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LIZARD

Eclectic Prog • Poland


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Lizard biography
LIZARD has a variety of influences. They intrigate Crimsonian influences with a spirit skin to that of their compatriots in COLLAGE. The vocals have a neo prog influence while the instrumental parts have an emphasis on the individual player's skill. The musicianship is intricate with complicated band interplay.

"W Galerii Czasu" reflects a strong influence of UK and ELP. The CD is produced really great ... no redundant effects and clear sound of all instruments. Now I'm convinced that this album is a masterpiece, a future classic of the Polish Art-Rock.

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LIZARD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

LIZARD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.57 | 41 ratings
W Galerii Czasu
1997
3.63 | 26 ratings
Psychopuls
2004
3.86 | 37 ratings
Tales From The Artichoke Wood
2005
3.16 | 17 ratings
Spam
2006
4.05 | 68 ratings
Master & M
2013

LIZARD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 7 ratings
Noc Zywych Jaszczurów (Official Bootleg)
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
One night in Holland (Boot)
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
In The Land of Emerald Lizard (Boot)
2003

LIZARD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

LIZARD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LIZARD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 3 ratings
Strange Time
2013

LIZARD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Master & M by LIZARD album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.05 | 68 ratings

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Master & M
Lizard Eclectic Prog

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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 Master & M by LIZARD album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.05 | 68 ratings

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Master & M
Lizard Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

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 it sounds and styles from 80s techno pop (I hear THE BLOW MONKEYS, KAJAGOOGOO, ABC, ICEHOUSE, GENE LOVES JEZEBEL, and, especially, MINIMAL COMPACT), 70s metal (the reminder of BLUE OYSTER CULT--especially in Buck Dharma-like lead guitar soli--is strong), 80s pop metal (DEF LEPPARD and WHITESNAKE immediately come to mind) and even late-70s jazz fusion (e.g., EARL KLUGH, BOB JAMES, FREDDY HUBBARD, NARADA MICHAEL WALDEN), all covered with amazingly gorgeous and powerful vocals--all sung in Polish! Infinitely melodious yet interestingly constructed and, amazingly well mixed/engineered and produced. Amazingly, I have to give five star ratings to all of the songs (all given the simple designation of "Chapter," I through V) with four of them achieving my own personal (10/10) highest rating. If the album has a weakness it would be in the fairly straightforward drumming and predominance of straight rock time signatures. The singing of founding member, Damian Bydliński, the bass playing of the only other member from the original band, Janusz Tanistra, the keyboard work of newcomer Pawel Fabrowicz, and the electric guitar work of Daniel Kurtyka are all extraordinary--top notch--each a real joy to tune into.

Man, Poland and Italy are where it's at in ProgWorld these days!

4.5 stars rated up for creative originality.

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 Master & M by LIZARD album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.05 | 68 ratings

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Master & M
Lizard Eclectic Prog

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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 Noc Zywych Jaszczurów (Official Bootleg)  by LIZARD album cover Live, 1999
3.31 | 7 ratings

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Noc Zywych Jaszczurów (Official Bootleg)
Lizard Eclectic Prog

Review by RaphaelT

3 stars LIZARD are a band I recommend to all lovers of KING CRIMSON and UK style. This is seems to be notorious fact about the band, but they really feel the sense of music of mentioned bands. Not only they are confident enough with their instruments to produce great versions of their idols' intricate classics, but they can develop the style for their own needs. And they have a lot to say, since their lyrics are amongst the best I've ever heard. Sadly, all their beauty is best shown when heard in their original language, Polish. This album shows two faces of early LIZARD: covers of KING CRIMSON and UK and their own material from first album "W Galerii Czasu". Of the first I most appreciate brave, dynamic version of "In The Dead of Night" and the opener "21st Century Schizoid Man" with the intriguing guitar middle part, great substitute for lacking saxophone. Of the latter, "W krainie szmaragdowego jaszczura" is standing out, with intensive closing section. The copy in my possession is Metal Mind 2003 rerelease and it is enriched with three live versions of tracks from the first album, namely "Autoportret", "Strefa Cienia" and "Ogród Przeznaczenia". Out of these I distinguish "Autoportret". I've never spotted such subtle keyboards in KING CRIMSON and lyrics are as dreamy as the best Sinfield's efforts. Moreover, they are sung in delicate way by Damian Bydliński. All in all, the great portrait of early LIZARD for those KING CRIMSON and UK fans who are looking for the band in this vein. However, LIZARD's style today is different and their shown their best with later albums as "Tales From Artichoke Woods" and "Spam". Therefore I mark it with three stars. More than an album for collectors only but this is not an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. Not everyone has to love KING CRIMSON greatest followers.

