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Believe - Hope To See Another Day CD (album) cover





3.38 | 82 ratings

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4 stars As I eagerly await their imminent new release, I am tempted to review the debut album and ask me to believe, even though I am such a cynic! Well Poland's Believe actually makes me believe that there is "a future in the fire escape trade", all because I have learned to " know what I like"! Led by the legendary Polish guitarist Mirek Gil, formerly of Collage and helping launch Satellite (sic), this is a fine debut album that introduces a different, more contemporary sound to us old-fashioned "disbelieving" proggers. Okay, enough puns already! The smirky guitarist alters his style by highlighting his rhythm work which is much chunkier than in the old days but also lets a few occasional Gil-like fluid cascades when needed. The vocalist is Tomek Růzycki (ex-Collage) and he has a voice that reminds one of Lands End's Jeff McFarland, slithering into slight histrionics that actually suits the music and the somewhat aggressive lyrics, perfectly loaded with bile, sadness, despondence and incredulity. Occasional violin is provided by Satomi (a Japanese female artist), as well as discreet background keyboards and "hidden harmonies" by Adam Milosz and ex-Collage mate Przemek Zawadski on booming bass but the true revelation here is the snappy drumming of Vlodi Tafel (also played on the Mr. Gil solo album) who takes the usual simplistic neo-prog drumming into a more assured style that owes more to Satellite/Collage master percussionist Wojtek Szadkowski or even the harder metal bashers we all know and love. The 7 minute + "What is Love" sets the tone with a swarthy blast of raging guitar slashes and the afore mentioned chugging rhythms, fueled expertly by the bass and drum tandem and infused with a delicately romantic violin solo and some really playful vocals, with just enough angst to make it all credible. The middle section explores gentler themes, almost funky at times, again very pleasing (the "I want you back!" chorus), grooving along with assurance until Mirek lets his soaring axe fly with simple abandon. Hey, this is good and it will only get better! "Needles in my Brain" is a little more gruesome, dealing with the ravages of drug abuse and the pain of addiction ("I need to fly away from me") and the band expresses the anger and the frustration with harsh reality (not your usual flaccid neo-prog, this). But the next one really sets off the explosions, the truculent "Liar", pushed my massive drumming from Vlodi, thrashing mercilessly as Tomek passionately growls with seething sarcasm: LIAR! Yeah, baby, this is primo stuff! Great dual guitar leads push this one along nicely until Mr. Gil breaks out the first two of his patented fret explorations, swirling like a whirling dervish and then later crunching agonizingly. An absolute amazing track that remains accessible with lots of twists and turns and spirited playing (the third Gil solo just smokes!)."Pain" continues without skipping a heartbeat even though the theme here is way more soporific, almost Floydian in stature but with a huge melody that sticks to your brain like a medusa, the ardent lyrics spinning a fine tale. Again, the drum work is exemplary as well as the very appropriate vocals, just setting the stage for another throbbing Mirek six- string wail, all restraint and agony , by God this man is talented! Masterful composition this is. "Seven Days" provides a sonic platform for another gigantic melody, full of spoken words and clashing themes, "only moments last forever" repeated over with such fire, inducing "tears running down your sweetest face" , "All the Time" echoing with sheer ardor , sliced by a rippling Gil assault , churning, twisting and drilling the melody into the brain , like needles (sic). "Coming Down" suggests odd beats and odder voices leading to an almost vintage Roxy Music groove, with Tafel's drums marshalling the path, colored by walls of keyboard effects, suddenly shoved into overdrive by a hysteric guitar bellow and progressively heavier, veering near metallic confines ("Crying out Loud"). The drums again enthuse, especially when the keys get symphonic and the beat reverses into a deep groove. The dynamics are stunning! "Don't Tell Me" returns to more accessible climes, the piano chiming in delicately and the main chorus is another plaintive lament, powered by the ever-glowing guitar. The violin makes another mournful appearance, a good track but not as good as the rest. "Hope to See Another Day" is the 12 minute epic that closes out this album with a musical adventure that encompasses all the elements that make this group one to watch, even though stylistically different from their Collage roots. This is a fast pace, rollicking power prog composition that has fascinating drumming (here again quite in evidence), unrelenting ardent singing, adjustments in mood generally fueled by the six-string fiend, swerving into tighter rhythms and becoming highway driving material boosted loud, hair flowing in the wind. A little piano interlude enters totally unexpected, slapping at the cheeks, twinkling in the moonlight (sounding close to Satellite, here), just in time for Mirek to swoosh this into menacing overdrive with a Gargantuan curtain drawing solo. Ok, I Believe. Can't wait for the next one and I guess my PA friend sinkadotentree will agree . 4.5 white flags of surrender
tszirmay | 4/5 |


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