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Lizard Tales From The Artichoke Wood album cover
3.73 | 71 ratings | 7 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tales from the Artichoke Wood Part I (8:46)
2. Vincent:
- I. Impression 1 (1:25)
- II Impression 2 (3:44)
- III Impression 3 (6:08)
3. Salvador:
- I. Impression 1 (1:20)
- II Impression 2 (5:31)
- III Impression 3 (7:17)
4. Pablo:
- I. Impression 1 (3:11)
- II Impression 2 (8:21)
5. Tales from the Artichoke Wood Part II (3:18)

Total Time: 49:01

Line-up / Musicians

- Damian Bydlinski / vocals, guitar
- Krzysztof Maciejowski / keyboards, synth
- Janusz Tanistra / bass
- Mariusz Szulakowski / percussion

Releases information

CD Metal Mind Productions - MMP CD 0350 (2005, Poland)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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LIZARD Tales From The Artichoke Wood ratings distribution

(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

LIZARD Tales From The Artichoke Wood reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is a concept album, although the vocals are all in Polish so it's difficult to tell you what it's about. The only English in the liner notes says "Does the Imagination Hotel at Dreamsea exist at all ? Have the three strangers ever met in there ? Perhaps..." Awesome pictures in the liner notes. I do know that we have "Impressions" about three painters, Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso with the opening and closing tracks named after the album's title. So which painter do you like the best ? Or more importantly which sets of songs that are dedicated to these three men do you like the best ? LIZARD can play many styles of music at such a high level, and that diversity is one of the attractions of this record for me.

"Tales From the Artichoke Wood Part I" is a fantastic way to start the album. It opens with gently played guitar, fragile vocals,and some piano. Some Fripp like guitar comes in as we get a full sound 2 minutes in. It's great ! Guitar and drums come in aggressively as vocals follow. Not a fan of those though. Violin later. The first artist we experience is Vincent. "Impression 1" is just over a minute long, consisting of what sounds like a lot of people talking in a room, maybe a party, as a dreamy soundscape follows."Impression 2" is a catchy melody of guitar and drums. The violin is incredible. "Impression 3" has a bit of a jazz feel to it, with some good drumming and organ after 3 minutes.

Next up is Salvador. "Impression 1" sounds like we are in the jungle this time with some flute melodies. "Impression 2" has a heavy duty CRIMSON like melody that comes and goes, in contrast to the mellower melody with vocals. "Impression 3" is spacey for about 4 minutes until the riffs come in.The drums are so crisp, and the organ sounds great too. Next up is Pablo. "Impression 1" is one of my favourite songs, with the aggressively strummed guitar and reserved vocals. "Impression 2" is over 8 minutes long. It opens with fantastic guitar with drums pounding heavily. Yes it's a KING CRIMSON sounding melody. Vocals come in, but it's the instrumental passages that are so amazing. "Tales From the Artichoke Wood Part II" is spacey with reseved vocals and atmospheric keys.

By the way my favourite section is the Pablo Picasso impressions. I'm impressed with the whole album though,and this great band.The only negative and it's a big one for me are the vocals. He seems to yell the lyrics at times and when done in Polish it doesn't go over very well. 3.5 stars.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This talented Polish band's debut "W Galerii Czasu" was adroitly described by many in Progland as a true beacon of masterful music, earning kudos from nearly every proghead for its consummate quality and singing in their native tongue instead of English hasn't turned off anyone. "Psychopuls", while a decent follow up, just didn't match the same level of majesty, though in honesty, it really deserves a return engagement on my part. I purchased "Artichoke Wood" during my recent trip to Budapest, purely on sinkadotentree's recommendation and rather glowing review (even though he has recently dived courageously into a RIO tangent that is ultra cool, he has a professorial prog nose which is rarely off base). This album is book ended by the title compositions with the main core dedicated to classic painters Van Gogh, Dali and Picasso. The overall tone is less gloomy than the previous recording with beautiful artwork that smartly returns to the artistic themes of the debut album. Damian Bydlinski reveals himself on guitar and guitar synthesizer with some truly defiant playing, impressive multi-layered guitar sequences, laced with frilly synthesizers and some smooth violin passages that shimmer in glowing splendor, the themes are held together by some solid bass and drum configurations that elicit admiration. The musical impressions of the artists are whimsically realistic: the Van Gogh segments are particularly colorful and melancholic; the Dali sections are atonal, veering into bombastic on a dime, slightly mad and very Crimsonesque; while the Picasso frames are a juxtaposition of angular contrasts, serenity and violence fighting for attention (check out the Pablo 2 section: the spirit of the Crimson King is sitting on the stereo throne). Really inventive stuff going on here, seemingly inspired by the spirit of these bygone master artists and definitely deserving of the highest praise, it behooves Lizard to continue their museum-based muses. Perhaps Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum or Madrid's Prado might do the trick. 5 pastels
Review by Ricochet
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Time to make a masterpiece?

