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Fren All the Pretty Days album cover
4.05 | 68 ratings | 9 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hammill (6:06)
2. Wiosna (10:23)
3. Romantik (9:31)
4. Bajka (3:04)
5. All the Pretty Days (11:40)
6. Turque (24:23)

Total Time 65:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Oskar Cenkier / piano, organ, synthesizer, Mellotron
- Michał Chalota / guitars
- Andrew Shamanov / bass, synthesizers
- Oleksii Fedoriv / drums & percussion
- Fren / vocals (6)

Releases information

Self-released on October 8, 2022

Thanks to black_diamond for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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FREN All the Pretty Days ratings distribution

(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

FREN All the Pretty Days reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
5 stars Again asking myself what is progressive rock. How about sorta long track introduced with so-called complicated polyrhythmic methodology. We sincere rock fans can say such a 'sham' should not be appropriate nor approved. No musical cheap trick needed but intensive magnificence in a natural manner should be appreciated. Back to what I'd like to mention here ... "All The Pretty Days" was released in October 2022 as the second full-length album by a Polish progressive wonder FREN. An important point is that this creation has considerable appeal as they play quite sincerely and honestly with their incomparable instrumental technique and wonderful creativity. In the beautiful sleeve pic are a dark atmosphere and hopeful moonshine in front of a fairy. Even under such a tough situation all over the world, they would say we MUST live and love powerfully.

The first track "Hammill" filled with a pretty classical texture and deep life energy can ease our mind. Yes this prologue has no shammy method but pure and serious ambition. Oskar's electric piano gives us a dreamy uplifting feeling also in the following step "Wiosna". Fluent rhythmic bases and guitar plays full of passion drive us pleasant. "Romantik" is really romantic. Uptempo energetic performances by them all notify the audience of kinda dreamy fantasy on a dissonant ground. This might be a message people around the world should never give up romanticism. And smooth flavourful space rock like Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" can be enjoyed in "Bajka" kicking our concern out and stabilizing our inner space. An opus veiled in promising air.

The titled track involves elemental variation and diversity. In the former part dissected bass plays are very impressive. Repetitive sticky melody lines sound like our pain under the pandemic and during-the-war circumstance. But their enthusiastic appearances definitely encourage us, especially the last magnificent, prosperous run. The longest epilogue is another giant. We cannot feel long nor lengthy anymore regardless of 24 minute long or more. The first phase is a fascinating power itself. Mysterious glassy melody lines are enchanting, followed by silky electric piano plays based upon sorta supportive rhythm section's turf. The latter is a passion with upper-tempo spurts by all of them drastically inspired ... we cannot help clinging to the very last instrumental hit.

One of the masterpieces in 2022 for me. That's all.

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
5 stars This year, I have heard nothing short of amazing albums. Most progressive rock releases that came about have been amazing, with some albums quickly becoming some of my favorites from this year, with only 4 so far being what I consider masterpieces in their own right. However, that number is only getting slightly higher with this strange, obscure, but beautiful release. If you don't know Fren is an instrumental progressive rock band from Poland, and so far they released only 2 albums and 2 EPs. They have an aesthetic that is interesting and cryptic, but strangely pretty in some shape or form. 2 years ago they released their first LP Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside, and this year on the 8th of October they released their sophomore album All The Pretty Days, and this release surprised me when I first heard it. It was so beautifully done yet strange that I both immediately planned to make a review for it, whilst also knocking my head around what to say about this wonderful album. I can say though, with utmost confidence that this may be the best album I have heard this year. Yep, even better than Hellfire, Shiki, or Laminated Denim.

