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SKELLIG

Mr. Gil

Neo-Prog


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Mr. Gil Skellig album cover
3.37 | 30 ratings | 5 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Skellig (8:46)
2. Mnie tu już nie ma (5:10)
3. Otwieram drzwi (5:57)
4. Rzeka (3:20)
5. Odmieniec (9:20)
6. Druga północ (5:36)
7. Czas i ja (5:14)

Total Time 45:30

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Karol Wroblewski / vocals
- Mirek Gil / guitars
- Przemas Zawadzki / bass
- Wojtek Szadkowski / drums

Releases information

Oskar Productions

Thanks to olias25 for the addition
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MR. GIL Skellig ratings distribution


3.37
(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (37%)
37%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)
7%

MR. GIL Skellig reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars When I saw this new new CD by former Collage and Satellite guitarrist legend Mirek Gil I was not sure if I should get it. After all his solo output was not really what we should expect from someone responsible for defining the sounds of two of the best polish bands ever. Mr Gil´s debut was nice but a little too bland. His other band Believe had its moments, but recently released the disapponting This Bread Is Mine, so I was not expecting much. However, when I noticed that all the titles in Skellig were in polish I immediatly sensed a kind of ´back to roots´ feeling on it. And, fortunatly, I was right. This new CD brings Mirek Gil doing what he does best, great prog guitar stuff.

So what does it sound like? Think of early Collage with a much better production and without the keyboards. Instead Gil makes a complete CD using only guitars as solo and harmonic instruments (usually the acoustic guitar as the basic guide and the electric guitar for soloing and harmonies). For the rhythm section he is accompanied by his old colleagues of original Collage and Satellite times: leader, songwriter and founder member Wojtek Szadkowski on drums and Przemas Zawadzki on bass. For the vocals he called Believe´s newest recruit Karol Wroblewski. You may feel (like me) that some keyboards lines could add a little color here and there. But, really, this a guitar genius solo album and he proves his point very well here. You won´t miss anything.

All songs are of very good quality, if not too varied. Wroblewski´s vocals are just great and he is sounding much better here than on This Bread Is Mine. He truly deserved another chance with a more progressive work and he is the best singer ever to appear on one of Gil´s projects thus far.

Forget all the grunge/alternative/pop experiments Mirek Gil was doing on his various solo projects before. This is the truly prog guitar album we all waited to hear for so long. His guitar is all over the place and full with his melodic, tasteful, trademark solos and licks. But there is room for others to do their part very well. Everything works here and there are no fillers.

If you like a good guitar driven prog album in the vein of Steve Hackett´s best stuff you should not miss this one.

Fans of Collage, Satellite and melodic prog in general, rejoyce!

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Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
4 stars I really wanted to love this album! After reading the review by Tarcisio Maura earlier in the year, my excitement was high. Mirek Gil is my favorite guitarist of the last twenty years, and the Polish prog scene one of the most interesting and engaging during that same period. However, though, yes, Mirek is present--very present--and, yes, his distinctive wailing guitar sound is present--sometimes in triplicate--still, there are too many times when he disappoints: holding back, it seems; when you expect him to let loose in one of his frenzied, emotional solos, he just . . . doesn't. The solo in song 6, "Druga pólnoc" and the intro to song 7, "Czas i ja" are the only two times he comes close to letting go. A lot of time and effort is spent establishing repetition and melody/hooks with his lead guitar time; too much time and effort are spent showing restraint, trying to exhibit some kind of cool control, when I just want him to go [&*!#] crazy! (as we all know he can.) Luckily, the songs continue to grow on me--again, as his songs tend to do. I guess I was just disappointed at first listen because I wanted so much more. (I really was more enamored of the drumming and vocals in Polish.) During the second and third listens I must admit I heard much more of the beauty of the arrangements (mostly layered acoustic and electric guitar riffs), the melodies and harmonies, the vocals (I love singing in one's own native language). As I mentioned, the drumming (kudos Wojtek Szadkowski)--and often intertwining bass playing--are among the most consistently interesting themes of this album. And, Gil's guitar riffs are good; it's just that they could be . . . better! And, though I miss the lead guitar and keyboard interplay, I must say that the absent keyboards are not missed. (This aspect of the album gives it a feel similar to that of David Gilmour's second solo album, "About Face.") Every successive song seems a bit better, a bit more close to the Mirek Gil we know and want; it's just that the emotional highs are rarely there. More in the drums or vocals than the lead guitar work.

