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4 stars Finally polish band Amarok has been added to this site.Their first album is almost entirely instrumental. On some tracks we can hear female vocals in the background. First two tracks are instrumental.The third features some female background voices. "Avalon" opens with the guitar solo similar to the one we can hear on "Coming Back to Live" from Pink Floyd last LP. Then comes the third part of "Fieldmour" (nice quibble!) containing acoustic guitar and violin parts. All tracks are mixed with various guitar parts (acoustic, electric, bass), flute and violin. The whole is very fresh and pleasant. I assure you, that those melodies are not the boring neo-progressive tunes. "Amarok" album is very good predecessor of truly amazing "Neo Way". I give this album 4 stars with great pleasure.
Report this review (#60366)
Posted Thursday, December 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Poland became a quite prolific soil for progressive bands during recent years. Most importantly not only for those in the usual Marillion-Pendragon-Arena line but as well for some with really different sound like Riverside or Indukti for example. So here we have another one of these young talents coming from there. Michal Wojtas is a highly talented multi-instrumentalist and a dedicated fan of Mike Oldfield. That's why he gave this name to his band project. Influences from that famous paragon cannot be totally denied neither in his playing style nor in the kind of music offered here on their debut album. Most of the tracks are pure instrumental and up to a considerable proportion more in an acoustic vein. There are occasionally very pleasant female vocals. Especially instruments like piano, violin and flute are providing a nice symphonic atmosphere. At times when it's getting more into a rock vein like in "Massa" Wojtas' guitar play sounds a bit too much like Mark Knopfler, at least for my taste.

Though being not entirely my top favourite type of music I've to say that AMAROK's debut is really a quite notable one and should appeal to any fan of OLDFIELD or CAMEL. Not as interesting and innovative as Riverside or Indukti, but still better than the usual neo progressive standards. I'd add an extra half star if possible!

Report this review (#78669)
Posted Friday, May 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you like David Gilmour, this is a MUST.

One of my prog wonders (by the way, I have 20 or so) is why AMAROK from Poland is rarely mentioned by prog fans although there are millions of David Gilmour fans in the world and the band is of the same type of music. Well, maybe that's because of the band name which is a bit confusing with Amarok from Spain.

This album is almost seamless like Mike Oldfield's as they refer to, but do not misunderstand that their music is by far more emotional and melodic. Listen to track #2 "Fieldmour II", and you will be amazed how melodic the guitar is. And you will be also surprised at the fact that basically all the instruments are played by one person except drums. He is genious !

Today, you have to set sail to Polish prog world if you want to find real prog music successors.

This album is obviously Classic, so 5 points with confidence.

Report this review (#304885)
Posted Saturday, October 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Well, nice surprise from Polland! Apart from some female wordless chanting on a couple of tracks, this a totally instrumental album, with lots of great guitar. Amarok is the personal project by Michał Wojtas, a very talented musician/songwriter that really knows how to produce great songs instead of the usual technique exercises that plague so many solo albums. I believe that the reader already figures out by his project name that Wojtas is quite influenced by Mike Oldfield. That is true. Fortunatly he is far from being a copycat. In fact, there are so many references to other guitarrists on this debut CD that Oldfieldīs style is, in the end, just one of them. And not the most obvious.

The album is quite varied and although Wojtas is able to tackle several different kinds of music, this becomes an issue overall. The CD lacks a cohesive feel. Each track seems to be played by an individual artist, making it hard to see what is his sound after all. Even if no track here is bad, Amarok falis to show what he came for. Which is a pity because tehre are some real nice things on this record. Fieldmour I is certainly one of them. A powerful and poignant number where the use of both acoustic and electric guitar, violin, hammond organ and a powerful rhythm section is stretched to its maximum power. The result is one of those classic tracks that blends Pink Floyd, Mike Oldfield and Camel to make a classic 9 minute epic that you never get tired of hearing it. I just canīt get enough of that song!

The remaining tracks are not as brilliant, although its continuation Fieldmour II gets close to that. From then on we have several different guitar-led tracks that are mostly very good, but nothing that comes near the magic of its electrifying beginning. With nods to David Gilmour to Mark Knopfler, Wojtas shows great skills and fine songwriting. The production is very good and all the musicians involved do their parts well. Very little ego trips here.

Rating: hard to do it. It is certainly more than just good, but not really essential overall. I think a 3.5 stars rating is adequate. If you like melodic instrumental prog music, this is recommended. Iīm looking forward to hear Amarokīs follow ups.

Report this review (#305778)
Posted Wednesday, October 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm pretty surprised at how little attention has been given here to this very good work. As I always say or write, depending on what you want to hear, it is a very good choice for the genre.

Amarok plays mostly instrumental music in this album. And, as its name suggests, with some subtle hints or not so, the style of the great Mike Oldfield. There are also some shades of Pink Floyd. I do not think that this approach is detrimental to the product, on the contrary.

The acoustic and electric guitar is the main instrument here, with a transparent sound and neatly executed. A good dose of violin and flute add color and depth to the music.

Fildmour part I and part III are extraordinary. Aqu, Meriba, Seya and Massa are other highlights, to name a few more. The album is balanced.

The cover photograph is appropriate, and outlines a good idea of ​​what is presented in the music.

Later, Wojtas was looking for something different other sound. Neo Way is less original and Metanoia too experimental, at least for me.

I came by chance to listen to the first installment of Amarok, and welcome. Iīm pleased.

Report this review (#963960)
Posted Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | Review Permalink

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