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Czyszy - UwU Slaughter CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.58 | 11 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
4 stars Album title names always make me wonder what the artist's intent was especially when i have no clue what certain words mean. Well UWU has many uses as an acronym but when stylized as UwU then it becomes more specific and in this case refers to a texting emoticon used to show cuteness but also is taboo in many parts of the world and thus banned. Well what an interesting concept that i'm forced to contemplate before i even start to push play on this album titled UWU SLAUGHTER which has recently been released the Polish do-it-yourselfer Marek Król better known professionally as CZYSZY (pronounced chee-shee).

CZYSZY hit the scene in 2019 with his debut "Epic May" but really shocked the prog world in 2021 with the release of not one but FOUR knotty symphonic progressive rock albums and has returned in 2022 with his sixth full-length UwU SLAUGHTER which has an album cover that makes a bit more sense once you comprehend the terminology. CZYSZY is known for being prog all the way with each of his releases, including the single track EP "Walking The Way" featuring a sprawling prog behemoth that hits the 20-minute mark or longer. CZYSZY has taken this to further extremes with this new release by closing with the 26-minute "Roller Coaster" which features eight distinct passages!

This is a DIY-er all the way. Król tackles all keyboards, MIDI programming, guitars, bass and vocals. As far as symphonic prog is concerned there is a clear reference to the classics such as early Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Genesis, Camel and other pastoral symphonic prog legends. This style of symph prog has become more common place in the 21st century with all kinds of solo artists like Ukraine's Karfagen cranking out albums of amazing quality that excel at checking all the prog boxes. UwU SLAUGHTER features a mere three tracks at a full classic album's running time in this case just shy of 41 minutes. As a one-man band this sounds amazing but there are some glaring shortcomings experienced with the electronic drum sounds and the greatest detriment to much modern prog, substandard vocal abilities.

Luckily UwU SLAUGHTER is mostly comprised of instrumental workouts where CZYSZY excels at memorizing the listener with stellar composiitons that are every bit as intricately designed as the classics of so long ago. Given the rather cutesy artwork i was expecting something more amateurish but was pleasantly surprised that this album showcases a real musician who has more than done his homework in crafting beautiful sprawling processions of progressive rock profundity. The first two tracks "Cosmic Campfire Story" and "Wavery Slide" are less than half the album's length at a mere 7-minute + running time each but establish CZYSZY as a serious student of classic progressive rock with there ability to effortlessly glide from mood to mood and unfold a lengthy procession of ideas without anything feeling forced.

The highlight of the album is clearly the 26-minute "Roller Coaster" which as its title discloses, is indeed a wild ride through a multitude of musical motifs laced with unexpected twists and turns. As a one-man project CZYSZY has unleashed an impressive first impression on my attention span since i've not yet experienced his previous works but as already stated the weaknesses on board included the rather programmed sounding drumming and the weakest link of all the adequate but not brilliant vocal style. Symphonic prog really depends on a strong vocalist to carry the weight of the missing human touch and weak vocalists just make the music feel like it's missing something. Having said that though the instrumental works are so cleverly crafted and easy on the ears that it's almost forgivable but it does keep me wishing that CZYSZY would become a true band experience that brings others' ideas to the work table. As it stands, this is a pleasant progressive rock experience for 2022. How many more will follow this year?

3.5 stars but rounded up for a job well done

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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