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SBB Nowy Horyzont album cover
3.87 | 185 ratings | 10 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Na Pierwszy Ogien (Curtain Raiser) (3:15)
2. Blysk (A Flash) (2:45)
3. Nowy Horyzont (The New Horizon) (7:47)
4. Ballada O Pieciu Glodnych (A Ballad About The Five Hungry Ones) (3:55)
5. Wolnosc Z Nami (Freedom With Us) (20:00)

Total time 40:07

Bonus tracks on 2005 Metal Mind CD:
6. Xeni (6:39)
7. Penia (15:59)
8. Dyskoteka (6:55)
9. Na Pierwszy Ogieñ (Uncut version previously unreleased) (6:49)

Line-up / Musicians

- Józef Skrzek / vocals, grand piano, Davolisint synth, Hammond organ, harmonica, bass
- Antymos Apostolis / guitar
- Jerzy Piotrowski / percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Kazimierz Halajkiewicz

LP Polskie Nagrania "Muza" - SX 1206 (1975, Poland)

CD Polskie Nagrania Muza ‎- PNCD 844 (2004, Poland)
CD Metal Mind Productions - MMP CD DG 0321 (2005, Poland) With 4 bonus tracks
CD Yesterday - Klub Płytowy 6 (2005, ?)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SBB Nowy Horyzont ratings distribution

(185 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

SBB Nowy Horyzont reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Thanks to progarchives who gives me an opportunity for getting to know proggers all over the globe. Without knowing them, how would I know band like S.B.B? It's impossible! The first time I heard this name was from a colleague collaborator Stepehen Lang. We discussed over emails and exchanging musical tastes. He described this band as according to him it's a good band. Later on I knew one of this site's readers and it happened that we exchange CDs where he sent me CDs from Poland progheads and I sent him CDs of Indonesian bands. SBB was one of the bands the CDs he submitted to me.

I had only one say when I spun this CD for the first time: WOW! It surprised me that there is a band from Poland that I never heard the music at all and it reminded me to the music of Colosseum, Colosseum II, Camel, Sft machine, etc. The band has successfully blend the elements of jazz rock fusion with classical music with interesting orchestral arrangement. The opening track "Na Pierwszy Ogień" (4:23) is an example of jazz rock fusion instrumental with stunning guitar solo mixed thinly all over the song. "Nowy Horyzont" (8:27) is a song with many surprises and varied styles. The album concludes with an epic "Wolność Z Nami" (13:22) which again offers diverse textures and styles.

It's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars At this early point of its career SBB started touring in West Germany with great success, followed by live shows in their homecountry as well as in Czechoslovakia, Hungary and even Sweden.The next step was to release their first studio album, which was finally recorded between September 74 and January 75' in Polish Radio and at the studios of Polskie Nagrania, both located in Warsaw.The album was entitled ''Nowy horyzont''.

You can forget about the total and endless improvisations of the debut, as SBB come up with a well-structured and quite personal sound in ''Nowy horyzont'', although a loose feeling is still evident in the arrangements.The first side contains four short- to mid-length tracks, where the group shows an ability to blend the groovy Heavy Rock with a keyboard-based Psychedelic Prog and the instrumental compositions are characterized by an intense power.The pounding bass lines of Skrzek meet his spacey keyboard solos and he is accompanied by the mature guitar playing of Anthimos and the solid drumming of Piotrowski.The strong doses of dynamic grooves and organ solos guarantee a very energetic style overall.The sole black hole seems to be ''Ballada O Pieciu Glodnych'', actually a narration of Skrzek with psych-sounding percussions and harmonica in the background.

The second side sums up the presented style of SBB in one composition, the 20-min. ''Wolnosc z nami''.Opening with Skrzek's emphatic piano, it continues with the vocal exercises of the same person before turning into the familiar style of SBB.The careful guitar of Anthimos is mixed with Skrzek's nice piano/bass/keyboard work in some minutes of more melodic delivery.The second part of the track shows why SBB were also an Avant-Garde act.Piano, synth- and vocal effects deliver an outlandish soundscape, before the trio returns with its heavy force of bass, guitars and drums in full display.The closer is a beautiful melancholic performance by Skrzek on piano.

