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Crossover Prog • Poland

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Corral biography
CORRAL is a progressive rock band from Katowice founded around 2006 with singer Agnieszka KOT, guitarist Grzegorz KOT and Krzysiek CUDNY; the same year the band changed the line-up by welcoming a new bassist and keyboardist and in 2007 they were already playing concerts. In 2011 they started working on a demo album called 'Needs' which expanded as the years went by and after some reworking turned into their debut album 'Renevant'. Along with the release of their first album, CORRAL is also active with live performances and has supported bands like the German RPWL on stage.

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CORRAL discography

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3.36 | 19 ratings

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CORRAL Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Revenant by CORRAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.36 | 19 ratings

Corral Crossover Prog

Review by andyread

3 stars It's an encouraging thumbs-up for yet another female fronted melodic prog rock band from Poland. Based in Katowice. This quintet was formed around 2006 by singer Agnieszka Kot, guitarist Grzegorz Kot and drummer Krzysiek Cudny and has been gently honing its sound with a series of live gigs and demos.

Revenant does not break any new ground but shows the benefits of this preparation work with a polished collection of songs. Each offers a great vocal melody, with the instrumentation providing plenty of variety, without being over-complex.

Agnieszka Kot has a very seductive tone to her voice, often reminding me of Kingfisher Sky's Judith Rijnveld. She does sound a little strained when she tries to force the power a little bit more, but she certainly has a bright future ahead. So too has Grzegorz Kot, who delivers a series of effective and not-uninventive solos and riffs.

Fans of bands such as Panic Room, Karnataka, and The Reasoning will know exactly what to expect from Corral, with an extra twist provided by that typically Polish neo-prog sound you get from the likes of Moonspell, Collage, and Believe, and early period Delight.

I prefer the shorter and lighter songs from the first half of the album, with Music In My Head having become a real car stereo favourite. The second half of the disc stretches things out a little more and relies a little too much on routine metal riffing. It's more proggy, but not quite so endearing.

Overall though, this is an easy and very enjoyable debut album.

 Revenant by CORRAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.36 | 19 ratings

Corral Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars With the loss of both The Reasoning and Touchstone this week, it's a sad reminder of how listeners of what is frequently a male dominated genre need to embrace female fronted progressive related bands a little more! Hailing from Poland, at least Corral can now be countered among those bands, and their first album `Revenant' is a promising debut from a band with plenty of energy and musical skill. The group present a mix of accessible vocal melodies with heavy guitars, sometimes even coming across like a gutsier version of UK band Karnataka in parts, with a bit more instrumental trickery thrown in here and there! Singing in English, leading lady Agnieszka Kot has a soulful, wounded yet sympathetic quality that is hugely endearing throughout the album, and the usual progressive instrumental elements are skilfully and carefully implemented around mostly strong melodies, so the album is never overloaded with flashy and unnecessary show-off soloing.

Brief instrumental introduction `The Transcendence' opens the album with cool gentle synth washes and haunting piano, leading straight into melancholic rocker `Music in My Head' that picks up a heavier drama as it progresses. The more skittering and up-tempo `Are You Game?' reveals a catchy melody that would have fit nicely on any Karnataka album, a few added heavier bursts during the chorus, and Grzegorz Kot's electric guitar solo in the middle holds a nicely fuzzy tone to its edges. Danger and menace ripples through `Silly Na´ve', all snarling guitars, Pawel Burda's thick upfront melodic bass and thicker gothic synths with a very melancholic lyric, the repeated line `This time I'll try to appreciate what I've found' especially confronting and tinged with a desperate sadness. `Lavender Bed' alternates between snarling dirty grooving metal riffs and rising symphonic synths, but the highlight is a very clever chorus perfectly delivered by Agnieszka, making it the first sign of true greatness from the band!

The second half of the album starts to deliver some longer pieces. Although the tune of `Myself' is a little uninteresting, there's Riverside-esque reaching electric guitar solos as the band race through a string of different time changes and tempos, but the nice surprise is even a little jazz/fusion playfulness - just listen to Piotr Burda's runaway synths and cheeky electric piano tip-toes, proving at least that the band have a welcome sense of humour! Despite another somewhat unengaging tune, the rumbling intensity to `Through the Touch' is peppered with several unhinged darting up-tempo bursts. The goth-metal crowd will love the urgent ghostly piano dancing around heavy riffing guitars of `Snowy' and it's breathless frantic chorus. Krzysztof Cudny's powerful drums thunder through the album closer `His Eyes', where Agnieszka's voice is full of longing, and a touch of classical grandness is delivered by way of some dazzling piano and spiralling synth passages.

The band do fall back on slightly tired metal riffing a little too often (perhaps they do consider themselves a metal band?!), but there's great ambition and an energetic desire to impress throughout `Revenant' that is obvious and admirable. With a little maturing and honing their skills, there's no reason this group couldn't become another Riverside, combining heavy atmospheres with progressive rock flights of fancy and thoughtful lyrics. Corral are a band with so much potential, and very likely the best is yet to come from this younger female fronted band filled with exciting promise!

