Aclaración...

Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).

miércoles, 19 de agosto de 2015

Collage - Moonshine (1994)


Artista: Collage
Álbum: Moonshine
Año: 1994
Género: Neo progresivo sinfónico
Duración: 69:24
Nacionalidad: Polonia


Lista de Temas:
1. Heroes Cry
2. In Your Eyes
3. Lovely Day
4. Living in the Moonlight
5. The Blues
6. Wings in the Night
7. Moonshine
8. War Is Over

Alineación:
- Robert Amirian / voz lider y guitarra acustica.
- Mirek Gil / guitarras
- Krzysztof Palczewski / teclados
- Wojtek Szadkowski / bateria
- Piotr Mintay Witkowski / bajo


Y seguimos presentando nuevos discos, ahora el Mago Alberto trae un disco desde Polonia, país con excelentes buenos grupos progresivos y de rock, con un estilo un tanto particular, y si exploran un poquito van a ver que los elementos de cada país tienen cierto sonido característico que los une. Alberto me contaba el otro día que puede reconocer a un grupo nórdico y saber que es nórdico solamente por el sonido, aunque nunca antes los haya escuchado y no tenga referencia alguna. Cada lugar abre una nueva puerta al alma, según su idioscincracia, según su cultura, según su sentir. En el caso de Polonia es una tierra fértil y con gran cantidad de grupos que no llegan a hacerse conocidos solo porque es un país periférico, pero con gran capacidad creativa, afectos a los sonidos poderosos pero principalmentes emocionales, quizás no demasiado originales pero con una cultura nostálgica que los lleva a recorrer algunos caminos de belleza oscura.




Pero mejor vamos con el comentario de Alberto que es quien trajo el disco. Y además del comentario del disco no puede faltar la ya clásica crítica (injustificada, obviamente) hacia mi noble persona. Es más, creo que a estas alturas ya extrañaría las ofensas del Mago si algún día no me las hace.


Y deambulando por Europa nos encontramos con esta banda polaca de Neo-Prog, que se formó a finales de los 80 y tuvo su esplendor en los años 90, fueron muy reconocidos en Polonia y su fama trascendió al mundo luego de la publicación de este material que presentamos hoy, el mercado alemán los recibió con los brazos abiertos, también los suizos y los japoneses.
Antes de la publicación de "Moonshine" grabaron un disco de covers de 9 canciones de John Lennon que sorprendió al mundillo artístico por la versatilidad con que realizaron dichos covers, un disco muy recomendable.
Desde sus inicios reconocieron su influencia de los Marillion a tal punto que Fish participo en algunas producciones, como también de un corto tour europeo a mediados de los 90.
"Moonshine" es un trabajo muy pulido, muy trabajado, con las típicas complejidades del prog, climático, denso, majestuoso, pomposo, fue un arrollador éxito comercial y la crítica especializada lo consideró como una de las mejores obras progresivas realizadas hasta el momento, en Polonia fue reconocido como uno de los cinco mejores discos de todos los tiempos. Generalmente no coincido con este tipo de afirmaciones, considerando más que nada que hay muchísimos discos que son verdaderas obras de arte y las comparaciones son siempre odiosas, y poco objetivas. La valoración se la dejo a consideración de quien lo escucha.
Collage una banda para muchos desconocida en nuestro país, pero que aparece en el blog cabezón como alumno nuevo de otra escuela, algunos se harán amigos, otros le tirarán con el borrador, todo puede pasar en la escuelita de Moe (y... ¿que se puede esperar con el Vampiro de director?).
Un trabajo para oídos abiertos, donde la compacta producción musical, los complejos arreglos de guitarras y teclados van a tener ocupado a más de uno.
Alberto



Un buen disco, ni en pedo una tremenda joya como dicen alguos, pero es un muy buen disco con excelentes momentos. Aquí traigo otro comentario para rellenar:

