ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Walfad - 2016 - "Momentum"

(39:01; Walfad)


TRACK LIST:                  

1. Octopuses 3:49
2. Momentum 3:05
3. Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog 5:09
4. Dawn 3:54
5. Dum Spiro, Spero 5:12
6. Louder 6:52
7. Breath for Words 3:24
8. Our Gods, Your Gods 7:36


Wojciech Ciuraj - vocals, guitars
Dawid Makosz - keyboards
Radoslaw Zelazny - bass
Kacper Kucharski - drums

Prolusion. Polish band Walfad, short for We Are Looking For A Drummer, was formed back in 2011 by composer and musician Wojciech Ciuraj, and have been a presence in the Polish progressive rock scene ever since. The band have four studio albums to their name at the time of writing, of which the most recent one appeared back in 2018. "Momentum" dates back to 2016, and was self released by the band.

Analysis. "Momentum" strikes me as a bit of an oddity inside of a progressive rock context, as the music here by and large retains its progressive nature by way of structure. In terms of the style of music explored the band switch back and forth between a few different expressions here, but with what I'd describe as melodic hard rock perhaps being the most prominent. Explored and executed within what some might describe as an art rock framework. The compositions here will typically ebb and flow a couple of times between rather contrasting types of music. The most common approach here is to open a song with a delicate, atmospheric laden sequence of some kind or other, often without a clearly defined style and orientation as such. Then we will segue over to a more powerful section with more of a hard rock touch to it, often with a swift change or a dramatic surge, and then be transported back to a more delicate landscape again. A second change or transition will then take place, either concluding the song on that note or providing an additional calmer section again to phase out the song. The main variations here will be the inclusion of quirkier and more elaborate arrangements in one or more of these contrasting arrangements, as well as some of the songs being instrumentals. A more subtle dimension of variety is the type of hard rock or hard melodic rock that pops up in the different songs, with some parts having more of an 80's sounding touch with keyboard and guitar combination while others make take on ore of a vintage expression with organ and guitar combinations that also may include a nod or three in the direction of a band such as Deep Purple. As an album experience this isn't the kind of production that will grab your attention straight away, if not for other reasons than the ebb and flow structure and alterations present in most of the songs being of a kind and a nature that one needs to become more familiar with. The band hasn't quite managed to create the catchy and captivating moods and atmospheres that will draw in the listener immediately either. This is an album that requires several listens before you'll get to discover the positives or the negatives of the material according to your subjective taste in music. While I do find this to be a good album myself, with some strong and solid cuts, this is also one of those albums I suspect many will give a few listens, file it away, and then rediscover the music a few years later and find out that this is a much better album than what they could remember it being at the time they first gave it a listen.

Conclusion. "Momentum" is an album that ebbs and flows between gentle atmospheric laden landscapes and more straight forward forays into melodic rock, hard rock and vintage hard rock, flavoring the album experience with occasional forays into quirkier and more difficult landscapes here and there. The individual sections tend to be pretty straight forward in nature, while the structure of the compositions is the aspect that adds the progressive element to the experience. This is an album of contrasting elements on a few different levels, and for those with an affection for compositions with a more demanding structure that contains individual parts with a more easy going nature that includes atmospheric elements and hard rock, this album should be an interesting journey to take on.

Proguessor: February 2023
The Rating Room

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