Three stars.

 Revenant by CORRAL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.36 | 19 ratings

Corral Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Poland strikes again with the debut album by Corral, a glittering affair full of intense melancholia and fiery personality. Many recent Polish bands have chosen a female vocalist to lead the crew such as early Quidam, Albion, Strawberry Fields, Nemezis , Beam-Light , Soma White and Moonlight to name a few, and the results have been stunning! One wonders what the girls put in their 'little water' (wodka). The band from Katowice is led by Agnieszka Kot and husband/brother Grzegorz Kot on guitars as well the Burda brothers , Pawel on bass and Piotr on keys. Drummer Krysiek Cudny completes the line-up. They have been honing their chops, patiently gigging and practicing until ready to release this first exercise. Harder-edged than Collage or Satellite, Corral prefers the raunchier sound espoused by State Urge and Soma White, a modern neo-prog approach that shows off some sensational moods from a variety of colorful keyboards, as well as some sturdy guitar phrasings that are often closer to Robin Trower than say, Mirek Gil. As is often the case with Polish bands the rhythm section, the sound and the production are strictly first rate. What makes this debut so exemplary is the sheer quality of the songs, expertly delivered by Agnieszka's expressive voice but fashioned on simple but concrete musical platforms that choose to exhilarate rather than subdue with technical prowess.

The premise is set exuberantly with a brief intro, the dreamy modern electronics of 'The Transcendence', a sonic plateau overlooking Tangerine Dream and Enigma-like landscapes with heavy drums, a perfect segue into 'Music in my Head', a delectable opening song that grabs you by the jugular, Agnieszka Kot's vocal screeching very near Olivia Sparnenn (Mostly Autumn) and Anne-Marie Helder (Panic Room) territory, quite an accolade as those two women can certainly croon like the wind. Spooky synth-drenched piano and propulsive drumming give this tune a life of its own, immediately providing a real sense of what this band seeks to achieve. Bold, savory and highly melancholic.

There is no relapse or easing the pedal on the next three shorter and crunchy tracks, starting with the mesmerizing 'Are You Game?' a celestial bluesy lament that hearkens back to the style espoused by bands such as Karnataka and the sadly missed Breathing Space but with a thicker guitar sound, with slithering thunder as its main asset. This is shadowed by a blistering short rock song 'Silly Naive', a steamrolling plea for reckoning, something each person has been guilty of at least once. The plunging guitar tone really adds a great amount of grit, giving this song as well as all the others a dirty, smudged and sooty sound. As a historical footnote, Katowice (along with Nowa Huta) was once an economic disaster area due to intense pollution and industrial mismanagement by the Communist regime in place after WW2. 'Lavender Bed' is the third brief track and another raunchy delivery to please all the sweat hogs out there, morphing into a profound bass-fueled groove that rocks, a compelling style that knocks all the feathery fluff right out the window, aromatic vocals only adding to the thrill, showing off the lady's awesome voice.

The next two pieces are longer (in the 7 minute range), form the core of this interesting release and really stamps the seal of approval on the entire package. The kaleidoscopic 'Myself' is a longer piece that is way more developed in terms of mood, vaulting the vocals into the higher registers of pain and melancholia, slipping from exalted to dreamy with little effort and letting the music take the theme to higher plains. Grzegorz Kot unleashes a few molten riffs that will bowl you over, twirling near heavy metal growls. Loaded with various effects, samplings and basic audio wizardry, the essence of Corral is perfectly exemplified here. 'Through the Touch' is almost a companion piece, same length fueled by pinging synths, cutthroat drum fills, plunging bass pirouettes and that damned harsh guitar. The mid-section furthers the aggression, screeching axes, pounding rhythms and extraordinary soloing by all players. Agniewska really expands her lungs here, convinced and convincing, as well as desperately passionate.

'Snowy' hits hard again, even though the upfront piano seeks to add some ornate beauty to the score, the guitars, bass and drums thumping like Riverside heavy. The relentless keyboard serves as a solid platform for the lead vocalist's howling harangue, reaching overt status on the chorus. Finalizing this sparkling debut with a sweeping slice of affectionate beauty, the unrelenting 'His Eyes' is the most immediate track, a heavy love song nevertheless shoved along by a raging guitar motif as well as some serious rhythmic dynamics. Drummer Cudny bashes mightily while the synth solo has as highly contemporary sheen, almost Barbieri-like, until the boom-boom-tchak guitar riff slams the listener right between the ears. Once again, the vocals are way up there in terms of exaltation, Agnieska must be some sight in a live performance context (there are some vids out there to prove the point). Great finale.

This harder-edged form of modern prog has taken quite a foothold in Poland with similar styled bands really creating a buzz both locally and beyond. The new breed has not just the brilliance of State Urge but also the edgy tension of Soma White, two new bands that are causing quite a stir in progressive circles. Lovely artwork and the generation of a true buzz in the ongoing Polish scene. A band to 'enclose' and embrace.

4 Polish cowboys

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition.

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