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Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Very interesting band from Polland. I must admit it took me some time to get into the music. I had to listen several times. But when it hit me, it really stuck. They are quite original and although their sound cannot be labeled anything but neo prog, they have their very own sound and personality. Some influences are clear, like Collage (as almost all neo prog polish bands do), and even King Crimson. Robert Srzednicki voice is very similar to the late Geofff Mann, which fits very nicely to their music, darker than most neo prog bands. Also they remind me sometimes of several kraut rock bands of the 70's, with some sound experiments here and there. But actually it could have been better without them, at least for my taste.

If you like neo prog bands, and want to explore something new in this genre, I recommeded it. It may take sometime to the music to 'sink in', but it's well worth it. It's not really a masterpiece, but it's one fo those records that grows on you everytime you listen and that's what progressive is all about, isn't it? For that reason my rating can not be below 4 stars. A nice surprise.

Report this review (#87998)
Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars actually...

Much of qualitive progressive rock came out in Poland during the 90's,a country with an excellent neo progressive rock movement, and ANNALIST make no exception.The band was formed in early 90's (possibly in 1991) in Warsaw, featuring Robert Srzednicki on guitars/piano/vocals, Krzysztof Wawrzak on bass/vocals, Bartek Goembnik on keyboards and Artur Szolc on drums.Their first album ''Memories'', totally sung in English,was released in 1994 on Digiton Label.

If you have ever listened to COLLAGE and add a more dark sound,then you're really into this album's atmosphere.A mediocre production and the rather weak vocals don't help the band at all,but when it comes to music,we are talking about first class Neo Progressive Rock here.The guitar work of Srzedincki comes out of a seminar,very much in the vein of COLLAGE's Mirek Gil,offering intricate melodies,heart-melt soloing but complicated breaks in the style of ROBERT FRIPP as well.Combine this alternating guitars with the grandiose symphonic keyboards of Goembnik to get a picture of ''Annalist'': Classical-inspired themes and interludes for keyboards and piano, a few harpsichord intros and bombastic organ passages,all in mainly slow tempo, create a haunting and hardly descriebable atmosphere.Notice that the 12-min. ''Lunacy'' feature some trembing guitars over heavy bass lines to present something dark and closer to KING CRIMSON than KING CRIMSON themselves!You will certainly escape from this dark mood by a series of catchy guitar-driven grroves,added for good measure, another excellent move by this talented band.

If it weren't for the questionable vocal work and the somewhat buried production,we would possibly talk about a monster album.Nevertheless, ''Memories'' was a remarkable first step into the progressive world by ANNALIST and comes strongly recommended by my side for both Neo and Symphonic Prog lovers!

Report this review (#261772)
Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Poland has delivered several very good prog bands. Some in the neo-prog vein, which is OK.

Now, to tell you that the Annalist debut were great is another matter?Actually, it is a decent album with some (few) catchy items; but frankly: there is nothing from the other world in here.

The first moment of emotion is the instrumental "Spirit". Superb guitar work with plenty of skills, dynamics and to some extent maestria. It also shows that the band is much more performing while playing instrumental.

The vocal department is quite thin, I must say. But even some instrumental are not quite above average ("All Things Must Pass") even if some great guitar does appear for a short while. Actually, this album is rather disappointing so far. No grandeur, little feeling, little personality. Just a little of everything to be honest.

And here we go for the "Suite". Some twelve minutes of improvised piece (maybe to get closer to the prog style?), loose, incoherent, passionless and?quite boring actually. But the feeling is just the same throughout the album: to have the patience to listen to the full "Forgive and Forget" is quite challenging.

Poor vocals, weak melody, and alien passion: you name it! This is not a very good album in my standards. Two stars: average.

Report this review (#307286)
Posted Friday, October 29, 2010 | Review Permalink

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