Un vistazo rápido acerca de Collage en internet nos muestra que se trata de una banda conocida y reconocida en el mundillo progresivo. No es del tipo de bandas como Pink Floyd o Marillion, conocidas a nivel mundial tanto por conocedores del género como no conocedores. Se trata de una banda de pequeña repercusión en el mundo pero amplia importancia en donde debe. Una banda para quien le interese no para cualquiera.
Moonshine nos presenta un disco de Neo-Prog con un gran aporte de los teclados. Sin embargo, su aporte es mucho más sinfónico que la mayoría de discos del estilo que he escuchado, que optan más por un aporte más melódico y llamativo. En este caso los teclados están por todos lados, pero su papel es mucho más secundario. Esto hace que el disco presente un papel atmosférico más que melódico. Esto no quiere decir que no halla grandes partes melódicas, practicamente todas las canciones cuentan con una sección mucho más melódica en la que tanto guitarras como teclados crean unos pasajes melódicos de gran calidad. El cantante, por su parte, es lo más habitual que puedes encontrar en el Progressive Rock. Un cantante decente por supuesto, pero que podemos encontrar cientos igual que él. El mundo del Prog no ha dado tampoco demasiados buenos cantantes y es lo que degrada un poco al estilo en comparación a otros.
En cuanto a las canciones tenemos una amplia gama donde elegir. El disco en total dura 67 minutos, lo cual en este caso me parece excesivo. De las ocho canciones del disco hay tres que superan los 10 minutos (cosa bastante habitual en el estilo) y otras cinco de duración media. Entre todas ellas mi favorita es 'Living In The Moonlight' con unos encantadores teclados y la mejor canción en el apartado vocal. Otras canciones a destacar serían 'Moonshine' y 'In Your Eyes', que también contienen interesantes melódicas. En general, es un disco que me ha gustado pero que tampoco me ha maravillado. Las veces que lo he escuchado ha sido una interesante escucha pero si puedo que elegir que escuchar escogería otras cosas antes que este disco.
AlexiLaiho09

A mi entender el anterior comentario es demasiado amargo: el disco tiene secciones instrumentales sublimes, la voz está bien y acompaña al conjunto (vamos, el cantante no es ninguna maravilla, por cierto) al igual que la base rítmica, siendo la armonía generada por el teclado y la guitarra los verdaderos protagonistas de esta gran obra. Repito, es un gran disco y se los digo yo que detesto el Neo-Prog por ser en general un género que no es ni chicha ni limonada, pero siempre aparece algún grupo (IQ se me hace el más claro ejemplo) que salva las papas, y las salvan bien salvadas.

¿Pudo una banda polaca haber grabado el mejor disco de Rock Sinfónico de la década del '90?... Si no es así, "Moonshine" de Collage le pega en el palo...
No hay tanto para contar de ésta banda, liderada por el cantante Robert Amirian y el guitarrista Mirek Gil, que grabó apenas tres o cuatro discos -uno de ellos enteramente con repertorio de John Lennon- y se separó tempranamente, dando forma a otras proyectos como Satellite o Strawberry Fields.
En ese sentido "Moonshine" (1994) es como 'un gol de otro partido' (segunda metáfora futbolera en una misma entrada) un disco único de una banda prácticamente olvidada... Pero en su momento figuraba en cualquier encuesta seria entre los medios especializados.
La onda sin embargo no está muy lejos del estilo habitual del Neo-Prog de esos años y bandas como Pendragon o Arena, aunque a mi parecer sólo "The Visitor" de éstos últiimos se le acerca un poco. Prevalece la onda Marillion/Pink Floyd, muy emotiva y con grandes cruces entre guitarra y teclados.
En una disquería especializada compré en aquel momento una copia hecha en las antiguas 'doble compacteras', que el vendedor hacía para quienes no estaban seguros de gastar un buen dinero en un disco importado de una banda nueva o desconocida... A los dos días volví para cambiarla por el original.
Hasta donde pude comprobar hoy es prácticamente inconseguible, pero siendo uno de aquellos discos que deben y merecen ser escuchados completos para ser apreciados, te sugiero que si lo llegás a encontrar, ni lo pienses.
Aldo