1. "Skellig" (8:46) 
The opening song is beautiful, inviting, captivating; Gil's acoustic and lead guitar work are bold and beautiful, simple and almost cocky, the vocals very engaging. The bass and electric guitar rhythm section kicks in very effectively at the 2:50 mark. At the 3:50 mark the chorus first ensues with vocals and electric guitar lead dancing a very beautiful duet. The second chorus is followed by a lovely, long, vintage, if subdued, Gil solo. Backed by background choir and wonderful work from the rhythm section--who, fittingly, get to close out the song. 7/10

2. "Mnie tu już nie ma" (5:10) is a beautiful, emotional, perhaps sad filled with lots of simple instrumental subtleties, like upper register bass play, harp-like acoustic guitar picking, delicate cymbol play, and lots of creative traveling across the toms. Here Mirek chooses to use his lead guitar to provide a very steady (one might say, repetitive) background for some stellar drum and bass playing. In fact, this song seems to have become a set up to display the excellent drum and bass play. 7/10

3. "Otwieram drzwi" (5:57) 
is the first song to really show a little of Gil's old heavy/neo prog roots?more use of thumping bass and electric power chords with a touch more volume on his lead. The vocal work here shows some weakness in the ability to deliver the higher end power; he seems to excel at the delicate, more ballad-like singing. Once more I find myself more drawn to listen to the drum work. The lead soli begin with a brief one at the 4:00 mark which is notable for the layering of two different tracks playing over one another. Trouble is, none of these soli "go anywhere." 6/10

4. Rzeka (3:20) is a short, very standard rock song?sounding very similar to MIKE & THE MECHANICS' big hit, "In the Living Years." Nothing special here. 4/10

5. Odmieniec (9:20) tries to rock out in a kind of BAD COMPANY "Ready for Love"
way but the best part of the song are, in fact, the very delicate vocal section that precede GIL's first guitar solo and the soli themselves which finally, nearly, live up to expectations--yes, he ALMOST lets go. It's killing me: It's like listening to/watching ROBERT FRIPP: waiting and hoping that emotion will for once win out over mental planning and technical execution; he gets close but never quite leaves that seat on his stool, can't quite let himself go--show his human side. Too bad. Still, this is a pretty good song--and the solo is still better than 90% of the others out there. 8/10

6. Druga północ (5:36)
is a peppy song with perhaps the album's best vocal--with a very melodic vocal chorus, and some fun acoustic, rhythm and lead guitar work. Another set of classic, catchy lead guitar riffs to hook you in, and here we get to again experience Gil layering his guitar leads (and some pretty decent ones, too). Excellent song. 8/10

7. Czas i ja (5:14) an instrumental, the best song on the album, where Gil finally gets moving, and his guitar is screaming, but it never reaches the heights we know he could go to. Again: the drums and bass deliver big time. 8/10

Love the singing and Polish lyrics, drumming bass, and acoustic guitar work, and, of course, the distinctive--you might say, trademark--sound of Mirek Gil's lead guitar. Disappointed in the lack of innovative or "progressive" elements in the music. Happy to hear Mirek Gil under any circumstances; just wish he could have been a little more emotional and less mental/scientific in his playing. 4(-) stars. A good album. (Recommendation: Give it 3-4 listens before judging it completely.)

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Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Well it is a comfort to know that Mirek Gil and Wojtek Szadkowski are still friends after all, which means that maybe one day we will see COLLAGE reform and produce a sequel to "Moonshine". The virtuosic drummer of SATELLITE and other offshoots joins the now equally prolific Mr Gil for Gil's second "solo" album and first in a dozen years, and, even if I'm having trouble understanding where one project ends and another begins, I'm having fun trying.

If you have been following Mirek's main group BELIEVE, you will know that he has issued 3 rather different albums under that moniker and, while the last was the most disappointing, he has returned more to the sound of "Hope to See Another Day" and "Yesterday is a Friend" for this release, with several significant differences: the vocals are by the latest Believe singer, the lyrics are in Polish, and all sounds other than drums and bass emanate from guitars.

