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Quidam Quidam album cover
4.06 | 155 ratings | 14 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sanktuarium / Sanctuary (8:57)
2. Choćbym / Even Though... (7:05)
3. Bajkowy / Like A Fairytale (3:42)
4. Głęboka Rzeka / Deep River (8:03)
5. Nocne Widziadła / Night Visions (7:21)
6. Niespełnienie / Unfulfilled (9:44)
7. Warkocze / Plaits (4:07)
8. Bijące Serca / Beating Hearts (1:53)
9. Płonę / I'm On Fire (14:09)

Total Time: 67:01

Line-up / Musicians

- Emila Derkowska / lead & backing vocals, cello, recorder
- Maciek Meller / guitars
- Zbyszek Florek / keyboards, co-producer
- Ewa Smarzynska / flute, recorder
- Radek Scholl / bass guitar
- Rafał Jermakow / drums, percussion, tambourine

- Monika Margielewska / oboe (1,7)
- Mirosław Gil / guitar solo (2)
- Kamila Kamińska / backing vocals (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Katarzyna Potkańska

CD Ars Mundi ‎- AMS 005R (1996, Poland)
2xCD Rock-Serwis ‎- RSCD 101 (2007, Poland)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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QUIDAM Quidam ratings distribution

(155 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

QUIDAM Quidam reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Quidam entered into the music business with their namesake album... and boy, what an entry it was! This talented Polsih sextet cultivated from day one a polished symphonic prog heavily inspired by contemporary Camel and early Marillion, creating a classy neo-prog sound, with a perfect balance of catchy tunes and clever arrangements: not only they are skillful musicians who can interact fluidly, but also they are capable of writing excelent melody lines... and let's not forget to mention Emila Derkowska's amazing singing and astonishing style. Tracks 1 and 2 are really vibrating, drifting towards the melancholy side of symph prog and retaining a genuine sense of energy. Things get more colourful and optimistic in 'Gleboka Rzeka' and the exquisite 'Plone' (one of my favorite Quidam tracks ever), and even a bit more explosive (not too much) in 'Nocne Widziadla', but always keeping a proper touch of melancholy, for which Derkoska's voice proves to be a most perfect vehicle of expression. In the instrumental department, most solos are played by the guitar and the flute, but the major responsibilities lay in the hands of keyboardist Florek, since he's in charge of supporting the main harmonies, chords, orchestral textures and layers. There are also some pop-like excursions (the shorter tracks), which serve as nice "interludes" between the more ambicious compositions. This album still impresses me every time I listen to it as much as the first time, a bunch of years ago - a must for those whcollectors interested in the best of contemporary symph.

Review by The Prognaut
5 stars Their Prime Opera named after the band, deserves more than the simple recognition of "Good Album" because the achieved in here by this group of musicians reaches certain levels of excellence that let the imagination fly away, and in that order, we can picture where this Polish band could be in the future. The band reflects a suitable balance between the bold and the youth, wishful to experiment new musical structures and the growth of consummated musicians who manifest a complete domain of their instrument and group cohesion.

"Sanktuarium", the first track of the album is in my opinion their best piece of work, is a sublime Overture, each instrument (flute, violin, guitar and drums) seems to feel the necessity of individually manifest, elevating at some moments, just to later on be followed by the rest of them and the stupendous voice of Emila accomplishing a sublime collective intensity. The intro is truly captivating, fulminating, to the point where you're completely trapped within the first ten seconds of the song.

"Nocne Widziadla" is an authentic piece of work as well. Despite the disconcerting beginning, where over more than a minute the song seems to be destined to end up as a musical background to an unfortunate TV show; do not desperate and panic, because forward on the song the talent and the emotiveness of the band reach their climax in a portentous solo by Emila where her potency and a heartrending feeling at the very pure style of "The Great Gig in the Sky" make your most sensitive fibers vibrate and your skin crawl endwise.

The language (Polish) plays an interesting roll, because different from some other languages, that I rather omit to avoid undesired controversies; it perfectly fits at all. Facing the possibility of understanding a single word, there's no other way out but to interpret lyrics and music, imagining what the composer wants to transmit you, letting you to take his place just for a few seconds. This way, the vocal interpretation turns irremediably into another instrument.