With ''Nowy horyzont'' SBB open a new chapter in Polish Rock.Very flexible and dramatic style with both atmospheric and dynamic passages, not always succesful or flawless but definitely very attractive.Recommended.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars SBB has had a long, acclaimed career and they are one of the most important progressive groups from Poland. It is clear from the liner notes that they are Mahavishnu devotees, and they also state that they are already beyond this album at the time of its release, that their "spirit is already with their next album." They seem to stake out a sound here somewhere between fusion and space-rock. While the playing is good and some of the ideas nice I feel the album is not very consistent.

"Na Pierwszy Ogien" starts with some wild synth sounds before that band drops, a steady rhythm with trebly nervous leads on top. The guitar sound is a bit thin and the bass a little muddy. The drum fills are a real treat. The final minute is strange, the band stops and the song finishes with delightful solo piano, more impressive to me actually than what we heard before it. "Blysk" blasts off at a fast pace but is otherwise quite similar to the first track with highly treated guitar and synths exploring the landscape. I remain pretty underwhelmed I must say. Again the heavy stuff dies and the last minute of so features a short piano excursion. "Nowy Horyzont" gets significantly better. A really jamming opening section leads into a very quiet spacey acoustic guitar and keys interlude. Nice. After this it moves to a good instrumental section with a fusion of fiery guitar and key workouts, again the drumming is very tasty. The bassist knows what he's doing too but unfortunately it doesn't always come through in the mix. OK, sensing a pattern here as the closing changes to another piano solo. "Ballada o Pieciu Glodnych" is a spoken word piece that is a complete momentum killer musically, but perhaps if you understand the language it has value from that aspect. "Wolnoscz Nami" is the side long 20 minute cut. A dramatic drum roll intro ushers an acoustic guitar trying not to drown in some harsh synth blasts, then get very wild, very free form, with synth, piano, guitar, percussion all dabbling away. Wordless vocals come in and the mood is rather uneasy for a bit. The bass and drums come back after the six minute mark and we get a rare section of "normal" sounding symph prog, a bit Yes-ish but only a bit. After a section of near silence, the experimental sections starts around the 12 minute mark and you get some very Floyd-like psych madness before the drums come ripping back in at a fast pace paving the way for some aggressive guitar and synth licks. Out of nowhere drops a strange and heavy riff which slowly winds down to nothing for the 3 minute closing.which is..can you guess? A piano solo. It's a rather nice one that provides one of the more emotional moments of the album, a sad, longing mini tune.

These guys are great players but I honestly don't think this is a great album by any stretch. Tracks 3 and 5 are the good ones and even there I find them quite uneven in quality and without much discernible "soul" save the brief piano closers which are a nice touch. Yes some of the instrumental prowess is remarkable on its own by I need much more for a higher rating. I can see why the band themselves say right in the liner notes that they've already moved on in spirit from this album, this seems like a warm-up in every sense of the phrase. I bet some of their later albums are much more cohesive and engaging than this. I look forward to them, but this one is good at best, not great.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I beleive this was the first studio album they released back in 1975, although they did release "Pamiec" later the same year. I actually like this one better then "Pamiec". I just feel they impliment a lot of good ideas on this album and for the most part they are all a success. Lots of experimental meandering and of course all three of these guys play like they're from another planet, especially the drummer.

"Na Pierwszy Ogien" has an amazing intro before steady drums take over with guitar soloing over top. Check out the drumming 3 minutes in ! A calm with piano follows. "Blysk" is uptempo as drums lead the way.The guitar is lighting it up big time a minute in. Some nice organ runs later. Piano ends it. "Nowy Horyzont" is the longest track on side one at 8 1/2 minutes. It opens with pounding drums and synths before a calm with gentle guitar takes over before a minute. It starts to build before 3 minutes. Nice bass. Great sound 5 minutes in as guitar, bass and drums all shine. Synths before 6 1/2 minutes and piano ends it.

