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MASTER & M

Lizard

Eclectic Prog


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Lizard Master & M album cover
3.96 | 88 ratings | 3 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Chapter I (13:54)
2. Chapter II (10:36)
3. Chapter III (6:58)
4. Chapter IV (7:07)
5. Chapter V (13:26)

Total Time: 52:01

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Damian Bydlinski / vocal, guitars and guitar synthesizer
- Janusz Tanistra / bass
- Daniel Kurtyka / guitar
- Pawel Fabrowicz / keyboards
- Aleksander Szalajko / drums and percussion

Releases information

CD Lynx Music 82CD (June 5, 2013)
CD Rock-Serwis VKD 0003 (June 5, 2013)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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LIZARD Master & M ratings distribution


3.96
(88 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
34%
Good, but non-essential (32%)
32%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

LIZARD Master & M reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars For some reason it has taken seven years for Lizard to return with their fourth album, but at thankfully this has been worth the wait as this is their best album to date. Only founder and songwriter Damian Bydliński (vocal, guitar, guitar synthesizers) and Janusz Tanistra (bass) are still there from the last album, so obviously there have been lots of things going on in the background, but the music and package has obviously been taken a step further than previously. I only wish that I could speak Polish as the vocals and lyrics are obviously incredibly important as it is based on Bulgakov's novel "The Master and Margarita" (which I haven't read, but a Russian proghead I know was ecstatic when he heard about this release as Lizard is one of his favourite bands and this is one of his favourite books).

What makes this album work so well is the sheer variety of music that is contained within: broken into five chapters this contains influences from bands as diverse as King Crimson and SBB, that is definitely outside the mainstream but at times is strangely commercial as well. This is one of those prog albums that transcends language barriers, and while I am sure I would get more from it if I could speak the language, in this instance it just means that the vocals themselves become another instrument. There are periods of reflection, and others when the guitars are far more dramatic and in your face (having a second guitarist join the band has given them some additional facets, but they are definitely still eclectic as opposed to heavy).

Lizard have long been one of my favourite Polish prog bands, and this album has just cemented that view, as it really is quite special. Although the lyrics are in Polish, it is possible to view their website in English, thankfully. www.lizard-band.com

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#1027034) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 02, 2013

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars Lizard is a distinguished prog band that has kept its flame going for a few decades now, releasing a few spectacular albums (the tasty debut and Tales from the Artichoke Wood) as well as a few lesser successful attempts (Psychopuls and Spam). Guitarist and vocalist Damian Bydlinski as well as bassist Janusz Tanistra still lead the group from Poland but have added new blood on guitars, keyboards and drums with this rather sparkling album. The inspiration to create a brooding, aggressive and pulsating work is obvious from the get- go, Damian never compromising in singing in his native language which gives their music so much personality and creative merit. Tanistra shows off his considerable bass skills with a trebly sound that harkens back to Squire days but within his very own style. The disc is divided into 5 chapters but must be listened to as a whole, which was clearly the intention. Source material (yeah, its prog!) is the celebrated Russian novel 'The Master and Margarita' by Mikhael Bulgakov , written between 1928 and 1940 but unpublished until 1967. It 's a story woven around a visit by the Devil to the dictatorial and atheistic Soviet Union. Needless to say that bashing the former overlord after 50 years of cultural enslavement is a passion shared to this day by most Poles and Hungarians in particular!

Divided into 5 chapters , the music is tremendously effective even if one does not understand the language. There is a new wind in Polish prog , a new found vigor and energy that is highly evident in recent releases by stalwarts like Riverside, Millenium, Believe, After and Satellite, as well as newcomers like Soma White, Votum, Lebowski and many others. Characterized by modern keyboard techniques, harder edged guitar pyrotechnics as well as bold incursions into a fantasyland of tones and sounds that are truly magnificent. The live scene is also vibrant (check out all the Katowice live DVD releases, amazing!) and Lizard pull no punches, as their new theatrical material is totally resplendent, giving the listener a curiously imaginative experience that transcends the expected and formulaic.

'Chapter I' is a bombastic, dive bombing flurry of tortured guitars, deranged synths, goose- stepping bass and dictatorial drums, over which Damian unleashes a Polish version of Marillion-era Fish theatrics. Starting out with careening screeches, somber reptiles lurking in the Gdansk shipyards waiting for that one day to be unleashed by events beyond the secret police's talons. Echoes of stolid depression and barely contained rancor, the atmospherics are as overbearing as a five-year plan of gross incompetence and elitist corruption. Ominous sounds that morph into a steamroller riff, a relentless monolith, all held together with some catchy soloing of the finest caliber!

The beginning of 'Chapter II' is the polar (pun again) opposite, a trembling vocal-only that nods at early King Crimson, reinforced as the booming torrent kicks in lustily, just like 'in the Wake of Poseidon', not surprising in lieu of Lizard's early career as a KC cover band. The hints are obvious and highly reverential, as the Crimson King was quite popular behind the once Iron Curtain, a band that always, like them or not, stretched the boundaries of acceptability and norm. Axeman Daniel Kurtyka squeezes some zealous passion out of his electrified strings, while new drummer Aleksander Szalajko prefers a muscular approach, making this a lively and intense affair.

'Chapter III' is short, breezier and chattier, Damian rambling nicely over some clavinet and funky guitar riffs, as the bass powers through the arrangement, thus displaying a much wider and cinematographic tendency. Doesn't stop Kurtyka to mistreat his instrument and the assorted pedals at his disposal. After the explosive climax, gentle ripples of sweet synth and pastoral acoustic riffing returns. A jazzier side that is most welcome, almost like a Polish Stealy Dan!

'Chapter IV' is the same 7 minutes in length as the preceding piece and perhaps my favorite on this inspired disc, a highly evocative groove piece loaded up with unbridled emotion, subtle playing and a foreboding sense of doom. This is exactly my style, a contrast between menacing and pastoral, simple technically but oh so cool as the electric piano suddenly relays a stupendous vibe! Tanistra cuts a fierce bass solo through the jangly riffing, just propelling this amazing piece forward. I mean, wow! Stunning!

'Chapter V' has that deadly combination of acoustic guitar, mellotron and vocals, a progressive classic formula if there ever was one. A brilliant 13 minute + finale forces the listener to succumb to the trials and tribulations of denial as well as political survival, just like the Devil dealt with the Politburo! Undelivered promises and caged suffering that thankfully lasted only 50 years, a slew of minds released from oppressive bondage and rigorous incompetence! These thoughts are perfectly expressed by the twisting and colliding instrumentation, harsh riffs and immovable pulsations. Vitriolic cascades of KGB keys, crushing Gulag guitars, nasty Beria bass and Stalinist drumming.

'Master & M' represents Lizard's finest achievement and an all-out 2013 classic! A finely crafted and entertaining symphonic prog album that will please all fans, even those who do not comprehend the lyrics. The music thus will speak for itself! The brooding cover art eerily resembles the Flower Kings latest, lots of metallic gray amid a splotch of red, a wink at the oppression suffered by the Central and Eastern Europeans alike.

5 Barbed wires

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#1097881) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 22, 2013

Latest members reviews

5 stars Probably the coolest album I've heard from 2013 and definitely the one I'm most hooked on. Not since MAD CRAYON's 2009 release, Preda, have I heard an album with so many diverse influences so well melded together. There's KING CRIMSON--lots of King Crimson--but the band has somehow enmeshed within i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1046986) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Saturday, September 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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