To sum it up, the QUIDAM debut album is very recommendable, I'd say indispensable to every single lover of the highly enjoyable music.

Review by lor68
3 stars Sorry but I don't like this kind of emulation of the early stuff by Camel (with a few hints of folk progressive from the UK), in spite of appreciating a delicate and pleasant approach by the female singer: as a matter of fact the guitar lines are quite new-prog oriented and the keyboards as well, but I don't recognize a true effort in the direction of a personal way to compose: I think that this latter feature is lacking a bit and for me that's the main problem regarding the whole project.moreover I saw them live on stage during their gig at Vigevano Prog Festival (in the course of 1998), in the same edition in which After Crying performed an unforgettable concert, and probably it's unthinkable to compare A.C. to the ensemble from Poland, but this is the cause of my doubts about Quidam. After all even their first works from the Studio confirmed my opinion, except on the situation you liked the style of Solstice, for example within "Silent Dance".however I think it's for the fans of this particular light symphonic prog-genre only, inside a different contest of a new prog style: so at the end erase an half star!!
Review by evenless
4 stars Great debut album of Polish Symphonic Rock band Quidam. The biggest part of the Quidam line-up started out in 1990 under the name "DEEP RIVER" playing mainly cover versions of famous rock and blues songs. For their debut album they changed their name into QUIDAM and had great female vocalist Emila Derkowska join the band. Emilia is also playing cello and flute. Furthermore this album sounds very solid with many classical instruments on the scene. Combined with great guitar work of Maciek Meller this is a lovely album. All vocals are sung in Polish, but this doesn't bother me one bit. I haven't purchased any other albums of the band yet, so this is my only reference to QUIDAM. So far so good! 4 to 5 stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars Quidam┤s debut album is really a milestone in prog music. Very few bands could start their careers with such high quality, original and beautiful collection of songs like this. Since the very first note of Sanktuarium I realized I was listening to a classic. Everything works from start to finish. Quidam┤s music shows some influences of Camel, old Genesis, Pink Floyd and other classic 70┤s great bands, but actually these are just a little detail in the overall picture, since their sound is laced with a lot of polish elements like folk, making it a very distinguished sound. Actually is very hard to compare this band to anyone else that comes before them (after them is another story, since a lot of groups were either influenced by or were simply copies of Quidam).

Lead singer Emila Derkowska is very much the soul of the band, with her wonderful and versatile voice, sounding both powerful and delicate, but always passional. The other musicians are no less acomplished and make a great instrumental tapestry to match the singer┤s voice (the guitar lines are specially well done). The music is varied and always interesting, with elements of symphonic, neo, folk and art rock in the mix. There are no fillers. Some of the songs may take some time to sink in, but that is very common in progressive music in general. Take your time, relax and listen to the wonderful music of Quidam. You┤ll have a great trip. One of the best prog albums of the 90┤s and a must have for any prog lover. Highly recommended!

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars I have to say I have been listening to this recently acquired CD all week, many times over, and have yet to be able to focus on it or on many parts of it. Normally by now it would have grown on me or been relegated to the recycle heap, but neither fate seems to have been reserved for Quidam's debut. I came to it via comparisons to the Collage classic "Moonshine" , and I see the similarity more in some of the guitar parts and a bit of the arranging, and less in the compositions themselves.

I fear this may be blasphemy, but let's start with the singer. It is not inevitable that a wordless vocal by a powerful female singer should sound like a blatant ripoff of "The Great Gig in the Sky", but Emila Derkowska attains this unfortunate circumstance in not one but two songs, and in both cases devalues what could have been a significant work. I also find her voice to be somewhat cold in some places, and with an odd resemblance to Japanese prog singers in bands like Teru's Symphonia, in "Nocne Widziala". I don't think her singing is as well suited to the style as, say, Robert Amirian's was for Collage. But it is compositionally that Quidam falls down the most. Few would claim that this is complex music, yet they insist on very long tracks that often lack the prerequisite glue to hold segments together, hence my continued tendency to drift off as I listen. And while short bursts of emotion and melody can be found especially in the guitars, these tend to be ephemeral and poorly developed. I have issues with the shorter tracks as well, such as "Warkocze", which seems ultralite.