"Ballada O Pieciu Glodnych" is experimental as we hear waves of sound with spoken words coming in. "Wolnosc Nami" is the 20 minute side long ending tune. We begin with an experimental intro with piano finally coming out of it. Vocal melodies 4 1/2 minutes in. Drums and a gorgeous soundscape take over 6 1/2 minutes in. This is so emotional, especially after what has gone on before. Some nice piano melodies 10 1/2 minutes as it calms right down. It gets experimental again then drums come pounding in at 13 1/2 minutes. It turns dark and ominous 15 1/2 minutes in as drums pound away (any excuse). A change after 17 minutes as piano arrives and tinkles away to the end of the song.

This was a pleasant surprise for me, it kept my interest throughout and it can be quite challenging at times.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was the first studio album from this Polish group, with their debut being a live album. SBB originally stood for Silesian Blues Band, but was later changed to three Polish words instead. These guys got their start backing Polish singer Czeslaw Niemen(also included here on PA). Their own music has some similarities to their stint with Niemen, but generally they have their own style: a mix of jazz-rock, space rock and symphonic prog. I'm not an expert in prog from eastern Europe, but SBB are one of the more well known prog groups from that part of the world. The music here, at least, is generally just as good as the prog coming from western Europe at the time.

"Na Pierwszy Ogien" opens the album with the sound of footsteps. Then a gong and some squiggly synth sounds. Goes into some boogie rock with good guitar and synth. Later a guitar solo. Near the end is just lovely piano playing. This segues into..."Blysk" which is an upbeat symphonic rock jam. Some more lovely piano at the end. The title track, which translates to "new horizon", has a terrific riff that would be worthy of some Canterbury bands. Some guitar arpeggios with synth sounds for awhile. Then cymbals and what sounds like a duck quacking. Drums and bass come in and the song starts to build up. A guitar solo about halfway. The music dies down and then some snare rolls and some fingertapping on the guitar before it goes to a section similar to the beginning. All of a sudden the music changes to some very fast piano playing which gets more subdued.

"Ballada O Pieciu" is almost entirely synth drones with talking in Polish. Only song with lyrics which drags on for too long. "Wolnosc Z Nami" is a 20 minute epic. Mostly piano and some cymbals with random sounds for the first few minutes. Some wordless vocals enter. Before 6 minutes the piano starts playing a repeated melody, then the rhythm section comes in with a guitar solo. More wordless vocals mimicing the guitar. The music then starts to calm down and the instruments kind of go their own way. Strange noises from synth and guitar for awhile. Later a drumbeat arrives along with a guitar solo. Then a synth solo; the guitar and synth trade solos. After awhile a riff that would be worthy of Sabbath. After a synth drone plays the same riff, now with more laid-back drumming. The drumming slowly stops and some piano enters. The piano gets more classical sounding at the end.

Overall, a great album. I have not heard the follow up to this, but I have heard a couple of their late '70s albums where they get more funky and electronic sounding. Bandleader Josef Skrzek plays keyboards, bass and does the vocals. This is mostly instrumental, so the language barrier should not be too much of an obstacle to non-Polish speakers. Anyway, I'll give this 4 stars.

Review by friso
4 stars SBB - Nowy Horyzont (1975)

For me, 2010 was all about these two bands I discovered and learnt to like; Magma and SBB. When I found myself able to gather the vinyls of the most important albums of Polish symphonic/space/fusion act SBB it took me some time to get into them all. The studio debut, Nowy Horyzont, is actually the last album of my list that I started listening to, mainly due the small disappointment after the first quick spin, the recording quality isn't too perfect. Halve a year later and equipped with a new receiver I had my re-entry into the atmospheric and distinctive world of SBB - and how pleasant a surprise it was.

