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Openspace - Openspace CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.87 | 12 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars Openspace came together in Poland towards the end of 2003 with the core of Rafał Szulkowski (drums), Marcin Zahn (guitars) and Robert Zahn (bass). Over the next few years some other musicians came and went, then in February 2006 Marcin Korzeniewski joined on keyboards and vocals. After positive reviews for their demo recordings, they signed to Lynx Music who released this their debut in 2008. Although this contains the high level of melody and hooks that one has come to expect from Polish progressive bands, these are very much more into the prog metal end of the spectrum. But, they don't crunch like Threshold or have the delicacy and intricacy of Dream Theater: this is much more like a heavier version of Enchant. There are hooks aplenty, and although they come together like a well lubricated rock behemoth at times, there is also plenty of space within the music for emotion and vitality to shine through. They're also not afraid to mix up the keyboard sounds, so it can go from Hammond and Mellotron style through to something far more modern while the guitars can be gently picked, riffed, or take the lead with some soaring Gary Chandler style lines. They use piano when necessary, as well as fretless bass, as well as moving through musical styles, and it is this diversity of approach combined with some great melodies that makes this such an interesting and compelling piece of work.

They did release a follow-up album a few years later, but both Marcin and his brother Robert Zahn have left the band, so I'm not sure of their current status, which is a shame as this album showed some real promise.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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