It's 2005, and Lizard show a great dexterity in not breaking up chaotically (or, least of all, confusingly) anymore, once their new album was done, rehearsed and released. Back previously it was 1997, the band released an incredibly unconvincing album, after which they sanded out, seemingly for good, with only three bootleg concerts to hint some extra-activity, but to musically express little. Right now, Lizard follow the same pulse with which they've gotten back on track, and clench their second modern album (and third - studio - overall), exactly an year after the previous one. The detail can only prove the band's new embrace, fittest and steadier if not also stronger. In mix with 2004's Psychopuls, anyone can at least that Tales From Artichoke Wood is just as good, just as relevant, just as promising, just as enticing. But most chronicles actually tell a lot more of it, regarding, at a general or personal impression, this is Lizard's finest.

Me, I like the idea of a masterpiece in this album, but find it a bit unequal throughout the material - in small measures, of course. Thinking again in conjunction and comparison with Psychopuls, Lizard are as bright and interesting as when they rejoined with healthier principles, follow more straightly their big prog influences (Crimson, above anything else) and deliver good music with smashing tones. So happens on Tales From Artichoke Wood, a grand opus if regarded aso, a tonic work also impressing naturally (almost like the band would have balanced everything on creativity and an elegant shape in composition), with something extra: for a first (and so far sole time), Lizard bring out all their musical and progressive ideas - not just dark Crimson jams, not just rushed and crispy retro rock, not just lyrics over a fruity instrumentality, not just emotions over electric measures - creating not a complex, but rich large musical piece. In this alone stands the key to half of the album's greatness, cause otherwise anyone could admire how good it sounds and think it's an easy thing to do.

Whether Tales that are 'made out of' Artichoke Wood or "coming from an" artichoke wood, it doesn't shed some light on why a concept of renown painters: Van Gogh, Dali and Picasso; but it's not a harmful mistery. The lyrics can definitely explain a bit from the tales, but, of course, to advised Polish speakers. The difficulty of the foreign vocals doesn't mean any particular loss either, they do sound in fact good, lubricated. The overshadow comes from the instrumentality, imperially influencing the album's richness (as it reigned in Psychopuls's jam and distorted cerebralness).

The style emphasizes at any moment how complete and good Lizard's concept is, musically. Once power rock-pop, and previously dark-twisted Crimson prog, this time everything flows into prog rock with classic and modern twists, and with decent elements of melodious, abstract, experimental, hard (metal), symphonic or art rock (and lamer elements of folk or excessive, instead of simple, improvisations, rock pretzels). After a powerful long title track (with a middle part made of an extremely kicking rhythm of hard rock and art rock) - a reprise of some sorts, melancholic sounding, ending afterwards the album - everything is about conceptualizing over the three genius painters. Vincent and Salvador have three parts (but their first one is short and focuses on warm-up noises or cold sound-music), while Pablo has two, the first being a mere dynamic/catchy good song, while the second is elaborated. By nuance, the best moment in Vincent are artistic, but also hard-pulsating and fantasy-driven, while Salvador is less proggy, more abstract, then lyricial or veiled in surrounds.

With Tales From Artichoke Wood, Lizard condensate their modern art prog rock to the best high quality notes. As far as my rate goes, I am a bit of a cheater, since I called this album admirable by its best and richest sound of prog rock, plus am subjectively more impressed by the poly-nuclear dark Psychopuls. But, for what can be evened in this issue, this album is very fine, more a master-work than a masterpiece, plus many - but not all - prog fans can agree on liking it. Differently.

Latest members reviews

2 stars I want asking for my excuses to all PA Collaborators which gives a very high rate to this album ( 50% 4 stars + 22% 5 stars = 72% ) ! In my humble opinion this album don't deserves any note above 2 stars, and I write this after my last review about their first album "W Galerii Czasu" ( review ... (read more)

Report this review (#1493188) | Posted by maryes | Friday, November 27, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What we have here, huh? Ok, it's the record of polish art rock band called Lizard, named Tales from the artichoke wood. Bands name as you can easily imagine is inspired by King Crimson, (same for the music, in first hearing influence of KC is obvious - well it's all right for me, I love KC!). ... (read more)

Report this review (#161031) | Posted by Gilo | Wednesday, February 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This time Lizard recorded their fallow up album to the 2003 _Psychopuls_ in only one year. Having in mind that between the release of their first and their second album was a gap of seven years, I was a little worried, especially remembering that _Psychopuls_ didn't really match my expectation ... (read more)

Report this review (#34586) | Posted by silentman | Monday, May 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Hmmm,what can i say.Lizard is one of ma favourites bands from polish progressive rocks scene.And when i listen this album,i was shock.When i hear Psychopuls i was disappointed ,but this record..This is real music,a masterpiece.Delicate vocal and strong rhytm section,great atmospheric melodies ... (read more)

Report this review (#34584) | Posted by | Wednesday, May 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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