While Gil wisely employs acoustic guitars for variety, this is definitely a rock album in which he pretty much sticks to his viscous Frippian style, yet somehow encourages enough variety through vocal and tempo changes to generally maintain freshness. The title cut might be the best of the lot, calling upon both his highly melodic and grungy instincts, while "Otwieram Drzwi" isn't far behind, beginning pedestrian enough, with even processed vocals, but just shy of the three minute mark it adopts a more weathered and nostalgic quality, where one can imagine Believe's violinist contributing fills. "Druga Północ" is a somewhat mellower cut more reminiscent of what Believe captured on their second and best album, although it does culminate in a heroic solo. It's a major tribute to Gil that he can concoct such a richly symphonic mix just with his guitars and crafty exploitation of a rather average vocalist.

While this disk is a winner by almost any measure, Gil's insistence on adhering to a particular school of guitar means that it's not for every mood, and even when in the mood one might be hard pressed to tolerate some of the more tedious and droning leads of "Mnie tu już nie ma" or the mealy folk-pop of "Mnie tu już nie ma".

If you are hesitating about this disk because you weren't a fan of the first Mr Gil album from so long ago, I'm here to say that this has much more in common with Gil's recent output. It's a portfolio of his harder hitting work, yet balladic at the same time. Such a sensitive balance can only be achieved by a few masters, and after 20 years at the forefront of continental neo progressive rock, this fellow has earned the right to be counted among them.

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Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
2 stars To implement Polish lyrics is a courageous act and sounds unusual. When thinking in terms of prog, Mirek Gil offers songs here which are a tad more mainstream infiltrated than his other work. Musicianship is excellent beyond doubt, the compositions though are relatively simple and sometimes lack of lushness - one reason is that keyboards are totally missing. Of course Mr. Gil is more present on the other hand with multiple overdubbed guitars, often acoustic which serves a folk feeling here and there.

The album is well wrapped up by the best exemplars so to say. They start with the title track which could be easily taken for a Believe song too ... unless you notice that Karol Wroblewski sings in native language. Melancholy based on repetitive melodic patterns - well done, crowned by his impressive voice as usual. Czas I Ja starts relaxed, but then suddenly explodes where Mirek shines with several guitar layers and proves his exceptional talent. So the bands rocks really, based on a heavier attitude - an impressing finale. And the second half of Odmieniec is decorated with a long instrumental excursion which is quite nice. The other songs are halfway decent only in my opinion, this impression does not change after several listening sessions.

Dead battery? 'Skellig' is quite modest in its entirety, compared to his other work with Satellite, Collage aso. I have listened to Believe's convincing new album 'World Is Round' intensively before and I'm under the impression now, that Mirek Gill introduces some weaker compositions from his huge collection here. This can't really thrill me - less prog substance - more straightforward arrangements. Anyhow, still a proper album comprising some nice songs ... something for fans and collectors in any case. I only recommend to adhere to the aforementioned bands first before plunging into this.

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Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Since the end of the 90's, as Collage's days faded, Mirek Gil was searching for a fresh start in his career.He borrowed his undenied guitar talent to Satellite's debut, the band of his former Collage bandmate Wojciech Szadkowski, and finally in 2005 he established his new act, Believe.And in 2010 Gil revived his solo career with the help of his new bandmates: Karol Wroblewski performs on vocals and Przemysław Zawadzki on bass along with his old friend Wojciech Szadkowski on drums.The new album ''Skellig'' was released on the Polish label Oskar.

A very atmospheric album along the lines of Polish Art Rock, ''Skellig'' moves between melancholic and more upbeat tunes with Gil's guitar always in evidence.Unlike ''Alone'', the new album contains no keyboards at all and it is entirely sung in Polish.The most obvious influence seem to be mid-70's PINK FLOYD, with the music alternating between light psychedelic textures and more melodic lines, combined with the fundamentals of Polish Neo Prog: scratching electric solos, deep and expressive vocal lines and changes between mellow and heavier passages.Some tracks are quite long, despite the lack of instrumental flexibility, and these are structured around long solos, careful rhythmic tunes and intense vocal deliveries by a talented singer.Gil prooves his talent once more, producing memorable pieces with a fair sense of atmosphere throughout, while his unmistakable guitar touch is always present, from the sharp riffs to the excellent solos to the softer acoustic moments.The recent trend of Polish bands, the distorted vocal and guitar parts, is again present in the album, used in a clever way, that makes the music even more atmospheric.

Very good work for anyone searching for some really beautiful and deeply atmospheric stuff.Nice guitar melodies, inner musical soundscapes and some amazing lyrical moments.Recommended.

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