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Disperse Journey Through The Hidden Gardens album cover
3.71 | 155 ratings | 19 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Balance of Creators (8:22)
2. Reflection of a Dying World (6:12)
3. Entering Newlands (6:25)
4. On the Wings of a Dove (3:27)
5. Let Me Get My Colours Back (5:54)
6. Far Away (7:18)
7. Above Clouds (9:56)
8. Spirit of Age (9:24)
9. Circle's Complete (5:47)

Total time 62:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Rafał Biernacki / vocals, keyboards
- Jakub Żytecki / guitars, backing vocals
- Marcin Kicyk / bass
- Przemysław Nycz / drums

Releases information

CD ProgTeam ‎- PT_002 (2010, Poland)

Digital album - bandcamp

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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DISPERSE Journey Through The Hidden Gardens ratings distribution

(155 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

DISPERSE Journey Through The Hidden Gardens reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Poland, oh Poland. The best post-Soviet Prog country. So many bands are here. And the more bands there will be, the easier will be the way for new artists. This tradition is especially strong in Neo-Prog genre, because about 1/5 of bands featured here on PA from Poland are filled under this classification.

Disperse plays music on the verge of Prog Metal and Neo-Prog and while Prog Metal sounds like quite standard, but Neo Prog evolves a lot and because of this, "Journey Through the Hidden Gardens" sounds very original. In this, Disperse scores. Of course, these two genres sometimes overlaps and so there are wild keyboards solos, heavier sound, but more subtle singing, which suggests that it's not typical Prog Metal.

Generally interesting, because even it is easy to make something melodic, or dissonant, it is very hard to be innovative and incorporate new elements to your music. I slowly start to understand why other reviewers used so high ratings.

Atmospheric, but without stronger melodic pieces. This band simply don't use traditional sounds at all in a way we are used. There isn't also strong track here, all of them are quite equal.

4(+). I don't feel it's a masterpiece, for this I lack more heart in this. Perfect, but little bit artificial. But that's just my opinion.

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Disperse is a young band from Poland releasing this year their acclaimed debute named Journey Through the Hidden Gardens. I can say from the beggining that I find this album a very pleasent one, with catchy tunes, complex parts but far from being a masterpice of today's prog music. The music is defintly towards neo prog, specially on vocal department but aswell has some hints of progressive metal here and there. This is not a progresive metal in tratidional way, even in places some Riverside or even Osada Vida can be traced. The linear section in parts remind me a lot of neo prog bands from Poland, like Collage for instance. The melodic parts are very well melted with the rougher ones, creating a great album, with diffrent moods and fantastic songwritting. Guitar playing from Jakub Zytecki and great moments offered by keybordist Rafal Biernacki who is also the vocalist worth having this album. While is not really in the Iq or Pendragon category but aswell not in DT style , Disperse really known to create something pleasent and full of intristing chops. Best pieces , Reflection of a Dying World, the intro here is a killer with intristing guitar meets keys of the highest calibre and Above Clouds, the rest are ok, well developed in musical termes, lenghty with complex and catchy musicianship. I will give 3.5 rounded to 4, while is a good album is not quite a masterpiece as many listners pretend to be but not a 2 star album aswell.
Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Disperse is a young Polish progressive rock band that made a convincing entry on the scene with Journey Through the Hidden Gardens. They play a kind of neo-prog that sits close to Riverside, especially so on a first listen. The lush spacey sound and the warm melodic vocals stand out as most prominent features. Repeated listens reveal a more technical and heavier edge to their music, with some jazzy lead guitars and shredding solos that might also please progressive metal fans.

At their best, they bring very atmospheric heavy prog soliciting for the love of Marillion, Pink Floyd, Anathema and possibly also Porcupine Tree fans. Also the British modern neo-prog of Frost* comes to mind. Great examples are the two opening tracks, which feature epic song writing and pleasant vocal melodies.

Entering Newlands is the first of 4 songs that show the band's roots in neo-prog, resulting in a fairly old-school and commercial sound. With Let Me Get My Colours Back and the touching ballad Far Away the quality gradually improves again till it reaches the level of the opening songs on Above Clouds and Spirit of Age.

