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SEVEN WIDOWS

Believe

Neo-Prog


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Believe Seven Widows album cover
4.18 | 72 ratings | 5 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I (10:49)
2. II (9:08)
3. III (8:12)
4. IV (11:42)
5. V (8:35)
6. VI (8:37)
7. VII (8:19)

Total time 65:22

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Łukasz Ociepa / vocals
- Mirosław Gil / lead guitar
- Satomi / violin, keyboards
- Przemysław Zawadzki / bass guitar
- Robert Kubajek / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Maciek Srebrzyński with Alek Januszewski (logo)

CD mmrecords.pl ‎- 5907222821008 (2017, Poland)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BELIEVE Seven Widows ratings distribution


4.18
(72 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
31%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (21%)
21%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

BELIEVE Seven Widows reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
5 stars It's been a turbulent 5 years for premier Polish neo prog group BELIEVE. A return to the fold of original vocalist Tomek Rozycki was announced to replace Karol Wroblewski, while the precursor group COLLAGE was reformed, though they have yet to issue anything more than a few videos. As events unfolded, Tomek was superseded by Lukasz Ociepa, who sounds like a more tortured version of Rozycki, at times recalling his performances on the band's debut. The first fruits of the new lineup's efforts are now unveiled in the form of "Seven Widows", an anguished antonym to Rick Wakeman's "Six Wives". As a successor to the very disappointing "The Warmest Sun in Winter", which saw the band lapse into formulaic neo prog and largely eschew the delicate counterpoint of Satomi's violin, this fresh release would be an achievement if it merely retrenched the formulas of prior incarnations. While aspects of COLLAGE, early BELIEVE and even SATELLITE are all in evidence, "Seven Widows" is Mirek Gil's most coherent opus to date.

With the vocals often shrouded, we are asked to experience this work on an emotional level, and it's clear that the suffering and misery to which the protagonists are subject were not initiated at the time of widowhood, but began much earlier. Cultural mores, customs and expectations, rigid arrangements, dashed dreams, altercations, infidelities, and despair all yielding to brutal rituals, stigma, and yes, profound grief and disappointment as the widowed life unfolds. As such, musical moods alternate between cathartic wails from deep within, conveyed by voice and Gil's Gilmour and Fripp influenced leads, and abject despondency, usually imparted by the strings of Satomi. Her inventive spirit is more prominent here than ever before, including several superb keyboard workouts.

All 7 tracks exceed 8 minutes in length, in several movements, affording ample opportunities to convey the wide range of occasionally merciless shifts in disposition. Widow III is my personal favorite, with several false finishes and a miraculous faux-circus interlude by Satomi on synth, before a repeat chorus and a fade out solo by Gil. In V, Lukasz leads off in a gentle tone and cedes to Gil's sole shredding solo like a wayward offspring of guitar and helicopter. IV and VI are both owned by the morose strings that seem to offer the only thread of peace and resolution.

"Seven Widows" manages to merit masterpiece status not by uncovering new musical territories but by expanding the resume of BELIEVE to accommodate instinct over intellect, bridged to the archetype of human suffering in one of its rawest forms. This is an album to return to time and again, in grief and, indeed, in celebration.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I really don┤t get it! Why on earth some reviewer wastes his (and everybody┤s) time writing a review bashing a CD from a genre he obviously does not like or understand? Really, some people do not seem to know what prog music is all about. And this is more annoying when the album in question is a masterpiece of that genre. Yes, a Masterpiece with capital M. If on their previous effort, The Warmest Sun In The Winter (2013), polish neo proggers Believe had finally carved a style completely of their own and delivered an excellent disc, on Seven Widows they evolved even more, reaching the edge of perfection. If you┤re missing Satomi┤s violin on The Warmest... then the good news is that she┤s back in full force! But that is not all.

