals, and a sultry sounding synthesizer solo. I like ethnic flavour (reminding me of Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun by Pink Floyd). Then music turns into a hypnotizing atmosphere featuring a sensitive, slightly psychedelic sounding electric guitar solo. In the final part mellow vocals and a delicate synthesizer solo with use of the sensational pitchbend button. This track showcases how The Adekaem has matured in writing.

In Fool And Death (7:37) The Adekaem rocks with fiery guitar and a flashy pitchbend driven synthesizer solo, but the English vocals are a bit average. Then a break with propulsive percussion and rock guitar riffs, very dynamic. Halfway the mood shifts to dreamy with soaring keyboards, tender acoustic guitar solo, in a slow rhythm featuring synthesizer soli (spacey and with an accordion sound).

And now the big surprise of this album: in The Fall of Phaeton (5:50), a swinging Latin-American rhythm, blended with rock guitar! The English vocals are OK, no more or less. Halfway a moving guitar solo, I love the variety that The Adekaem delivers on this album.

In the epic Spontaneous Combustion Of Ego (11:13) the atmosphere is dark and hypnotizing (evoking early King Crimson), with fiery agressive guitar runs and ominous synthesizer flights. In the second part a Mellotron choir sound reigns, and finally a short bombastic outburst. Another fine example how The Adekaem tries to present variety and creativity.

The final composition The Great Lie (7:05) delivers in the first part a slow rhythm that contains soaring keyboards, subtle moving volume pedal driven guitar runs and dreamy vocals. Halfway a slight accellaration with synthesizer flights, a tight beat and another beautiful moving guitar solo. The conclusion features a short sumptuous eruption, as the grand finale of the album.

In comparison with its previous effort The Adekaem sounds more varied, and more elaborate, but the focus is still on colouring the music with wonderful work on guitar and keyboards. Well done, this is a promising band, pretty underrated in my opinion.

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#2575192)
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2021 | Review Permalink
Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars What do you think is a great lie? Not this: with good conviction you can say that Poland is a traditional stronghold when it comes to the Neo Prog scene, that said the manyfold bands, musicians as well as the fan base too. And thanks to this album I definitely would like to count THE ADEKAEM band in. Hailing from Katowice they are a duo in a strict sense, consisting of Krzysztof Wala (guitar, synth) and Andrzej Bielas (keys). Nine nice prog songs are offered here, where both are responsible for concept and compositions. But of course rock music would not work without competent rhythm support, this time in person of Tomasz Holewa (drums) and Millenium bassist Krzysztof Wyrwa. Finally versatile male and female guest vocalists are a worthy completion. That said you'll notice Marcin Staszek and Martyna Zygadlo in a duet on Still, Constantly for example.

77 minutes playing time, that's a lot. I mean you probably will expect some slack and weakness regarding that. No, not at all! Drenched with a nice floydy mood Woodland Frolics At 3 AM is opening this comfortable show. The Tightrope Walker then shines with nice repetitive piano lines backing ambitious acoustic and electric guitar solo activity. Minimal limitation, well, the cello like on Sacred Geometry, also manifested on the album cover, won't be listed in the liner notes. Alongside with some symphonic strings this alternatively must have been arranged through the synthesizer. Well thought out compositions, fairly psychedelic tinged again and again. Synths and guitars are ruling, taken for granted. There's nothing imposed, overloaded, I really liked the relaxed nonchalant flow overall.

Report this review (#2576518)
Posted Monday, July 5, 2021 | Review Permalink
4 stars THE ADEKAEM is the Polish duo founded in 2013 of Andrzej and Krzysztof who are inspired by psychedelic progressive rock, releasing their 4th CD here with a few big names like Marcin STASZEK from MOONRISE and Krzysztof WYRWA from MILLENIUM, Jakub BASOŃ taking care of the lyrics. An opus with space flights, heavy breaks, fluid melodies and some Latin-jazzy derivations; area where the synth is king accompanied by guitar solos reminiscent of PINK FLOYD, CAMEL or MARILLION and its characteristic neo prog. Posed art-music leading to territories, grandiloquent climates as we are going to see.

"Woodland Frolics at 3 AM" and a grandiloquent, half-neo, half-psychedelic instrumental opening on CAMEL, COLLAGE; a composition where the symphonic is linked to the electric guitar as on PINK FLOYD with WRIGHT; there is even a little KITARO at a brief moment of slow spatial atmospheres guided by majestic synths, a recent return to what made the strength of neo in particular with the musical delusions of PENDRAGON. "The Tightrope Walker" follows, PENDRAGON always with its acoustic intros, it vibrates, it sparkles, it rises slowly on a sensual synth; Marcin's calm voice leaves the oriental break, Andalusian, hypnotizing and crystalline; the crescendo on the bolero of RAVEL a fleeting time with guitar and synths, then the amplification of the sound by a well-placed pitch bend, I detect PINK FLOYD, not RUDESS with his keyboards that he likes to torture. "Fool and Death" continues by joining an expressive, fiery guitar and a fat synth that makes you forget the vocals; Cuban percussive break and its heavy rock riff just to bring a planing variation where the melancholic keyboard responds to an acoustic guitar solo in the tradition of the best CAMEL; we melt, we regress to the 70's with these characteristic vintage sounds. "The Fall of Phaeton" comes and breaks the frame by surfing on an energetic Latin swing rhythm; the voice denotes too tight, too choppy; luckily, the chorus goes better and what about Krzysztof's enjoyable, symphonic guitar break, ready to make you shed a tear; the Latin South American side is a nice surprise.