Journey Through the Hidden Gardens is not always highly original material but it's a very competent and well-crafted album of a talented young band. Disperse seem to feel especially at ease on the lengthier epic material, which is very promising! A pleasant listen. 3.5 stars

PS: the band streams their album at

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars The way this comes advertised as being heavy with lots of atmosphere ala RIVERSIDE certainly caught my attention.The problem for me is that RIVERSIDE never once came to mind in the many listens i've given this recording. I really have had a hard time getting into this which does surprise me because there is lots of heaviness and atmosphere. It's just not capturing my imagination at all. The heavier sections do little for me just as the lighter ones don't. The middle ground stuff works for me though. Go figure. DISPERSE are four young guys from Poland who in the liner notes say hi to RIVERSIDE among others. I like where they list the musicians who've insprired them like Allan Holdsworth, Sean Malone, Paul Masvidal & Sean Reinert, Steve Lukather, John Pertucci and others.

"Balance Of Creators" opens with atmosphere as the music and vocals kick in at 1 1/2 minutes.The tempo then picks up with some aggressive guitar before it settles back. "Reflection Of A Dying World" builds then it kicks in. It settles with spoken vocals 1 1/2 minutes in.The tempo continues to shift. Some instrumental bombast then the vocals return. "Entering Newlands" opens with drums and atmosphere before kicking in. Vocals after a minute. Atmosphere after 3 1/2 minutes as it settles followed by a tasteful guitar solo. Vocals before 5 minutes as the tempo picks up.

"On The Windows Of A Dove" features keyboards as almost spoken vocals and guitar take over. I like when the vocals get more passionate. Some nice guitar before 2 1/2 minutes. "Let Me Get My Colours Back" opens with atmosphere as it builds. Reserved vocals before 1 1/2 minutes as it settles.Vocals and sound do get fuller. It settles back with some good guitar. "Far Away" again contrasts the the lighter and fuller sounds. As do the next two tracks.The closer "Circles Complete" is a mellow track throughout really with reserved vocals.

A definite disappointment for me. Barely 3 stars.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Disperse's debut album presents a mildly spacey brand of prog metal reminiscent of the work on Porcupine Tree's recent album, with influences from the heavier side of the neo-prog scene for flavour. It presents good performances and is well-produced, but at the same time it feels a little cheesy and artificial to me; Rafal Biernacki's vocals aren't really to my taste, and the band don't really offer very much in the way of really compelling musical motifs beyond those they borrow from their influences. It's a good, enjoyable debut album, but it could be a lot better, though on balance I think Disperse have as good a chance to grow musically as anyone.
Review by kev rowland
4 stars When I first saw the album cover I was fairly convinced that what I would be hearing would be a doom album, so to say I was somewhat surprised when I put this on and realized that here was yet another top quality Polish prog act is something of an understatement. Apparently the band made their breakthough when they supported Riverside on a national tour and it was from there that they were invited to record this their debut album which was released in 2010 but has only just come to my attention. Poland seems to have way more than their fair share of great prog acts, and on the basis of their debut Disperse should soon be gaining the same sort of attention that is normally reserved for Riverside, Quidam, Millenium and the like.

For the most part this is prog metal, but with large amounts of neo-prog thrown in for good measure. It is hard to pick out a highlight from the album as it is so good throughout, and while the guys are all strong musicians it is the guitar of Jakub Żytecki that really takes this to the next level. They say that they are heavily influenced by bands as diverse as Cynic, Toto, Portal, Aeon Spoke, Planet X, Devin Townsend and Allan Holdsworth, and they certainly manage to capture the fluidity of Holdsworth's guitar solos. There is loads of atmosphere on this album, and the result is something that is polished and packed full of emotion. Given that this is now two years old we can only hope that there is a new album due sometime soon.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Polish Prog Rock/Metal act Disperse was found in 2007 in Przeworsk under the forces of bassist Marcin Kicyk, guitarist Jakub Zytecki and singer/keyboardist Rafal Biernacki, soon to be joined by drummer Szymon Balicki.Balicki's experience with the band was short, dating only a few months, and he was replaced by Konrad Biczak, with whom Disperse recorded a promo in 2008.The band slowly starts performing in concerts, however Biczak would also quit in summer 08', replaced by Przemyslaw Nycz.Disperse start becoming a live beast and Piotr Kozieradzki, drummer of Riverside as well as manager of the new label ProgTeam Management takes notice of the band.In July/August 2009 Disperse record their debut in Progersja Studios in Warsaw and release ''Journey Through the Hidden Gardens'' the following year on Kozierdaski's label.

