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Annalist - Trial CD (album) cover





3.10 | 11 ratings

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4 stars I'm really surprised of the 1 star given to this album and I would like to see the review. I first got it out of curiosity, basically because I'm an Eastern European prog fanboy, and I recall the band being mentioned on a prog radio channel once. Well, the first impression was that of an ok album. The usual feeling that you get before realising the greatness of a piece. It was the time of the month when I got into ambient mood and started listening to stuff like Hidria Spacefolk, Ozric Tentacles or Bunnymilk. At that point, I thought I'd try this album again, and it went right into me like an arrow shot from 5 metres.

Basically the only thing that's not perfect in my list is the lyrics, which are in Polish, so basically I can't understand anything. However, this adds a degree of interest as the music feels a bit, how do you say, mystifying. After listening to this six times a row, I remember singing Śmierć czeka w Samarze, the repetitive chorus of the 9th song at school and in the bus without really knowing what they're saying. Later on I asked my friend what all the songs mean.

Back to the album. It's really moody. If you feel like laying back on a sunny afternoon and listening to sounds that aren't really something you hear from the radio or from most rock, I really recommend this album to you. It's atmospheric, addictive and well played. The songs are relatively short, so at least I get the feeling nothing is overdone, or nothing unimportant is included. I'm really fascinated of this band.

1. Noc w Troi: The first track sounds like it's played through a bathtub. The music is bubbly in a sense, and really strange at first. Basically the ambient guitar plays on a driving drumpattern, and the singing makes the song go on. Here, the music is the backup behind the singing. This is basically a very common procedure for them, so for a lyric fanatic like me this was spot on. The song gets on a bit later where the guitar kicks in and helps you go to a trance-like state. At a good mood this can be fairly scary.

Alchemik on the other hand sounds like it's the first song continued, though with a changed drumming and clearer singing. It's a lot easier song to listen to first, and if you want to, you could describe it as a bit pop-ish compared to the first track.

Dealchemik continues where the first left. The song is slow and melancholic in the beginning, then gets on again very well. It's a nice track, though not my favourite.

Samospalenie starts out as if it were some of the NWOBHM scene. A building drumbeat and guitars in the back. The once it gets on, it's a driving, electronic song that actually needs to be listened to with your head nodding along. This is the most ongoing song on the album, basically as I mentioned Ozric there above, think about Spirals in Hyperspace. A really explosive track in my opinion. The longest on the record too.

I wish I knew where Podrˇż II got the number to it (edit: now I finally do: it was a song from an earlier album called Podrˇz that this one preceeds). this track is one of my all time favourites, the guitar sounds like Steve Rothery back in the days of Misplaced Childhood. Really intriguing and controlling. There's lots of delay used of course, works fine. At times throughout the album, as in this song there's speaking used as if it came through a radio telephone. A very good choise to add to the ambient feeling.

Having heard Astro, I could almost swear, that there are influences of such artists as Marillion and Genesis. I could have sworn this short song was a Peter Gabriel song, but then the radio-sounds started again. As this song has no singing, it's merely speech and a tune behind it accompanied by the drums.

Labirynt start off like the normal Suede song, if you know this indiepop group from GB. The chorus keeps this up, but in the verses Annalist goes back to their own developed style. It's a really refreshing song. A bit faster in tempo, and bright, like a bottle of cold water after jogging. Really a welcome experience.

It's funny, thinking of what the songs sound like. Przemytnik, the next one, starts almost exactly like Steve Hackett's The Devil is An Englishman, and my suspections about influences get some base under them. However, the intro is soon over, and the singing starts. The song represents a literally stormy atmosphere with powerful playing and singing. The great ambience that carries through the album is still present, and they never really lose it. This one actually has a guitar solo, and a good one at that, while the rest have been based a lot more on singing.

Śmierć czeka w Samarze is my favourite track on this album, as you might have picked up already. The chorus is simple but dynamic, the verse is catching though played with talent. There's not much but good things to say about this song. It's very monotonous and great for capturing your thoughts and shutting them inside a box. It's really a song that gets you in a trance, that or you just want to add volume to your player.

Alarm starts with a scream. Or is it, in fact, an alarm? It's a drumbased track, very close to Astro in style, though of course the composition is completely different.

Coma's yet another slowpaced and melancholic song. If you wanted to describe the all around style of the band on this album in a few words, it would really be: ambient, melancholic, mystic and intriguing. Because there's not one moment that leaves you empty inside. In the end you just want to hear more. Or just stand still and start floating.

Truposz... wait, what, the train is leaving? Better hurry. Wait a sec, I think I just saw Bj÷rk at the entrance, forget about the train. Does that explain the song to you? Think: intro + drumpatterns Ó la Crying and you'll know what I mean. Stupendo!

Lekki jak wiatr is truly a nice way of ending a grand album. The melody is brilliant. And to not sound too praising I'll just say, it's a good song, something to carry along the style, all the way to the end, a very catchy chorus too, if you can figure out which part is the chorus first.

At the moment, I'm truly gathering money for a trip to Poland in order to buy all the Annalist records there, to add to the atmosphere (what an overused word by now). Of course I could order, could I? I'm not sure if they really are as big as they should be, this band has talent. I'm thinking between five and four stars. Let's see, well, it can't be essential, not all people like this kind of music, and I can't recommend it to anyone, but I have, to everyone who has asked about a fine band, not caring about the genre. This is music for a lonely man, or one that's lonely for just a while. At any point, it should be rated as an excellent album because that's what it is, and certainly nothing less. I rest my case, get this piece in your hands, quickly, trust me!

Passionist | 4/5 |


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