This album begins with Hammill, and my guess is the title is about Peter Hammill of Van Der Graaf Generator fame. The first song is one beautiful opening melody. It begins with this lovely piano that then gets swept up with a guitar, but then both clear out with a small cymbal beat with small influxes of the piano and guitar creeping in sometimes. The guitar and piano melodies return in some form after a bit but with a more lush sound as the bass is introduced carrying the rhythm with the drumming getting more and more pronounced. Just how lush the pianos and guitar sounds create this rising and epic feeling, almost like a moment in a show or anime where the main character after being beaten up by the bad guy starts to feel this surge of power and determination that rises and rises, pumping the viewer up for something amazing. This rising action gets higher and higher, building and building, making the anticipation with every little beat from the cymbal to the small melodies created with the guitar and piano growing more uneasy, just teasing you from something amazing. As you think there may not be something in the wake of the rising action, the drums get louder until it crashes down sweeping you off your feet as the melody full comes to a completion point, with the guitars soaring higher than ever, and the piano in the back creating a pedestal for the amazing rhythms found on the bass and drums. This goes on until it pitters out, with the piano and guitar being left, just like how the song started. This rise, this tease allows this song to be such a good opening for this album. It creeps up slowly, giving you hints and nods to what is about to unfold. This movement was what I loved about many post-rock groups like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and This Will Destroy You. I am reminded of my first experiences with those groups in this song, almost at the same awe-inspiring scale. If the first song is this good, then what would the rest of the album be like?

We get our answer within Wiosna. They start with the very atmospheric and triply guitar that then is followed by a beat showing off that while similar, this band wants to do different things with each song. The piano inclusions are still there before it transitions into this very technical guitar solo with an almost doom metal bass carrying it in the back. Each little movement in this song is slightly different from the last. After this one, we get a more bass-led segment that builds up into some hits on the cymbals. Those cymbals lead into drumming consisting of very lush atmospheric sounds that rise in with the guitar and bass that then go back to the original melody from the first bit of the song. This song concludes with a lovely little guitar solo that rides its highs in spades. In just 10 minutes we get a feel for how this band operates. Little movements with their small defining moments, each different from the last, but so versatile in the song's core. The guitars in this song are the highlights, with such a strong sound yet still incredibly teeming that they become this well-realized sound that transcends into completely new levels. Just two songs in and I am pretty much in love with this album right from the get-go.

Wiosna was a very guitar-driven piece, but Romantik is a lot more piano-driven, and it is just beautiful. The little pitter patterns on the piano lead the piece as more instruments slowly get more introduced, more developed, and more pronounced as rhythms start to get more expressive, and all without words too. The pure cathode riffs the guitar applies with the piano in the back moving the song forward makes this more than incredible it becomes almost mind-bending. The rest of the song is mostly piano-led with echoes of each key pressed down, creating this aura of pure beauty. The whole magic of this song is consistent, creating a melancholic, but well-realized piece of music that is some of the best, and most realized bits of music to ever grace my ears. Just the sheer volume this group can pull, creating these long but well-developed movements that speak volumes without speaking at all just makes them incredible. If anything, this is a pure merriment of sound that I do not always see from progressive rock, much fewer post-rock groups, with the only exception being probably Mogwai or Explosions In The Sky. What Fren has on here just grows into this sound that I love. It is new, it is fresh, and it is wonderful.

The shortest song on here, Bajka, being only three minutes, still 100% delivers on the expectations set with the previous three songs, and not only meets those expectations but raises the bar even higher. In just a short amount of time it builds into this wonderful, hypnotic, and almost spooky piece of music with such an odd, wobbly guitar sound that rises into this amazing movement of sound before being stopped by the piano, delivering on an incredibly profound melody, that, despite its shortness, makes for a joyful listening experience.

The title track is such a treat. It begins with this tribal beat led by the bass guitar, really allowing the band to shine on that aspect of the music. It creates this intense but very cathartic sound that I have only heard some metal bands doing. It starts slow, with beats creeping into a full rhythm with the piano slowly taking charge before being replaced with the guitar that continues the rhythm of the whole ordeal before reaching an early climax, however that crescendo would only be an appetizer to the rest of the song, which continues the slow-moving beat patterns, but contain different guitar inflections that create a very interesting, almost middle eastern feel. How it rises up and up, slowly building on each riff until it hammers that crescendo once more, but with a more developed flair giving it that push it needs. It is honestly one of the most gratifying songs on this album, and how the crescendo is not just a one small little second thing with it going on for a bit of a while just makes this tune so much more of an epic track well deserved for the output this album has already received. It is so well done, that I am honestly speechless after it is all over.

