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Lizard - Half-Live CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.86 | 84 ratings

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5 stars Lizard is Lizard again!

I had been a long time fan of this Polish band, up until they released Master & M, when I noted in another review that their style had changed substantially, and not for the better (in my opinion). All that disappointment I had is now gone with this wonderful release.

Gone is the Damian-only vocal/guitar show that was Master & M. And also gone is the poor mixing that sent the rest of the band to inaudible oblivion. Back are the wonderfully melodic vocals of Damian Bydlinski -- pure tonal with no annoying runs or other embellishments -- vocals that fans will appreciate from the Spam era and before. Back are the wonderful compositions that feature all the band members unabashedly displaying their talented musicianship with ample time in the foreground. They're balanced again. They're Lizard again.

The lineup is the same as on Master & M, except for drummer Mariusz Szulakowski who returned to the band shortly after Master and M's release. The violin performance is un-credited, but a good guess is that it is Krzysztof Maciejowski who played with them on Spam and prior releases, and whose play is credited on Single Omen, a single released prior to this album. Welcome back to both of them! Mariusz wastes no time in making his presence known with some cool poly-rhythmic work at the start of the album (beginning around the 2:00 mark). I just wish Krzysztof had a greater violin presence, but what he does is truly sublime.

Interestingly, this album has only one track at 44 minutes. You might think that it comprises a bunch of unrelated passages, unceremoniously glued together, but in fact, the entire piece is well composed, flows seamlessly, and incorporates a recurring piano theme to tie it all together. Also interesting is the incorporation of excerpts from prior albums. The attentive listener will hear Bez Litosci, Pt. 2 from the album W Galerii Czasu at around the 32:55 mark.

Thank you, Lizard! Thank you for returning to your roots and your strengths. Four and a half stars, rounded up to five for the shear joy of having you back!

wiz_d_kidd | 5/5 |


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