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Albion - Albion CD (album) cover

ALBION

Albion

 

Neo-Prog

3.75 | 51 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Although listed on PA as their second album, Albion (1995) is really their first "real" one: Survival Games (1994) is more a collection of demos, hence the almost identical track list, albeit in different running order. I had this record for a long time and I must confess that I did not give it the proper time to listen more carefully at the time. Well, this is no Wabiac Cienie nor Broken Hopes, and the fact that I never liked the opener Scarecrow did not help matters. Which is really a pity, for the band showed that they were very good and unique from the very start. Ok, the first three tracks of the CD are not particularly convincing for anyone who is familiar with their latter output: nice stuff, good melodies for sure, but not quite outstanding. However, by then things go uphill and the second half reveals that this polish band was already working their songwriting skills, arrangements and performances to another level entirely.

Songs like Sarajevo, Jeszcze śmierć chowam w kieszeń and Golgotha show that Albion had their personal sound well developed, specially on the hands of guitarist Jerzy Antczak, who is clearly the star here, along with Anna Batko emotional vocal deliverance. The keyboards parts of Krzysztof Malec are not as greatly explored as he later would, but they are just as elegant and tasteful. the rhythm section is tight and the production is quite good for the time. Its interesting to realise they would take a whole decade to come up with a follow up, but , as it happened, it would be worth the wait.

I am really happy that I gave this CD a second chance after all these years. It is far better than I initially thought and Im glad to know that this band was special from the get go. And Jerzy Antczak is one of the most underrated guitarists of prog: his fluid, powerful and beautiful licks and solos are a joy to hear: personal and creative but clearly coming from the school of masters like Gilmour, Akkermann and Latimer. If you like that kind of sound you should check this record. A nice find!

Rating: something between 3,5 and four stars. Maybe not up to the next two follow ups but nearly as good.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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