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 Spam by LIZARD album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.16 | 17 ratings

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Spam
Lizard Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars LIZARD are one of those bands that i'd be a lot bigger fan of if they we're strictly all instrumental.The vocals are in Polish and unfortunately really take away from my enjoyment of the music. It is a disappointment because I really like their style as they have a KING CRIMSON flavour with violin and it can be quite dark at times.

"Spam # 1" opens with spoken vocals then it kicks in hard rather quickly before settling in with violin.Vocals and violin will lead the way although the guitar is prominant at times. It ends like it began. Good song except for the vocals. "Spam # 2" is dark then it kicks in KING CRIMSON- like. Passionate vocals before a minute. It stays heavy except for the brief light sections that come and go occassionaly. Love the heaviness though. "Spam # 3" opens with gentle guitar, violin and reserved vocals. A beat follows and it does pick up some later.

"Spam # 4" has this drum / guitar intro then the vocals and bass join in.Violin follows. I like the sound after 3 1/2 minutes when the vocals stop and the violin plays over the heaviness.Vocals are back late. "Spam # 5" is laid back but dark with reserved vocals. It picks up after 2 1/2 minutes. Violin a minute later when the vocals stop.Vocals are back 7 1/2 minutes in.Violin ends it. "Spam # 6" features gentle guitar and fragile vocals with piano.Violin arrives after 2 minutes then the tempo picks up. I like this one a lot,especially the long instrumental section.

"Psychopuls" is my favourite album from the band but this ranks as number two. Good record. 3.5 stars.

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 Psychopuls by LIZARD album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.63 | 26 ratings

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Psychopuls
Lizard Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Another interesting and modern progressive rock band hailing from Poland,LIZARD were found in 1990 and spent the first six years of their existence on live performances,while they also recorded a demo tape.In 1997 they recorded an interesting debut named ''W Galerii Czasu'' with main influences being E.L.P. and KING CRIMSON.Almost seven years passed before the band released their sophomore work at the dawn of 2004,entitled ''Psychopuls''.This time their sound seems heavier and less polished,but the musicianship remains at a top level.As the name of the band indicates,LIZARD are much inspired by KING CRIMSON,especially by their ''Red''-era phase.The album contains lots of complicated guitars,sometime flirting with the roughness of DREAM THEATER,heavy use of synthesizers and mellotron (listen to the absolutely fantastic violin strings that pop up here and there),supported by dark yet gentle Polish vocals.If you could imagine a mix of complex mid-70's KING CRIMSON with a touch of neo prog in the vein of COLLAGE or ALBION,then you're very close to LIZARD's style.''Psychopuls'' is a work that requires a lot of careful listenings to be fully appreciated.An essential find for lovers of intricate,passionate music!

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 W Galerii Czasu by LIZARD album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.57 | 41 ratings

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W Galerii Czasu
Lizard Eclectic Prog

Review by Patiquee

5 stars I cannot recall which neo-prog album made that kind of impression as Galerii Czasu did...

First of all: this album is nothing new in a prog-rock world. it didn't discover any new directions but...

Every track is a masterpiece. Well produced, fantastic twisted melodies, many tempo changes and especially great music ideas which created this songs in reach-arranged and brilliant performed compositions.

It is hard to pick one of those few which You can tell: this one is essence of entire album. Each of them has its own world but all together make it as a giant epic tale.

I am not gonna describe each song od this album. It's impossible to judge every sound without listening it as a whole.

Just listen to it and fall into the land of emerald lizard.