Disperse propose an affair between atmospheric and virtuosic Progressive Metal in the vein of RIVERSIDE and DREAM THEATER along with touches of more melodic Polish Progressive/Art Rock akin to bands such as SATELLITE, LOONYPARK or ANANKE.Most of the time the sound swirls around impressive and rich keyboard parts and very angular riffs with the group delivering technical and sharp musicianship with endless big-time breaks, leading this virtuosic style either to deep atmospheric textures or accesible and memorable choruses.There is a great and mature balance between instrumental grandiosity and vocal performances with even some narration parts and the overall offering is as professional as it gets, as the tracks have an appropriate length for such flexible changes.Disperse never forget to add a few good melodies here and there and their style can be heard by the majority of prog fans, incorporating elements from Space Rock, Neo Prog, Symphonic Rock/Metal and Progressive Metal.My only complaint is the rather unpersonal style, which springs to mind a different legend of the Prog Metal/Rock scene each time, but the well-played material is very rewarding.

A young Polish group with a strong amount of talent.Challenging, intricate and balanced arrangements with great performances, that only need a bit of refreshment towards a more original style.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I want to keep this short: in my ears this is simply a masterpiece! The likes of which you only come across once in a while, without expectations - fully blown away! Prepare for your journey through the hidden gardens of sheer beauty, intriguing brilliance and exciting and colourful encounters ... (read more)

Report this review (#1184719) | Posted by Mind_Drive | Wednesday, June 4, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars POLAND again!!! again a very auspicious band from Poland that succeeded in grapping my attention.. melodic, progy and emotional which generate a perfect scene to prog rock/metal fans without debating the genre:) to begin, literally the guitarist has the most important role in this band, his ... (read more)

Report this review (#430169) | Posted by Tarek | Sunday, April 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Young virtuosos from Slav forests Disperse, young yet professional band from Poland, country of beautiful forests and unfinished motorways. Despite that, their musical technique is very impressive. Is it neo-prog or prog metal? People are divided on the issue. My personal opinion is as follows: i ... (read more)

Report this review (#368856) | Posted by bartosso | Friday, December 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I thought the music was excellent, especially Entering new Lands and Spririt of Age. Unfortunately, whoever mastered the CD was of the belief that louder is always better, and the end result is such poor quality that it's actually uncomfortable to listen to. I checked in an audio editor, and i ... (read more)

Report this review (#287729) | Posted by system11 | Monday, June 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When I read some of reviews for this recording I can't understand one thing. One says: this is not a NeoProg but ProgMetal the other says that it's oposit. You know what? When I hear this fabulous album I don't care what kind of progerssive subgenre is it. I just close my eyes and enter these ... (read more)

Report this review (#287667) | Posted by judaspriestfan | Monday, June 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I can,t be in the station of other reviews. This is not neo prog.This is progressive metal. A mix between Symphony X and Andromeda. Guitar riffs are prog prog metal and synths in that way too. Synths are very secondary. Is this music a really addition to prog music.? To neo prog s ... (read more)

Report this review (#286755) | Posted by robbob | Wednesday, June 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Here we have a surprising debut from a young Polish band. Debut albums are rarely this good, this is an album marked by an outstanding level of confidence and maturity that many older bands would crave for. The sound of Disperse can basically be described as unique mix of neo prog and prog met ... (read more)

Report this review (#286265) | Posted by Hrvat | Sunday, June 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Yea!!! Now we are in front of a real MASTERPIECE! This is great music, very great atmosphere. What I was recently looking for was something new..Damn I got it now. These guys are now how to play, the guitarist is awsome. After seeing the first reviews I was wondering if the Poland land of grea ... (read more)

Report this review (#286199) | Posted by victor73 | Saturday, June 12, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars So, is this album an "Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music"? I mean certainly not! Good recorded, beautifully packed consumer product, nothing more. Four young Polishmen created their debut album with high-hearted ambitions, but they donīt succeed to bring something new, innova ... (read more)

Report this review (#286168) | Posted by Gandalfino | Saturday, June 12, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow ! What an amazing album ! This albums transcends both neo-prog and prog metal. It has some elements of neo-prog (keyboards) and some elements of prog metal (guitar riffs and drums). But each song is so tightly built, so intricate and with a great sense of purpose, that it avoids the mistake ... (read more)

Report this review (#285832) | Posted by Curutchet | Thursday, June 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A good debut for the new band of Polish Disperse, a very enjoyable disc, nothing new under the sun but the work retains a good musical tension from first to last song, simple in its architecture but never really hard banale.Il well played, with good precision and technique, without major innovations ... (read more)

Report this review (#283796) | Posted by zorn1 | Friday, May 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars OK, I appear to be the first to review this CD, and it is a proud moment for sure! At this time, I've only listened to the first 5 tracks, but they so impressed me that I feel compelled to begin throwing accolades their way! The opener, Balance Of Creators, is a tour de sets the ... (read more)

Report this review (#283360) | Posted by pfdfcc | Monday, May 24, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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