It would've been a very amazing masterpiece if the album ended there, but instead, the band decided to slip in one last song that just makes this album peak above all the others I have listened to, and that song is the 24-minute epic of Turque. This song is extremely different from the rest, not being very slow and methodical, but rather quick the punch and extremely bizarre sounding from the start. The guitar with this almost King Crimson, Larks Tongues In Aspic sound, bending and shaping throughout the song, before slowly melting away with the keys taking lead, creating an ambiance like no other that reminds me of the first song off the album, giving me a vivid sense of nostalgia. This piano melody consists most of the middle of this piece, going up and down, crafting this aura of a strange mixture of joy and sadness, making for a beautiful but strange movement that weirdly warms my heart. It all just rises into this beautiful piece of music that then leads into the closing minutes of the song, being much like the first having this guitar lead movement that is very bizarre, but yet still so enchanting. Just how it lays itself down, creating this gripping sound that builds and builds into this weird mixture of music. It also builds into the only part that has any semblance of singing, but it is very acapella and only plays at the closing minute, but in that short amount of time, it is an unexpected but climatic finisher for an album that not only exceeded my expectations but exceeded what exceeded my expectations in the first place.

It is a crying shame that this album is not talked about as much as I hoped. Not only is this one of the best albums of 2022, but it is also one of the most beautiful, groundbreaking albums that have been released in progressive rock, post-rock, and general music history for me. This album should not be overlooked, and I implore you to take listen to this album and share it with others. Plus support the band as well, because with an album like this, how could you not? This album is fantastic in every direction, and it speaks a lot without even speaking once.

Review by Matti
4 stars The instrumental progressive rock quartet from Krakow, Poland are back with their second album. The debut Where Do You Want Ghosts to Reside (2020) received very positive reviews here, and it already strongly looks like All the Pretty Days will succeed equally well -- if not better -- and we'll certainly see it pretty high in the list of the Top Albums of the Year. I rated the debut with four stars which is how I rate this one too, since I think it's equally good and quite a lot of what was to be expected.

The 6-minute 'Hammill' is an impressive opening track. In the slow and delicate beginning a solitary piano is joined by guitar in a melody that reminds me of Peter Hammill's song 'A Louse Is Not a Home' on his fantastic third solo album The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage (1974). The composition of course continues as a purely individual and original piece. There's no doubt it pays hommage to the mentioned mr. Hammill but it does so very elegantly, capturing kindred spirit in the introspective emotional level without trying to reflect all sides of Hammill's wide- ranging art.

'Wiosna' means "spring" in Polish; the title may or may not also refer to a short-lived social-liberal and pro- European political party in Poland. At least there's some sense of tension in the composition. 'Romantik' is much more dynamic piece than the title would suggest. Yes, there's something romantic about it but never in a sentimental way. At one point the rhythm temporarily reminds me, probably deliberately, the famous jazz piece 'Take Five'. In the middle the piece soars gorgeously with bright piano sounds and an electric guitar solo. Wonderful introspective sensitivity in the melodies!

The band has a democratic overall approach to playing, by which I mean that each musician is equally strong on their instruments but also always ready to give space for others. The keyboards of Oskar Cenkier have an emphasis on piano with some classical music and chamber jazz nuances, guitarist Michał Chalota does his essential part of the musical textures and throws wonderful guitar solos to suitable places, and the excellent rhythm section of Andrew Shamanov and Oleksii Fedoriv is never overshadowed. Many bands especially at the early stage of their careers are guilty of showing off too much and loading each track full in the same way, resulting as an evenly thick and undynamic album. Fren avoided this already on their debut.

'Bajka' is a moody short piece among the longer ones and yet it has enough time in three minutes to grow in the emotional level. This piece is an important part of the album dynamics. Perhaps during the nearly 12-minute title track I was mildly losing my concentration, and for some reason I remain a bit colder to that one. The final piece 'Turque' exceeds to 24 minutes and contains an epic feeling full of both intensity and delicacy. Near the end the quartet adds a wordless choir chant.

Without any doubt this instrumental album will deeply impress many prog lovers who have grown into the genre with bands like King Crimson, Pink Floyd, VdGG and Camel. My real rating is 4˝. By the way, the visual design of the CD could be better.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The second full-length studio album from this up-and-coming collective from Poland.