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 Psychopuls by LIZARD album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.63 | 26 ratings

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Psychopuls
Lizard Eclectic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Driving down the highway, cruise control on another 6 hour long trip, with Lizard's Psychopuls in the CD player, sunglasses repelling the glare, hair flowing in the wind, freedom. Not a single worry in the world, will I sell another system tomorrow? Who knows, who cares right now, I am zooming on Prog Highway. BWOOOP! Rear view mirror, State Trooper on my tail. Pffff! My Quebec license plate must have set off the alarm bells! Immediate stop, roll down the window, hands on the wheel, the smiling young policeman comes over. Officer Kaz Kaminski! Here we go: license, registration and what have I done all lined up like ducks. "Hello, sir! Just wanted to let you know that your trunk is open and hey, what's that cool music you're listening to?" I reply "Well it's a progressive prog band from Poland that.", "From Poland, where my grand daddy came from? And you said Prog? You mean like Glass Hammer? I listen to "Lex Rex" and "Culture of Ascent" all day! The guys at the station think that I consume some of the stuff I bust but I just love that band.." Well needless to say, I made myself an unexpected friend that day and we listened to this album in its entirety and asked him for his comments. The following are his impressions with a little help from Uncle Shakespeare (Cop grammar is a little lax!). Album starts off noisily with electronic confusion segueing into heavy KC -Red period pyrotechnics, full of shock, swagger and brutality. This is polyrhythmic dissonance in all its blazing glory, with Mariusz Szulakowski's percussion oddly metallic, Damian's evocative singing with shrouded Polish lyrics and with musical missiles fired off in all directions, like CNN scenes of Baghdad under air attack. Psychopulse indeed, the title is quite revealing. The eerie shimmering violin brings a dose of much needed elegance and emotion to the rather stark proceedings, soaring with gusto and wailing in agony. Lizard certainly does not shy away from their Crimson influence and frankly, why should they not wallow in the glory of the King? Another brief electronic meditation massages the atmosphere, getting in the mood for another resilient romp into the deepest realms of progressive insanity. On Track 4, Janusz Tanisztra's rumbling and reptilian bass carves out a simple furrow with the others simply following for the ride, again with a very Starless & Bible Black groove that is more honorific than outright plagiaristic. A gentle middle section only heightens the contrast between the soft and the steamroller parts, with the bass bopping along frenetically and nice mellotron waves make this a highly exhilarating outing and a rather cosmic finale. After another sonic interlude, the Lizards return with a rather jazzier affair, full of warm laid-back charm and cosmopolitan ennui, a slow sizzler completely at the opposite end of the raunchy meter. Track 7 starts ratcheting up the level of passion and commitment to some wilder territories that are best summarized by a brief nightmarish 'tron passage on track 8, gloomy almost electro-noise, highly minimalistic and strangely psychotic with whispered insanities ebbing oddly into a maelstrom of controlled confusion. The final piece is an 11 minute epic that finally raises the roof, full of hard electronic drone (Like John Foxx or Mark Shreeve) with slippery synthesizer bubbles, absurd lead lines and progressively morphing into a decidedly heavier expanse and booming drum patterns shrouded in deep electricity. The guitar lines represent severe madness and verges on being a soundtrack for a loony bin commercial. We serve the people: Glass of Wodka, a citation for DUI and 3.5 Demerols.

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 W Galerii Czasu by LIZARD album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.57 | 41 ratings

