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TRACK LIST: 1. Intro 2:03 2. In a Powder Keg 4:19 3. Sisyphus' Sons 5:21 4. Colloids 10:18 5. Rust 5:38 6. Jotting 6:51 7. To Walk on the Water 4:54 LINEUP: Wojciech Ciuraj - vocals, guitars, mandolin Pawet Krawiec - guitars Dariusz Tatoj - keyboards Radostaw Zelazny - bass Jakub Dabrowski - drums
Prolusion. Polish band WALFAD has been a presence in the Polish progressive rock scene ever since 2011, and various incarnations of the band have released 4 studio albums so far. "Colloids" is their most recent one, and was self-released by the band in 2018.
Analysis. Walfad is among those bands that many will have a hard time classifying into a specific subset of the progressive rock universe, and I guess the phrase alternative progressive rock is one that may well apply in this case. The most important aspect of the music at hand here is that it is accessible however, gliding and elegant in construction and execution, and fairly easy on the mind and the ears both. The band seems to operate out of a foundation in hard prog somewhere, as a rather firm guitar presence is a bit of a constant throughout. Not quite hard prog as far as the final result is concerned, but as firm prog isn't applicable I guess hard, alternative progressive rock may well be the descriptions that is most revealing. Walfad have nods in quite a few different directions on "Colloids". Association to "Hold Your Fire" era Rush is noted, while the guitarists appears to be fascinated by guitar soloing with a slight blues-oriented flavoring that may or may not make a David Gilmour mention natural. The more careful passages, especially the few occasions where the keyboards are more of a presence do have something of a neo-progressive touch to them, while the epic length title track also have a nod in the direction of psychedelic rock and and inclusion of post-rock elements. I also note a few instrument details here and there that strikes me as having a little bit of a jazzy feel to them. This is an enjoyable album on many levels but not quite without a few chinks in the armor. Some of the songs strikes me as not quite properly developed, at least as I like my music, sporting an introduction that develops into a well developed and planned final arrangement, but ends the song without a proper conclusion. A journey that concludes prior to reaching the end if you like. A very minor detail is that the lead vocals can be a tad too functional at times. A good vocalist, but in my view not a master of his trade, but with a voice and a range that can be developed further.
Conclusion. Those who have an affection for the more accessible and contemporary branches of the progressive rock universe is the audience I suspect Walfad is aiming for with "Colloids". Tight, melodic and usually energetic, this is music easy to listen to and easy to tap your feet too as well. Enjoyable, well made modern progressive rock, but in sum a good rather than great album in my book. That being said, for the presumed target audience I suspect this album will be rather more highly treasured than by this writer.
Progmessor: April 20th 2019
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