It looks like Believe finally got rid of all the elements that hampered their music (i.e. the grunge connections and some heavy metal traits) and concentrated on writing fine tunes and subtle deliveries. Maybe leader and guitarist Mirek Gil had finally realized he should do what he does best, both on Collage and Satellite, but with a different approach to make his band unique: instead of the bombastic, several layers of instruments, typical fo those two bands, Believe┤s new sound is the epitome of the saying Less Is More: the instrumentation is much more sparse, some parts bare to the bone (like Satomi┤s solo on IV, where for several bars her violin is only backed by only a few notes on the lower keys of a piano and some tribal drums). Yet, it sounds full, complete and symphonic all the way. Instruments come and go at the right moment, showing a great team work. Gil┤s trademark guitar solos and licks blend with Satomi┤s mournful and beautiful violin, accompanied by Przemas Zawadzki discreet, but elegant, bass lines and the very skillful Robert "Qba" Kubajek on drums. That rhythm section really knows about light and shade. Surprisingly, Satomi herself handles all the keyboards duties and does a fine job too.

New singer Lukasz Ociepa has a very nice voice and his passionate delivering is quite moving. Both his timbre and interpretation is very similar to the previous vocalist, Karol Wrˇblewski, making this transition very smooth. You hardly notice any difference. The songwriting sees the band again at its best: 7 tracks (all over the 8 minute mark) and 65 minutes of music in total that seems to end too fast. Not a single note wasted all the way, with several entrancing guitar and violin duets/duels (and experience made even more delightful when heard on headphones). Emotional vocals, tasteful arrangements and beautiful solos all wrapped up by a crystal clear production. Who could ask for more? There are no weak tracks and it┤s hard to even point a highlight since the whole CD is a highlight itself. Every tracks is a gem and they all blend in for a smooth listening. Only the closer VI (the tunes have no titles, only numbers) with its heavy rhythm guitar intro does have a slightly gothic metal feeling, but it is only for a few moments before it segues into the the new style Believe has created and finishes the album with a high note.

Conclusion: my favorite album of 2017, and one of the best I heard in decades. It is really a joy to see a band like Believe, which started quite promising but never seeming to reach its full potential for years, finally surpassing all expectations and evolving into something so marvelous, in the tradition of bands like Collage, Quidam and Albion. Poland still delivers great prog music!

Rating: ten stars with honors! Essential for any neo prog lover and highly recommended to anyone who enjoys fine music!

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team
5 stars A collection of masterfully crafted songs. Though the leader is obviously Mirek Gil, all contributors are essential to this product, and those of newcomer Łukasz Ociepa on vocals and especially from long-time violinist and keyboard player, Satomi, are exceptional. With a product like this, the band can be forgiven any and all time taken for its creation and rendering.

1. "I" (10:49) a perfectly crafted, polished song that suffers a little from lack of that over-the-top emotion that we want from Mirek's guitar solos. The song opens with two basic synth chords joined by strummed electric guitar and, in the second minute, bass, drums, and Mirek's lead establishing one of his signatory melodic riffs. But wait! He's joined by the harmonizing effect of the violin! Nice! Violin stays on to supply a staccato-bowed single note variation while newcomer Łukasz Ociepa enters. At 3:27 Mirek switches gears to deliver a true lead solo as the drums and bass make things a little more interesting beneath. And then Satomi joins in and it's magical! Satomi carries the lead over a bridge of emptiness before the band joins back in and continues the instrumental section another minute. A shift in mood and style at the end of the sixth minute leads to another appearance by the band's new vocalist. He's sounding a lot like Karol Wr'blewski in this section. The new mood feels more somber and serious. It plays out for four of the final five minutes of the song--vocals ending in a way that sounds like a DOVES song--before ending with the bombastic section with Mirek's lead riffs. (9/10)

2. "II" (9:07) bass, drums and kalimba-like guitar arpeggi open this one, setting another eerie, ominous tone. Mirek's guitar is a little edgier with some distortion this time as he wails between each of the vocal sections. Satomi's play is more academic, following practice scales, as she interjects an occasional solo or two. At 3:20 everything shifts dramatically as acoustic guitar strums and picked electric play accompaniment to first Satomi's violin and then Mirek's electric wail. At 4:48 the same foundation serves to support Łukasz in a new vocal--one that is slightly muted until he begins to belt it out at 5:30. Nice lower end guitar work from Mirek's lead in the sixth-seventh minutes. When he finally climbs into the upper registers it feels dramatic and gets the adrenaline really pumping. Then he starts using wammy bar and Satomi comes in to reinforce him. And she gets to end it with multiple violin tracks riffing away. This is so sublime! What a team! What a band! This band has really gelled with this album. I'm ready to acclaim them the new Neo Prog masters! (9/10)