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W Galerii Czasu
Lizard Eclectic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Lizard debuted in the world of prog rock with their opus "W Galerii Czasu", released in 1997 in a time when neo-prog seemed to be the dominant prog trend in Poland. The original quintet pretty much developed a kind of sound related to IQ and Pendragon, especially regarding the strong presence of stylish keyboard ornaments and solos all over the place - Andrzej Jancza's inputs are featured in the mix. Regarding compositional strategies, Lizard was really focused on the retro scheme, which truly helped them to state a more muscular line of work than those of compatriot bands Quidam or Collage. As much as he was the main wrtire from the very beginning, Damian Bydlinski's more recurrent role was behind the microphone. The album starts with 'Kazdy dzień to więcej ran w twej glowie', a track whose introductory cosmic synth layers serve as an appealing force. After the serene classical guitar interlude, the main motif emerges with an irresistible hook. The jazz-friendly cadences stated by the rhythm duo pretty much announce the kind of drive that will be further developed from the "Psychopuls" album onwards. Track 2 is also notably sustained on the melodic hooks, but thsi time the instrumental work is more meticulous, aptly developed on intrincate tempos, properly displayed through a wide timespan. It is 3 minutes shorter than the opener, but notoriously more complex. Like I said earlier in this review, Lizard started as a prog band aiming to explore the standards of neo as deep as going beyond the usual framework of the aforesaid subgenre. The ballad 'Autoportret' is indeed more akin to the style of "Safe"- era Collage. 'Strefa cienia' comprises some sonorities that combine psychedelia and hard rock, not unlike post-Signify Porcupine Tree. the keyboard adornments in the interlude make a hint at King Crimson's vintage intrumental 'Red', albeit not as oppressive. 'Ogród przeznaczenia' brings back teh melancholy of 'Autoportret', although it feels more introspective and less romantic. This is certainly one of the most brilliant prog ballads in the 90s, that strongly I feel about thsi song. the evocative chords on classical guitar, the effective string ensemble and clarinet sounds stated by the digital keyboards and the serene vocal deliveries by Bydlinski provide a bullet-proof sense of emotional vulnerability to this song. It has happened to me more than once that I listened to this song 2-3 times in a row before going to the next one. And now, let's go to the next one... The suite 'W krainie szmaragdowego jaszczura' closes down the album's official tracklist, retaking the shcemes and atmospheres of teh opener and 'Strefa cienia' to a large degree. the addition of soem folk-influenced melodic elements insert an interesting variation to the whole track's series of moods. The splendorous bolero that sets the last section is quite captivating. All in all, "W Galerii Czasu", while not reflecting entirely the musical power that Lizard will eventually show in teh 2000's, is an excellent example of the best melodic prog rock that Europe created in the 90s.

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 W Galerii Czasu by LIZARD album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.57 | 41 ratings

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W Galerii Czasu
Lizard Eclectic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars W Galerii Czasu is Polish band Lizard´s debut album. It´s a pretty interesting album if you´ re into melodic yet challenging prog rock. But beware that the lyrics are in Polish and it might not be the most easy language to like on first impression.

The music has some characteristics that makes it original even though you can hear Lizard´s influences more than once. The keyboards are generally melodic and besides the typical chords that accompany the music Andrzej Jancza also uses a really fake piano sound which I really dislike. He is a very cool musician though and adds some jazzy chords here and there which is one of the original things on W Galerii Czasu. That part is something I really like and it reminds me of Allan holdsworth. The guitar plays some solid eclectic notes while the loud bass is also enjoyable. The drums are pretty good too. Damian Bydliński is a great singer with a touch of Derek Shulmann but his own none the less.

Każdy dzień to więcej ran w twej głowie starts the album with it´s almost 10 minute playing time. Lots of different parts in this song. It´s pretty great even though there is a part that is played 4 times instead of 2 like it should have been IMO. It sound amaturish to me. Galeria iluzji continues the album and it might be my favorite here. There are some great guitar riffs here that sound really great. It´s not hard rock but more emotional playing. Autoportret is the next song and it´s the most hard rock like tune here. It´s only a tendency though and it never breaks into full hard rock. Strefa cienia is a very progressive song. Maybe the most challenging song on the album. Ogród przeznaczenia is a semi-ballad with some sombre keyboard notes. W krainie szmaragdowego jaszczura is the ending epic of the album which has a long instrumental intro. The song evolves with vocals later on and it´s one of the best songs on the album. There is even a folky part in W krainie szmaragdowego jaszczura.

The album is very cohesive and stands as a unit despite the eclectic nature of the music.

The musicianship is great on W Galerii Czasu and I´m sure these guys have played in other bands before this one.

The production is both good and bad. I like the sound on the bass, guitar and the vocals while I dislike the sound on the drums and some of the keyboard sounds. The overall impression is OK though nothing special.

I´m really happy I took my time to listen to W Galerii Czasu as it has been a pleasant surprise. I will most definitely be reviewing the rest of their discography too. My overall impression is that W Galerii Czasu is a good album that touches excellent at times and I will reward it 3 big stars with a recommendation. It´s good to see that there are so many quality prog rock bands coming out of Poland.

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