Yet this is not a bad album. In particular, "Sanktuarium", "Niespelnienie" and "Plone" stand out, and "Chocbym..." was going great until the wailing commenced. Quidam has all the tools, but at least on the album they did not utilize them particularly effectively.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars.This is an excellent debut from QUIDAM. They even get help from another Polish band called COLLAGE as Mirek Gil adds his guitar to one track, and the drummer from COLLAGE co-produced it. The vocals are ably performed by Emila who also adds some flute and cello.Talented lady. I must say though that the Polish language isn't the easiest on the ears.

"Sanktuarium" opens with some killer organ before the guitar comes in beautifully. Love that part. A calm arrives as we get gentle vocals from Emila. Check out the guest aboe 2 1/2 minutes in. It comes back later. A fuller sound 3 minutes in as Emila sings passionately. More aboe 4 1/2 minutes in then cello followed by flute. This is so gorgeous. Cello returns and check out the incredible sounding guitar solo 6 1/2 minutes in. So tasteful. Passionate vocals and a full sound to end it. Amazing track.

"Chocbym" is pleasant to begin with and then we get a scorching guitar solo a minute in from Mirek Gil. Vocals and a calm 1 1/2 minutes in. She sounds so good. The guitar soars 2 1/2 minutes in with waves of synths.The guitar is soaring again 4 1/2 minutes in. Check out the vocal melodies after 5 minutes that go on and on. These first two songs are worth the purchase of this album alone.

"Bajkowy" opens with flute that is followed by vocals. Piano 2 minutes in. Not a fan of the first 2 1/2 minutes, but then the bass, drums and guitar come in sounding great.

"Gleboka Rzeka" opens with synths and flute.The tempo picks up 2 minutes in with some pleasant guitar. Some fat bass follows. Vocals before 3 1/2 minutes. Piano 5 minutes in.

"Nocne Widziadia" doesn't do a lot for me until a calm arrives 3 1/2 minutes in with synths and flute. Nice atmosphere here. Vocal melodies before 5 minutes. Guitar ends the song.

"Niespetnienie" opens with lots of atmosphere as waves of sound drift along. Soaring guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. Emotional. The tempo picks up before 4 minutes then vocals arrive.Tasteful guitar 7 1/2 minutes in with some deep bass 9 minutes in. Great track.

"Warkocze" features more guest aboe before fragile vocals and piano arrive. A fuller sound before 2 minutes.The contrast continues. Nice guitar 3 1/2 minutes in with flute to end it.

"Bijace Serca" is a short track with cello, synths and piano leading the way.

"Plone" opens with piano and flute for 1 1/2 minutes. A full sound comes in with guitar. Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in with some nice bass lines. Guitar 5 minutes in is great. Some heaviness 7 minutes in,love the synths. Deep bass lines 9 minutes in with more of this later in this 14 minute closer.

An enjoyable debut that has it's hits and misses for me. The first two tracks and the final one are my favourites.Tough not to give this 4 stars but honestly the vocals and synths on several songs don't do a lot for me. I like half this album a lot the other half is so so.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Excellent neo/folk/symph progressive rock outfit from Poland with talented musicians.They were found in 1991 as a hard/blues band under the name ''Deep River'',but their style would soon change with the addition of flutist Ewa Smarzynska.The band started playing more complex,poetic and intricate music and won awards on several festivals.Their debut ''Quidam'' was recorded between Septemer of 1995 and March of 1996 and finally released the same year on Ars Mundi Label.

The best way to describe this awesome work is a mix of COLLAGE'sgrandiosity,ANGLAGARD's sensitivity and RENAISSANCE's melody.There are tons of lush and vintage sounds contained in here,creating a superb and emotional atmosphere.It starts from some dark passages filled with acoustic guitars,violins and cellos and continues with gentle flutes and melodic piano parts.These marvellous echoes are greatly supported by the excellent and sensational vocals of Emila Derkowska and the melodic,slightly distorted guitars of Maciek Meller,bringing to mind the work of Mirek Gil (who also plays a solo on one track) with COLLAGE and SATELLITE.Add to this already satisfying atmosphere the background keyboards of Zbysek Florek and their intense floating sounds,not far from what Mark Kelly was doing on MARILLION.All in all,this an absolutely ideal debut for a band,who just introduces themselves to the public.Highly recommended!