No creo que éste sea el mejor disco para conocer el neo progresivo de COLLAGE. Y es que tal parece que una de las exigencias de este subgénero progresivo determina que los líricos sean cantados en idioma inglés, y "Moonshine" no es la excepción. Pregunto: si la música es un idioma universal y cada lengua tiene su propia expresión, ¿por qué estandarizar tanta diversidad que hay para decir en este planeta? personalmente no creo que sea necesario si la música y en este caso, la forma de vocalizar, son capaces de estremecerte aún cuando no sepas qué dicen los poemas… Igual y hay bandas, incluyendo a ésta, que en uno u otro disco cantan neo progresivo en su idioma y la verdad, es cuando más me gusta esta línea musical tan competida y tan poco comprendida. Entonces, tratando de ser justos y para no demeritar la calidad musical de estos polacos, me enfocaré a lo más importante: la estructura general del álbum.
En 1994 sale a la venta la tercera producción de estudio de COLLAGE, banda polaca de neo progresivo, con una variación en su forma de hacer las cosas; esta vez y con el propósito de llegar más lejos, los líricos se cantan en inglés. El álbum estuvo interpretado por Robert AMIRIAN (voz principal, guitarra acústica y mandolina); Piotr WITKOWSKI (bajos y acordeón); Mirek GIL (guitarras); Krzysztof PALCEWSKI (teclados) y Wojtek SZADKOWSKI (batería y percusiones). ¿Nombres conocidos? Mirek GIL que entre otras cosas tuvo una importante participación con QUIDAM en su primer álbum, y Wojtek SZADKOWSKI, quien junto con Mirek formaría después la banda SATELLITE.
El disco tiene unos buenos 67'23" de duración y un inicio tipo épico espectacular. Empieza profundo, enérgico. Se integra una batería poderosa y el resto de los instrumentos van saturando toda atmósfera tranquila para colmarla de algo que se antoja sobresaliente pero al poco tiempo se aterriza en ritmos, pulsos tradicionales neo progresivos, eso sí, muy bien interpretados y con ganas de seguir la línea con la que se introdujeron. Detalles sinfónicos, los acostumbrados solos de guitarra, composiciones un poco más complejas de lo normal en el subgénero y una buena vocalización, pudieron proyectar a COLLAGE hacia horizontes más lejanos con este disco, ejemplo preciso de cómo querrían ser después. ¿En inglés? bueno, para mucha gente esto se significó en una mejoría porque así resulta más sencillo escuchar el rock...
Alfredo Tapia-Carreto

Yo voy a hacer una juntada de firmas, amo como suena el idioma polaco, el ruso y el portugués en la música, más éste tipo de música. Por favor, dejen de cantar en inglés! ¿Quien me ayuda a juntar firmas?
Vamos ahora con sendos comentarios, ahora sí, en inglés...


Superb compositions of neo progressive Rock with great diversity about inspiration.
Symphonic keyboards and powerful guitars take you away with your heart and soul very high
in the kingdom of Music.
Voice of R. Amirian is very lyric and touches your ears easily.
A discreet masterpiece of progressive rock with time
as excellent as first lp of Satellite with the same musicians
A new welcome in my top ten of any time
aiglespiegle

I was interested in this band just because I was born in Poland and wanted to know more about its progressive scene. I was truly amazed while listening to their music. This is neo prog at its highest level. Guitars sound very similar to Rothery's ones, and it's to me a very good point as it provides an intense emotion to the music. However, vocals are not as good as Fish's or Peter Nicholl's ones. But I don't pay much attention to the voice if the music is good. Moreover, I regret the vocalist chose to sing in english, as I always expect a band from a country outside the commonwealth to use the language of their own country because they surely sing with more assurance in it than in a foreign one and without any accent. Fortunately, voices here are not annoying and they sound even quite pleasant. Despite the absence of polish lyrics and a voice not as great as what could be expected of a band that is highly influenced by bands that feature superb vocals (IQ, Marillion), Moonshine is a very good neo-prog album and is very influenced by 'Misplaced childhood' and 'Brave', both CDs by Marillion. If you like IQ or Marillion, you can't dismiss this record, this is probably the best neo-prog album ever recorded since, say, 'Misplaced childhood'.
Lucas Biela

I have almost nothing to add to Verisimilitude's review, which is about as spot-on as any I've read for any album on the site. I agree with it in its entirety, right down to liking Clepsydra's "Alone" a little more than this album (even though I gave both the same basic "star" rating). Clepsydra has the same overall "bombastic" sound as Collage, but does far more with it (and has much better vocals). Because although Collage is a highly technically proficient group of musicians, and the vocalist is better than some I've heard, the album ultimately leaves me "flat"; Collage is not "saying anything new" and, indeed, as Verisimilitude astutely points out, they sound like some really great prog musicians who were thrown together to have an overblown prog jam session (though, admittedly, some of the "jams" have some real structure to them). I also agree with Verisimilitude that the level of playing makes up (at least somewhat) for the lack of direction - which is the only reason I gave this album three stars (it actually deserves two-and-a-half). Definitely worth a listen, but not a "keeper" unless you are truly into heavily bombastic, often aimless, if well-played, prog. (As an aside, I never realized how influential Genesis' "Wind & Wuthering" and "And Then There Were Three" were to neo-prog, especially vis-a-vis production quality: no less than four neo-prog bands I have listened to and reviewed in the past three weeks were clearly influenced by one or both of those albums.)
Ian Alterman