3. "III" (7:58) what could have been an average prog song is turned extraordinary by Mirek's solos and Łukasz' wonderful vocals--especially in the mid-section. Great drumming, too! (9/10)

4. "IV" (11:58) from rain storm to playground sounds to an awesomely heavy instrumental opening, the impassioned singing of lead vocalist Łukasz Ociepa only adds credibility to the seriousness of that majestic opening- -and then he goes up another notch in the sixth minute just before Mirek follows suit. God! It's great to hear Mirek Gil letting loose again (albeit, too briefly)! I think every Collage lover wants more of the adrenaline magic of "The Blues" and "Heroes Cry." Lull with bass cords and militaristic toms fill the end of the eighth minute as Satomi plays a respectful folk dirge for the next two minutes. When the band finally brings all back together at the 9:30 mark it sounds so powerful, so supportive of the violin's beautiful and simple eulogy. Amazing the things music can do! An outright masterpiece of simple, efficient power! (10/10)

5. "V" (8:03) Steadily presented heavy prog with no flash or flair, just solid, melody supporting chords over which Satomi's violin and Łukasz' plaintive voice bless us. And Mirek is in the background (at least, until the fourth minute)! Nice guitar'n'drums chase in that fourth minute solo. What a voice! This may be the heir apparent to Marco Gluhmann. He's got some growing to do but he has the pathos! I love the shift at 5:15 into a different time signature with bass and guitar holding steady while Qba's drums and the lead guitar fly (with multiple tracks given to display Mirek's frenetic flourishes). Wow! I'm not sure I can take much more of this adrenaline pumping!(9.5/10)

6. "VI" (8:36) loose chimes bridge songs five and six before a whispered voice delivers its creepy Edgar Allan Poe message. Bass harmonics and toms support heavily distorted guitar arpeggi before Mirek sets up the song with a riff in the lead. The vocal here feels a little buried in the music. Great drum, bass, and atmosphere here but the vocal is just not fitting. It's almost as if this was a long finished instrumental that Łukasz felt he could add a vocal to. It's finally starting to work with the gorgeous violin-aided chorus--which is then followed by one of Mirek's signature ear candy leads. Gorgeous. In the sixth minute organ and synth join as the drums double time for a spell, then things slow back down for another spell-binding violin solo. What a gorgeous melody. Another song I'm going to want to hear a lot of. (9/10)

7. "VII" (8:48) the toms from song VI bleed into this one before another heavy full onslaught lights up the aural pathways. Once established, this quickly falls back to allow a spacious atmosphere in which Łukasz can deliver another of his masterful vocals. The pattern of heavy-Mirek riffing onslaught bridging the softer vocal sections is established until 3:40 when a slow arpeggiation of a guitar chord progression plays with synth and electric guitar sounds flitting in from behind. Chords of orchestral synth wash join in with more toms while Satomi delivers a brief solo. The music stays the same as Łukasz gives his best Marco impression. This is such gorgeous music. (9/10)

The YouTube sampler the band had posted to chum up potential investors left me unimpressed. I am SO glad I decided to return and become one of those investors once I found out how to secure it. I cannot repeat enough how emotional this music is, masterful in both composition and delivery. This is NOT the album I was expecting: Believe albums always seem to fall short of expectations and desires. Not this one. This is a sheer masterpiece of progressive rock music--one for the ages!

Five stars; a certifiable masterpiece of progressive rock music.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I was introduced to the music of Believe when I listened to Hope To See Another Day and Yesterday Is A Friend many years ago. I haven't felt that the band has achieved the heights of those two fine albums until the release of VII Widows. This album has strong melodies that develop nicely within long ... (read more)

Report this review (#1839586) | Posted by CeeJayGee | Thursday, December 7, 2017 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Seven Widows by Believe is another example of rock bridging into several musical styles, but who in my opinion never is progressive rock. The production and song structure, especially on the vocal verses, are very similar to pop music, even if it's spiced up with elements from heavy rock, folk, g ... (read more)

Report this review (#1827145) | Posted by Fenris | Tuesday, November 28, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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