The members of SBB became famous in Poland as a the band of composer/singer/keyboardist Cheslaw Niemen, the own David Bowie of the Polish people. However, Niemen had focussed his efforts towards the progressive genre in his early seventies releases and the members of what would soon become SBB grew a lot in this period. In '74 the debut 'SBB live' was released and the quickly got the possibility to get a recording in the studio.

Nowy Horyzont became the first impressive, progressive record of SBB. Whilst in most tracks traces of Mahavishnu Orchestra (respectfully mentioned on the story that comes along with the record) can be found, SBB seems also to have been influenced by the spacey land-scapes of early Floyd and the rough progression of King Crimson. Combining the technicality of Mahavishnu with the atmospheres of Floyd, the heaviness/seriousness of King Crimson and a new layer of harmonic inventiveness and an abstract/mysterious sound the band manages to create a unique record. As if this wasn't enough, the album also has a political layer with titles like 'Curtain Raiser', 'Freedom with US' and 'New Horizon' referring to the Iron Curtain. The music is instrumental most of the time and the musicianship is great.

Side one has the boogy prog opener 'Curtain Raiser' which has very strong musicianship, clear Mahavishnu influences, but way more daring harmonic interplay. The sound of this opening track is a bit disappointing, the bass is to loud and there isn't enough depth in the recording. Still a very strong composition that's worthwhile. 'A Flash' and 'Nowy Horyzont' have a better sound and continue the daring harmonic and rough experimentation of the opening track. 'A Ballade about the Five Hungry Ones' is a Polish poem with spacey/psychedelic back-ground noises.

Side two. On the 20 minutes instrumental 'Freedom With Us' the band explores the word 'Freedom' very effective. It is this track that shows the full potential of the interplay of Skrzek, Apostolis and Piotrowski. With long spacey parts, a bit of avant-garde, a bit of rough improvisation, some nice piano composition and a bombastic metal-Crimson like industrial section this is clearly one of the most daring tracks of SBB. Mahavishnu influences are gone and make place for the typical SBB genius that would be so succesful on follow-up Pamieç. I would like to mention the great solo's in the middle section with only drums as background and guitar and keyboard giving intensive, daring solo's. Luckily the sound of side two is bit better then that of side one.

Conclusion. SBB proves to be a very energetic and innovative force on their studio-debut. The melodies are daring and probably a good challenge for experienced listeners of the progressive genre. A good eclectic progressive record that might be a bit challenging for those who find the heavier works of King Crimson and Mahavishnu hard to bare. Very rewarding for those who do enjoy it. With the imperfect recording as only complaint, I'm confident in giving this record the four star rating. SBB fans: don't miss out on Freedom With Us! Perhaps one of their greatest achievements.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars After a first live (and botched) improvised album in 74, the SBB trio came back with a much- improved Nowi Horizont (my amazingly perspicacious guess is New Horizons) released early the following year and gained much recognition with it and its live appearances on the other side of the Iron Curtain, and not just at home. Their reputation was such that a then- West German label approached for a record deal, but it fell through after some sessions. Apparently these sessions were the base for the present album, and we should all be glad that it did so, because the album's title is somewhat indicative of the quality of the music on it. With the great Greek guitarist Anthimos and drummer Piotrowski, the group's main focal point is multi-instrumentalist and composer Jozef Skrzek (pronounce "sneeze" or "bless you" ;o))), this trio could sound like a quartet and at times even more.