Unfortunately I am only now getting around to reviewing COLAGE's best work to date in moonshine. This Polish Neo-Prog act blew me away several years ago with this delicate and intricate piece of modern day progressive rock. In many ways COLLAGE hit a nice chord with me blending the musical aura of early GENESIS with the darkness of MARILLION's "Script For A Jester's Tear". I bought this back in '94 and is on the now defunct SI music label, but I assume you can still get this one fairly easily? Lyrics are in English and vocalist Robert Amirian offers an excellent vox and adds to the richness of the music quite well. "Moonshine" offers 3 epic tracks which are all great and effortlessly extend revealing their musical maturity and professionalism.
James Unger

What a masterpiece! This symphonic progressive album really rocks! Like it was the case for Marillion-misplaced childhood, many young 13-14 years old girls like this stuff, because it's very emotional! The lyrics talk about love and feelings! Very positive and simple lyrics! Nothing is dark! What on this record steal the show? It is so hard to conclude that the answers may be different depending on how you feel this music: this means that all the instrument are outstandingly well played and elaborated. First of all, the guitar is constantly on the high notes, like on Jadis' More than meets the eye; the difference is that here the guitar is Hackett-esque, very ethereal and echoed, constantly approaching the Steve Hackett's "Every day" solo sound, although just a bit more muted. The keyboards are amazingly varied, multi-layered, floating, rythmic, melodic, and very symphonic: the keyboards often form a continuous intense texture in the background that, combined with the echoed guitar solos, will make you dream. Many bits of this record may be qualified as romantic. The low frequencies on this record are a bit too boosted, so that sometimes it becomes harder to listen clearly to the other instruments than the bass. That's why you have to decrease a bit the low frequencies gain, not too much, especially if you listen it loud. The lead vocals are very good, despite the presence of some insecure tremolos in the voice. Drums are absolutely delightful, complex, full of cymbals patterns and never dull. The tracks are SO loaded, multi-layered, rythm changing and complex that you need a real HI-FI system to really appreciate! My favorite tracks are the epic "In your eyes" and "Moonshine", which are among the all-time best progressive tracks. Finally, let's add that ALL the tracks are OUTSTANDING! Despite the few imperfections mentioned above, 5 stars for this record is the least that I can give!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED!
Greenback

Here's one for the crude humor folks: how many Poles does it take to make a great prog album? Five, if they are COLLAGE. Energetic, lushly produced modern symphonic prog with plenty of emotion is the rule here, with more emphasis on the orchestral synth sounds than the guitar- although the guitar also sounds great, often trilling high up on the neck for an almost bagpipe-like sound. "WOW" is what I thought when the opening salvo of sonics erupted from my speakers; "Heroes Cry" calms down a bit for the chorus, but this is one majestic sounding piece. I wonder why this (and two other tracks) is listed as a fragment- does the live version go on longer, or is there another installment to come? "In Your Eyes" isn't a Gabriel cover (or a MINOR THREAT cover for that matter) but rather a moody piano-based meditation that blossoms into soaring, adventurous pop-rock. The drummer is frankly amazing, peeling off syncopated fills and effortlessly making complex rhythmic and stylistic transitions. This, plus the occasional shimmering guitar arpeggios, led me to think briefly of RUSH, but COLLAGE demonstrates more classical influence and conversely also shows a pop/ rock songwriting skill like few other modern prog bands (PORCUPINE TREE is one of the better examples). "Lovely Day" may be a little too pop-sounding for some, but I like that they're not afraid to sound pretty- which they do quite often on this album. "Living in the Moonlight" is a bit darker, but only relatively. "The Blues" wears on me just a little, but there are still plenty of worthwhile instrumental highlights. "Wings in the Night" is a return to excellence, again combining a slightly darker opening with an energetic development into a soaring conclusion. The pizzicato string synth parts are beautifully, blatantly emotional, as is Robert Amirian's yearning vocal track. If you're waiting for him to settle down, it's not going to happen on "Moonshine", where his vocals often sound about to burst with angry, frustrated desire (the track does mellow near the end, with a lovely melancholy fade). And "War is Over" is a triumphant and anthemic conclusion, with some suprising martial/ folk sounds unlike anything else on the album. Am I gushing? There are drawbacks- all the songs sound somewhat similar in a way that makes you wonder if they're falling into a stylistic rut, but it is a lovely similarity after all. They are not going to turn the world on its ear with anything they're doing here, but prog as a whole is unlikely to recapture the general public interest anyway (and that's not such a bad thing). And it goes without saying that the jazz- influence prog fanatics are unlikely to adore it. You may find yourself in need of something gritty and ironic ("Joe's Garage" maybe?) to cleanse your audio palate after listening to all this earnest, glistening majesty.
James Lee