Three-part "Luminous We Are" with a vibrant intro reminiscent of DREAM THEATER, it's pure, clear, crystalline and meditative. 3 minutes and the sweet air surprises, the built-in voice limit phrasing works best here as an addition to another instrument; Intimate and Andalusian Floydien break, jazzy, you can feel the reminiscences of the masters, the bass here excels; final more enlightened jazz-rock with an aerial synth bringing freshness imitated by the limpid solo on the guitar, the synths coming in bidding. "Sacred Geometry" hymn intro then addition of a surely synthetic violin, repetitive monolithic tune like a ballad of the mandarins at the time of the Mellotron, an interlude track with a high female voice in the background; That's it the long-awaited tune goes well to China with these recognizable bells, yet another singular title that avoids getting bored and takes it easy. "Spontaneous Combustion of Ego" follows, disturbing bass, the synths set off on the drifts of KING CRIMSON on "Red" in particular. The fat guitar strikes the final blow, musical dread gives way to a desperate, austere, aggressive air; the flute recalls ART ZOYD and his research in contemporary music. The tortured Crimsonian side then explodes with a dreamlike hypnotic crescendo, mischievous but inventive; the Mellotron with celestial choirs gives a creative, varied finale that does not limit the group to a defined drawer, proof of its quality. "Still, Constantly" given its short title smacks of nostalgic ballad with piano at first; Marcin and Martyna in a duo sing to a characteristic neo tune, the guitar supported by keyboards making the link; a simple title that rests. "The Great Lie" percussion in entry, a TOTO tune for a moment then the spleen guitar with its pedal responds to the voice firmly in place; it is almost lamentation, melodic and contemplative; a COLLAGE break with its soft synths begins to melt, Krzysztof's guitar gives a layer on a slow dreamlike declination; sumptuous finale with a symbolism of fireworks.

THE ADEKAEM has surrounded itself with guests to release melodic compositions where the harmonic remains the basis, bringing certain stylized atmospheres. A disc colored by the musical surges pouring over certain dark and austere regions, an album to listen to several times by its diversity, its commitment to synthesize a number of musical modes, a very good album in fact.

Report this review (#2584602)
Posted Monday, August 9, 2021 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Poland has been quite the hot scene for prog bands in the 21st century ranging from the proggy metal sounds of Riverside and Retrospective to the crazy avant-fusion of Light Coorporation and Merkabah. The space rock and neo-prog scenes have also been quite strong with bands like Millenium and Believe cranking out some interesting art rock in the last couple decades and then there's this band called THE ADEKAEM which formed in Tychy in the south of Poland in 2013. Basically THE ADEKAEM is a duo consisting of Andrzej Bielas on keys and synths and Krzysztof Wala on guitars and synths. Both have contributed vocals.

Although technically a duo, this band has employed numerous guest musicians over the years and on ADEKEEM's fourth release THE GREAT LIE, the number has expanded to include drummer Tomasz Holewa, bassist Krzysztof Wyrwa, two vocalists Marcin Staszek and Krzysztof Wyrwa as well as flautist Jakub Bason. While considered to be neo-prog in some camps, THE ADEKAEM is a bit more eclectic than the term implies. True that the basic compositional structures are based in catchy sprawling grooves heavily fortified by synthesizer counterpoints but the band started out with a heavy reliance on jazz-fusion styles. On THE GREAT LIE these guys have jettisoned the jazz influences and settled into more of a space rock sound with darker overtones like classic King Crimson or even the horrific soundtracks of the Italian band Goblin.

This is a rather long album with nine tracks that just miss the 77-minute mark. The highlights of the album are the drifting sounds heard on the instrumental tracks. The opening "Woodland Frolics at 3AM" and "Spontaneous Combustion of Ego" showcase the band's ability to exercise its instrumental interplay with spontaneous and creative textures and tapestries of synthesized atmospheric splendor. Many of the vocal tracks feature space rock tones and timbres familiar to any fan of classic 70s Pink Floyd or Eloy. The album sort of slinks along at mid-tempo processions and floats by like drifting clouds in the sky on a lazy summer afternoon but rock guitar heft is added with power chords adding some distorted sustain and the occasional neo-prog guitar sweeps are ubiquitous as well.

For album of this length, a band needs to keep things from falling into a monotonous procession of ideas and in that regard THE ADEKAEM does an excellent job at keeping things from running on auto-pilot. The alternating vocal and instrumental parts display different strengths of the band as they can easily adapt to either stylistic approach and the adept use of keyboards allows droning atmospheres to provide the perfect background for more adventurous keyboard soloing and guitar exploration. The thumping bass may remind a bit of classic 70s Floyd at moments but luckily the supporting musical backdrop steers your attention away into swirling synth majesty.

This is my first experience with THE ADEKAEM but it won't be my last. THE GREAT LIE reveals a very gifted duo who can lead a group of musicians into a progressive rock world where interesting psychedelic space rock meets neo-prog and more. This is a very relaxing album and although the style presented could've easily nosedived into the world of cheesiness, Bielas and Wala are masters of fine-tuning the subtleties so that everything sounds organic and naturally unfolding. Add to that the brilliant album cover art which perfectly depicts the music experienced inside except for the fact that there are no violin or cello sounds to be heard! LOL. This is indeed the perfect soundtrack for a moonlit starry night on the beach. A lot like some Eloy only with much better vocals.

Report this review (#2608409)
Posted Wednesday, October 27, 2021 | Review Permalink

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