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Lizard - W Galerii Czasu CD (album) cover

W GALERII CZASU

Lizard

 

Eclectic Prog

3.64 | 66 ratings

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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.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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