If you've ever wondered on McL's Mahavishnu Orchestra might have sounded a tad more prog (as opposed to jazzier), then SBB might be a good peek in that direction, at least for the present and the fourth album. What you would find is a slightly more "symphonic" (in the Stravinski sense) MO fusion with a fairly developed cosmic-spacey side. Sounds intriguing enough? Well the four "short" tracks (well, the title track is above 8 mins) are already excellent with Jozef travelling from the Hammond (how did THAT cross the Iron Curtain?) and the piano (and also handling the bass). While Anthimos' guitar takes obvious McL slants but some Blackmore and Iommi as well, while Jozef's moog and piano touches are more reminiscent of Emerson than Jan Hammer. As for Piotrowski's drumming, I'd tend to hear some Paice and Alan White. The longer title track opens brutally (like MO could) before settling down to a guitar arpeggio bed interwoven of Moog threads, slowly crescendoing until reaching an awesome climax with great guitars and Jozef's excellent bass playing, before switching abruptly switching classical piano and segueing cosmically in a spacey Ballada with spoken narratives, which nowadays might sound very cheesy, but it was freaky back then

The sidelong epic gracing the flipside is obviously the pièce de résistance and starts in a spacey-Floydian manner with Jozef's piano adding a romantic touch and once the chants appear on an ostinato piano, we know that the track will take its sweet time to reach its climax. Wolnosc slowly escalates the rung of the energy ladder, through solid drumming, fascinating Moog layers and again some wordless incantations and diving down to a Chopin piano-movement and heading spacey (ala early-TD this time) again. Some loud Stasi-torture-like noises may interfere with a total album enjoyment, but once expected, the bother goes away, especially knowing the there are some McL-like guitar extravaganza and some heavy-duty Sabbath-like chords coming up.

I suppose that the original vinyl albums were sufficiently rare that the Metal Mind CD reissues of 05 must've come as a relief to many progheads, and that the slew of bonus tracks (almost doubling the playing time) must've enchanted most. Whether these bonus non-album tracks enhance the original album is positively debatable in NH's case: certainly Xeni (with some fiery guitar parts) and the 17-mins Penia (actually the CD's best track, filled with spine-tingling dramatics and bravura) are all doing honour to the original album; as they are taken from a Gdansk radio-broadcast from that very year, so the sound- quality is actually better than the album proper, despite the "live rawness". As for the other/last Ogien track, it's coming from a different radio-broadcast from Warsaw and the previous year, it doesn't deface the rest of the CD album, even if not as refined.

OK, there is only so much that one can do from original master tapes if the recording conditions were not optimal (this was Poland in the 70's), so don't expect a 5.1 Wilson product. While being somewhat too evident about their influence (worn on their sleeves), SBB's musical realm bears sufficient personality that they might have been better considered than some Triumvirate or Eloy or many Dutch groups. Essential album on the Polish scale and even in the then-current Behind-the-Iron-Curtain scene, NH is a first- priority acquisition in exploring the Eastern-European scene.

Review by Warthur
3 stars SBB's first studio album - assembled, as I understand it, from a string of well-received radio appearances - sees the band occupying an interesting middle ground between space rock and symphonic prog, with fuzzed-out guitars and moog underpinning epic jazz-space explorations. If material like this was being broadcast on Polish radio, it's no wonder Eastern Europe proved to be a major market for prog after the fall of the Iron Curtain, though at the same time the recording conditions aren't exactly optimal. It's a decent album, but the sometimes murky sound obscures its finer points, and the band were still developing their sound at this point.

Latest members reviews

5 stars An extremely important band for the history of Progressive Rock, especially in the 1970s. There are no bad albums and all of them are worth listening to. The band are clearly very talented with their instruments and have a liking and focus on experimental solos with organ, piano, bass, electric guit ... (read more)

Report this review (#1731086) | Posted by demolition man | Wednesday, June 7, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It really IS a masterpiece, and IMHO their best album, ex aequo with "Pamięć". Raw, progressive, fusion improvisations, heavy (sometimes they sound like early Sabbath:)) riffs, psychedelic guitar, incredibly thick drum parts and whirling moogs perfectly compiled with gentle piano par ... (read more)

Report this review (#17954) | Posted by Mik the Prik | Wednesday, June 9, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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