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CzesŁaw Niemen - Enigmatic CD (album) cover


CzesŁaw Niemen


Eclectic Prog

4.04 | 175 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Enigmatic" is indeed enigmatic!

With progressive rock still not being fully developed as a genre in its homeland, the United Kingdom, Czesław Niemen in Poland was creating very innovative and advanced music. What's more, he was doing it behind the Iron Cutrain. Consider that Poland was than a poor country ruled by a communist regime of USSR and it was definitely no fun being a progressive musician at the time.

Niemen's musical extract consists of elements of Polish folk music fused with soul and jazz sensibilities. "Bema Pamięci Żałobny Rapsod" is a side-long epic, which applies these influences. It starts out driven by church-like organ, which brings some of Focus' later sounds to mind, and is supported by a pastoral choir and tubular bells. Then comes Niemen's deep voice, similar to that of Joe Cocker, and the piece completely changes its flow with Hammond organ being put into a more soul-inspired scenario. Later on, we encounter an incredibly emotional bluesy guitar solo. The lyrics are a musical interpretation of a rhapsody by a national 19th century Polish poet Cyprian Kamil Norwid. A piece is really moving and expressive in every part and is definitely the highlight of the album. Side two offers more jazz-oriented pieces with superb bass-lines, a competent horn section and Niemen's great voice.

"Enigmatic" is a highly ambitious work of a proficient and inspired musician. It's without a doubt one-of-a-kind work and will make a great addition to every progressive rock fan's collection. I have had a little bit of dilemma whether it deserves four or five stars. A five star rating might be a bit missleading, this album having a few minor flaws, that some might find more bothering than I. In the end, four stars are more adequate. Add another imaginary half-star to that. Recommended!

ALotOfBottle | 4/5 |


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