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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - MLWZ.PL - Maty lLeksykon Weilkich Zespotow, 15th Anniversary 3CD compilation album CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

4.09 | 3 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A small lexicon of great bands

Poland really is where it is at at this point in time as far as Prog is concerned. Not only do we have a constant stream of great bands and albums coming from that country, but the Polish as a nation appear far more enlightened than most when it comes to their musical preferences.

No small amount of the credit for this state of affairs can be placed with Radio Alfa Krakow, and their weekly prog show called "Mały Leksykon Wielkich Zespołów" (MLWZ = "A Small Lexicon of Great Bands"). This show, presented by one Artur Chachlowski, has been running since 1994. To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the show, this triple CD collection has been released, distributed worldwide by MLWZ , Lynx Music and Rock Serwis. It is testimony to the reverence in which the show is held that the 34 tracks here have been donated by the artists involved.

Many of these tracks are unreleased songs or alternate versions from those which appear on the bands' albums. As can be gleaned from the list of contributors involved, the emphasis is on sub-genres such as neo-prog, symphonic, and the melodic end of the prog metal spectrum. With artists such as Pendragon, Abel Ganz, Final Conflict, Solstice, Gazpacho, Magenta, etc., it is no exaggeration to say this this set is a sort of who's who of the current scene in those genres.

What makes this collection even more admirable is the quality of the donated songs. These are no throwaways or commercially orientated sweeteners. Pendragon's magnificent "Guardian of my soul" runs to over 12 minutes, Magenta's "Speechless" is extended to almost 8 minutes, Final Conflict's special mix of "The Harlequin" comes in at almost 10 minutes, as does Riverside's live rendition of "Dance with the shadow". Indeed, it is the quality of the music here which makes it stand apart from the vast majority of prog compilations. This is no record label attempt to lure you into buying a product based on an unrepresentative pop number. This is quite clearly a labour of love containing songs the artists themselves consider to be an accurate representation of their work.

To list personal favourites would be churlish. One look at the list of bands, and a quick check of the reviews of their albums on this site, will confirm that this set offers a superb introduction to some of the finest bands to grace the prog scene in the 21st century.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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