1. "Hammill" (6:06) the reference is obvious. Though instrumental, the phrasing is quite like Peter Hammill's vocal pace and style. Some don't seem to hear it, but I feel this is a rather direct emulation of Hammilltonia--a place I appreciate but do not often feel like hanging out. (8.75/10)

2. "Wiosna" (10:23) a nice heavier bass and piano chord progression opens this before softening and morphing at the end of the second minute for a bit before kicking back into a support groove for some adventurous lead guitar work. Technically, I'm not so very impressed with these musicians, but they do have a penchant for creating engaging if simple groove melodies. Soft again at the end of the fourth miunute for the usual 45 seconds--allowing the drummer some show time (he's much better keeping time than soloing)--before settling back into some PINK FLOYDian SOUP-like spacious groove. Nice STEVEN WILSON guitar tone in the second half of the ninth minute. (Is it Steven?) There just seems as if there could have been so much more development and flash in this song. (17.25/20)

3. "Romantik" (9:31) interesting use of fast echo effect on piano for establishing opening foundation--and for building the first 2:20. Then we rock before we jazz swing. (I hear the "Take Five" motif another reviewer mentioned!) Then we use the piano echo to create a kind of classical base over which the rest of the band creates a kind of reactive cinematic pastiche. Despite the electric guitar taking over the lead, it's the echoing piano that continues to draw one's attention. A curious albeit creative song.(17.5/20)

4. "Bajka" (3:04) melodrama. Like Richard Wright and Elton John. (8.5/10)

5. "All the Pretty Days" (11:40) for the first four minutes, piano and cymbal play support a prolonged bass solo. Then tempo sows down to a snails pace as main themes/motif continues but then gets built upon by guitars and synths--turning into a proper weave. Nice chord changes but, ultimately, kind of a boring, too-repetitive song--I mean, it's not until the tenth minute that we finally get a change in the four-chord progression used by the piano from the start--and it's not even that great of a crescendo/climax! (17/20)

6. "Turque (24:23) like a collection of themes offered in tribute to a variety of early rock icons and film soundtrack artists. Some really dated sounds, styles, and passages--all showing more a respect and reverence without any virtuosity, dexterity, or talent (meaning, virtually any music-loving, equipment-rich garage band could've practiced and spliced these themes together. Quite unimpressive and even dull. Still, the theme developed in the fifteenth and sixteenth minute does suck one in nicely until turing to blatantly into something TD/FLOYDian. One of the poorer prog epics I've heard from the year 2022. (38.5/50)

Total Time 65:07

C/three stars; a good album that many prog lovers will like for background music and for conjuring up some nostalgic memories.

Review by Kempokid
4 stars A fantastic love letter to a variety of classic prog musicians all performed through this very lush, melancholic lens that clearly also ends up taking a lot of cues from the compositional style of post rock as well, with these longer drawn out passages that seem more invested in crafting a delicate and often majestic atmosphere above all else. A big thing that makes All the Pretty Days so interesting then is the way that there's still clearly a lot of the underlying prog approach combined with all of this, with impressive bouts of technicality and complexity being interspersed throughout these sweeping passages of pure beauty. The title track ends up representing one of the main instances of this mixing of sounds and then takes it one step further to differentiate itself with its vaguely darker tone that's reinforced by the heavier electric guitar, all of this mixed with a lot of sparse moments that give everything a bit of room to breathe and really allow the listener some time to sit back and absorb what they're listening to. In general this is one element of the album as a whole that I heavily, heavily appreciate, with it being clearly comfortable to take its time and allow the listener to slowly digest what they're listening to, making those empty spaces in between the biggest, most bombastic moments feel just as significant to the imagery evoked as the climaxes themselves.

All of this isn't to say that the album is lacking in its more direct and instantly memorable elements either, it's definitely interested in striking a balance between its complexity and something to easily latch onto, such as with the central melody of Romantik or the punchy piano rhythms playing off the psychedelic background about 6 minutes into Turque. It's all a careful balancing act that isn't afraid to challenge the listener at points while also ensuring that it never gets lost in a sense of madness, and the end result is an album that feels truly beautiful while having a lot that can appeal to the prog lovers out there. This album definitely surprised me quite a lot with how much underlying nuance there was while never losing sight of the sense of cohesion that it was able to establish near-immediately and keep throughout. Heavily recommended for fans of instrumental prog because this is some of the best stuff out there in that vein that I've heard in quite a while, especially with how much of a genuine masterpiece the final track is.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Back in 2020, Polish newbies Fren arrived on the scene with a stunning all-instrumental debut, universally praised by both fans and critics and left an indelible impact on the community, perhaps signalling a new emerging talent to further raise the progressive bar. With respect to the many one-shot wonders, the proverbial question remains: Can you do it again and perhaps even better? The wait is over, and the answer is a resounding YES! This Polish- Ukrainian quartet of Oskar Cenkier on keyboards, guitarist Michal Chalota, bassist Andrew Shamanov and Oleksii Fedoriv on the drum kit return with another dizzying slab of music, this time incorporating a choir for effect for the final 24 minute plus "Turque", a crowning achievement.