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars The Polish prog scene really needs to be placed in the forefront. Several great bands are (or were) carrying the prog flag rather high (one of my fave Polish band being "Abraxas").

When you would listen to "Sanktuarium", there is only one feeling: it is a superb symphonic song with wonderful vocals and grandiose music. It is difficult to describe the feeling since I am not really fluent in Polish, but Emila has such a great tone that she is passing on her emotion fluently. A highlight.

This album really has more to deal with symph prog than neo. But let's not argue too much about this, since it is the policy of this site.Still, "Chocbym" is another very interesting song full of fantasy. Beautiful guitar work from Merek Gil (Collage, Satellite) and exceptional vocals again. The last section is to be compared with the superb "The Great Gig In The Sky". No less.

This debut is full of harmony, sensitivity and melody ("Gteboka Rzeka"). The first contact with some neo- prog sounds is experienced with "Nocne Wi˛zia˛ta". Harder keys attack and heavier sound overall. Still, it is combined with a tremendous instrumental middle part full of tact and symphonic flavour again. Just listen to the FANTASTIC vocalized section. Another great moment offered by Emila Derkowska. She is really great my prog friends, and definitely deserves a lot of respect. And more recognition.

This album is truly enjoyable and I can only recommend it. Both to symphonic maniac (like I am) as well as neo-prog lovers. The music displayed here is just sublime at times like during the wonderful instrumental intro of "Niespelnienie" which is another highlight from this very good debut album.

Four stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars What stunning beauty emanates from this disc! Whether neo-prog or whatever, it's just gorgeous melodies coming from all instruments, especially the guitars, flutes, and the female vocalist. (It even has an awesome guest appearance from compatriot and COLLAGE guitarist extraordinaire Mirek Gil on the second song, "Chocbym..." [7:07] [14/15]) The arrangements and pastoral feel of all of these songs remind me a lot of IONA, last year's CICCADA debut, and 1970s GENESIS (probably due to the strong presence of flute). I don't really have a favorite cuz I love them all. This one is a definite keeper; it will probably stay on my play list--on heavy rotation--for quite a while. I wouldn't be surprised if it even climbs into my personal all-time top 100 (or, at least 200), it's that gorgeous, and that interesting. I'm so glad I was finally able to find it! What amazing music there is to be found coming out of Poland and Eastern Europe! Thank you, ProgArchives! A definite masterpiece of absolutely beautiful music. 5 stars.
Review by Warthur
4 stars Quidam's confident debut album, produced with a little help of guest musicians visiting from Collage, is a fine example of the more complex end of melodic neo-prog. Musically speaking, the band's style is reminiscent of the more complex sections of Pendragon's The Window of Life mingled with the more melodic moments from IQ's first two albums, with a pinch of Marillion and a dose of Camel to round things out. Emila Derkowska is an emotive and skilled vocalist who also adds interesting accents to the songs with cello and flute, and indeed the band also include their own dedicated flutist in the form of Ewa Smarzy˝ska, so the range of instruments on show is a bit wider than the typical neo-prog line-up - which perhaps explains why of all the bands playing in this particular style, Quidam stand head and shoulders above many.

Latest members reviews

5 stars When we here in the Netherlands were still under the spell of Collage...suddenly iout of the blue there was this band called Quidam....or out of the blue......My cousins (with who I did a Prog radioshow for years) parants were a member of a folklore group for years. On one year they had an excha ... (read more)

Report this review (#191796) | Posted by Daniel1974nl | Thursday, December 4, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A wonderful piece of music ! This is the debut album of Polish prog band, which is musically closer rather to Camel's style than any prog-metal band. Clear, full of space and feelings, incredibly fantastic ("angelic") voice of female vocalist Emilia Derkowska, very good guitar sound of Maciek ... (read more)

Report this review (#65109) | Posted by zbida | Tuesday, January 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars ****1/2 This debut album by Quidam is by far the group's best album so far. In my opinion it's also the best album ever from Poland (or should I say at least from the ones I have heard). An obvious choice for many would probably be Collage - Moonshine but due to my dislike of neo-progressive I p ... (read more)

Report this review (#36852) | Posted by geezer | Saturday, June 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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