MILLENIUM – Ego (2013)
Polish band MILLENIUM has been on the progressive rock scene for several years, but this, their 9th studio album to date called “Ego” is the first I’ve heard, and what a refreshing outing it is.
Led by keyboardist Ryszard Kramarski they started out in 2000 (hence the reason they call themselves Millenium) and since then seems the group has been elaborating an interesting blend of Neo Prog with some British Art Rock influenced by Camel, Marillion, Pendragon, IQ, Arena and Pink Floyd.
These lads are creative players, exploring this well-travelled genre with some original and enjoyable twists, ranging from lavish and languid tempos to dynamic melodic parts plenty of sweeping synths, sublime guitar and excellent accentless vocals courtesy of Lukasz Gall.
The rhythm section has some Warr guitar (the two-hand tapping instrument) which certainly denotes some adventurous connotations or desires.
Neo Prog trends usually go for the ‘song format’ privileging melody, and when I saw “Ego” only includes six compositions and three of them were over the 10 minutes in length, I distrusted a bit.
That’s because Neo Prog is basically a genre based on a single melody developed in a progressive manner, and if you extend this too much you can lose the focus and become boring.
But Millenium pulls it off admirably by arranging songs around fundamental melodic lines and branching out around them, such that the tracks, while not quite suites, provide both continuity and security to the listener.
All 6 opuses are strong, melodic, impeccably performed with elastic musicianship including long Strat solos, electric pianos, Moog (you can’t listen this too often nowadays), sax, and the rare Warr guitar.
Lukasz Gall’s expressive voice is in the league of Robert Amirian (Satellite), Rob Sowden (ex- Arena) and some Dave Gilmour on the calmer passages, as much in style as substance. There’s also nice female vocal interventions on a couple of tracks which adds color and texture.
The storied reputation of Polish Neo Prog rock is being earned day in and day out, and Millenium is another welcome discovery.
Proponents from this country adapt the sweeping epics of their British antecedents with the simple sense of melody of their local compatriots, and “Ego” is a clear example of this musicality and imaginative ideas.
Original and pushing Neo Prog.
01 – Ego
02 – Born In 67
03 – Dark Secrets
04 – When I Fall
05 – Lonely Man
06 – Goodbye My Earth
Lukasz Gall – vocals
Piotr Plonka – guitars
Krzysztof Wyrwa – 6-string bass, warr guitar
Tomasz Pasko – drums
Ryszard Kramarski – keyboards
Dariusz Rybka – sax
Karolina Leszko – backing vocals
BUY IT !