As everyone knows full well, Ukraine was invaded by the Russian troops and eschewing any kind of political diatribe, the fact remains that war has once again arrived at the gates of Europe and this past year has been one of general fear, concern, disgust, and anguish. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the new album, entitled "All the Pretty Days", has absorbed all the pain and suffering associated with conflict and one can hear and feel it from the initial few seconds and all the way through. The production is less refined, with a raw intensity and obvious grit that seeks to overpower the mundane. This will undoubtedly be a more emotional experience, at least it was for me (I was born in Hungary, and I know what its like in that neck of the woods!).

When the sombre piano cries out its pain on "Hammill", the emotion becomes palpable, the starkness self evident, the cymbals threatening and the electric guitar entering the fray with resolute acquiescence. Many feelings join in union: solemnity, sober reality, courage, defiance, will power and hope. A stunning opener. Out of this unambiguous intro, a swooning groove emerges on the austere "Wiosna", a 10 minute + lumbering steamroller of harsher riffs, walloping bass lines amid a massive drum rumble verging on the ferocious and unrelenting. The insistent piano exudes passion and boldness to unparalleled heights of exaltation., boldly halting the onslaught long enough for the guitar to lick its wounded frets. This is Fren's version of King Crimson's mythical Red album, in that it is a challenging listen, a gut wrenching musical experience, to say the least. Breathe?. "Romantik" is not exactly all sunshine and flowers either, a sorrowful bass and piano-driven etude that maintains the pain, as only the main melody emits some semblance of a once strong impression of beauty, perhaps taken for granted in the context of human survival. A sweet mid-section reminds one of some familiarity with more blissful moments, but it still rages on?. The vibrant piano resonates with unabashed power and conviction, a genuinely sensational display by Oskar, while Michal's guitar oozes impossible shivers. The rhythm section has no interest in any kind of surrender and will never give up the fight, as it occasionally rests within the valleys of the arrangement, just breathing for a final assault. There is a gorgeous but subdued melody that has a repetitive gravity to put this to bed and blanket the piece with a semblance of momentary peace. The mood seemingly calms down on the atmospheric "Bajka", but its really just an illusion, an oasis within the sandstorm, a respite from the madness, a lull from the thud of endless detonations. It does last longer than its 3 minutes, as the context will simply not allow any kind of relief.

The final two epic tracks are the hallmarks of this magnificent release, the vitriolic bass-fuelled title track with its incessant, to the point of obsessive, piano hammering as its succumbs to a slow infernal dirge, the caustic electric guitar splashing bloodied licks, amid hellish confines of gnarly tones. One cannot help but to viscerally feel the earnest agony embedded within each note, (perhaps even in between each one). Relentlessly pounding away like a barrage of cluster bombs savagely destroying everything in its programmed path, animal, mineral and vegetal reduced to ashes. Gulp!

And then we arrive finally to the Tartarean 24-minute masterwork that simply encompasses all that Fren can do (and had done up to now) in one mighty cogent and convincing piece. A dynamic piece with everything one can hope for, flushed with dissenting contrasts, lightning rapid playing by all four master musicians, loaded with exalted melodies and elongated jams that sear and soar. Both Shamanov and Fedoriv propel the arrangement to dizzying heights, a muscular and mordacious duo intent on steering the band uncompromisingly to areas where only the bravest men go. After the briefest of silences, the highly reflective and suave mid-section etches an elegant piano and guitar theme, later adding on a shimmering choir vortex that will leave one speechless, worthy of the most beautiful music heard in quite a while, without any hint of either gimmickry, ultra-polished production sheen or overt winks at accessibility. There are even hints of future happiness and frolicking in a jazzy moment for the ages. Just honest, heartfelt, melancholic, and raw music. Not pretty at all but very effective.

Can we stop the war now please! 4.5 Salvation salvos

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars "All The Pretty Days" is the second studio album from Poland's FREN. A four piece of bass/synths, guitars, drums and piano/mellotron/synths/organ. Some vocal expressions as well on that almost 25 minute closer. This record really surprised me after reading some opinions on it on another site. I was eager to hear it and it's all instrumental save for those vocal expressions I mentioned earlier. There's a lot of piano on here and a surprising amount of what is similar to jamming but it's more like they hang on to a theme for sometime. I actually thought of Post-Rock as it has that style down at times not with the guitars or sound but style. This record is a little different and the band deserves credit for that.

The opener "Hammill" a reference to the great Peter Hammill, this track along with the song "Bajka" feature a lot of slowly played piano and I found these two of my least favourite tracks. Maybe if it was fender rhodes I don't know. "Wiosna" is a really good song at 10 1/2 minutes with the growly bass, the atmosphere and the aggressive guitar which is a nice touch.

"Romantik" also opens with piano sounding very relaxed and it will close the same way and we get some piano melodies only in between as well, but it's here I experience that mellotron. The title track is where the bass shines and we get active drums and piano. Guitar solos over top after 6 minutes and later too. I like when the bass stops after 9 minutes, such a great sound here. "Turque" has some of the most uplifting moments and I like a few of the guitar sections a lot. Again we get plenty of piano on this one as well. We get a powerful ending with vocal expressions.

Like the album cover I'm not 100% sold on this but I certainly feel it's worth the 4 stars. I'm just not the biggest piano fan unless it's electric or distorted(lol). More guitar next time please.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars A lot of inspiration available here. This is a very good new album provided by FREN, a band from Kraków, Poland, constituted around keyboarder Oskar Cenkier. That means six marvelous new compositions are offered by the quartet. The closing symphonic tinged suite Turque hereby is appearing just like a special bonus track, one may say the album's turbo charger, yet an extended affair of nearly 25 minutes playing time. I would insist this is even matured, compared to their debut, that attracted anyhow. 'Where Do You Want Ghosts To Reside' already had reached for a spotlight immediately in 2020, because showcasing a lot of skilful eclectic moments. The songs are (predominantly) instrumental.

In the early stages I really tried to discover the non-instrumental impact, yeah. The mention 'all vocals by Fren' was quite puzzling, seemed to be placed like nothing more than a pun. Okay, nearly. The grand finale of the aforementioned turbo suite then will reveal the secret. Back to the start. The opening song could be intended as a homage to Peter Hammill maybe? VDGG have inspired a lot of bands. This is appointed as a really smooth and tasty entry into the album. Furthermore I'd like to highlight the great guitar solo on Wiosna. Andrew Shamanov's punchy bass convinces on the album's title track. Wonderful keyboard work everywhere you are. After all the pretty days a clever song writing attitude is pointing the way. Close to a masterpiece for now. The album is showcasing some breath-holding suspense in between. 4.5 stars.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars I am a big fan of this Polish band's 2020 debut, 'Where Do You Want Ghosts To Reside', so I was certainly pleased to discover they had come back with a second offering. It is the same line-up with Oskar Cenkier (piano, organ, synthesizer, Mellotron), Michał Chalota (guitars), Andrew Shamanov (bass, synthesizers) and Oleksii Fedoriv (drums & percussion) and in many ways this is a direct continuation of what we had before. At times quite pastoral, and always influenced by the classics of the Canterbury scene, there are also plenty of jazz elements contained within while they are also not afraid to move more into a hard rock area with some dynamic guitar solos.

When a progressive band call an instrumental track 'Hammill' everyone is going to be looking for certain influences and styles, and that is what we get on the opening number. However, that is not the highlight as although the first five songs are of different lengths and styles, it is the final one which captures the most attention, as 'Turque' is more than 24 minutes long, bringing in influences from the East as well as those more usually used within the scene. Here everyone is often in flight, swapping lead roles, but playing with incredible dexterity and speed ' yet never in too much of a rush with the listener being taken along for a ride, but never sure where it is going to lead. The Polish progressive scene continues to deliver some amazing bands, as it has for decades, and there is no doubt to my ears that Fren are one of the most exciting since the advent or Riverside. Time will tell if they will have as much impact.

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