What is it with these Dutch bands? Do they have regular talent contests in Holland that we don't know about???
Imagine yourself walking into a cathedral and hearing "Wind and Wuthering"-like sounds: the reverence, the lush, wall-to-wall keyboards with buckets of echo and reverb, the bass pedal pushed to the limit, the swirling synths punctuated by delicate, crystalline piano notes and the vocalist alternately singing/whispering in his strong vibrato voice. As some have aptly said, this music doesn't have much direction, but I found the trip itself so pleasant that 'getting there' wasn't so important after all. The album, which doesn't contain any weak tracks, awes the listener from beginning to end.
I was tempted to give it a mere 3 stars because the arrangements are so "déjà vu", so GENESIS-like (especially the HACKETT-like solos) and the melodies so simple they probably don't have a long shelf life. Upon hearing it again, however, I couldn't deny the excellent production, the way the themes so naturally blend into one another, the simple but effective time changes and the shere beauty of the overall effect. For melodious and utterly simple prog that can still dazzle you, you can bet your little heart (and your hard-earned cash) on COLLAGE's "Moonshine". Something to reconcile you with the universe on particularly emotional stormy nights.
Lise Hibou

Another Neo-Prog work, coming from Poland, superior than their debut album, cause of its compactness and some pretty melodic lines as well...their tones are soft, but often you can listen to their personal imprinting during the development of songs like "In Your eyes" (probably their best one)...Robert Amirian is a remarkable vocalist and the arrangement - concerning above all their keyboards- is good!! Instead the other guitar lines are not so original, despite of being often pleasant, and this will bring the listener to a certain sense of tiredness till the end. But anyway if you are relaxing yourself (for example during your Summer vacation or in your spare time) , you can hear the soft tones of this good album and be happy; otherwise -if not- in any case you can choose some other more complex "progressive" stuff !!
It's not a masterpiece, but it's suitable for some "less involved" moments...make your own choice!!
Lorenzo

MOONSHINE, a 1994 release from Polish group Collage, serves up a generous slice of latter-day symphonic progressive rock (or "neo-prog") that, while puffed up with grandiose bombast, is less than fully satisfying in terms of musical "meat" or originality. As fellow reviewer Maani has noted before me, the band's chief inspirational antecedents are easily identified as WIND AND WUTHERING-era Genesis (and, by extension, mid-80s Marillion). For this Genesis fan, that's a rich wellspring to draw upon, but I could wish that Collage had been less obvious about it, just the same.
Don't get me wrong -- there is some lovely, powerful stuff here, and it is all very well performed. Singer Robert Amirian has a fine, impassioned voice, and delivers the English lyrics without too much of a distracting accent. The synths, piano and drums are quite good, and equally able to convey moments of power or delicate beauty, while the lead guitar of Mirik Gil is soaring and soulful, and highly reminiscent of that of the master, Steve Hackett.
Yes, this is good 90s prog, and it's worth multiple hearings, but the older progressive rock fan will not be able to ignore a strong sense of deja vu when listening to this rather derivative material. Still, as Genesis had long since left true progressive rock in the echoing halls of memory by this time, the more tolerant and devoted prog fan who craves a new "fix," should enjoy this. Just don't expect a brand new high from Collage -- you'll likely "get off," but, if you're a long-term progger, you've been on this trip before.
Overall then, in terms of material and musicianship, MOONSHINE would merit four stars, but when the lack of originality is factored in, the final "mark" must be lowered to three stars -- good, but certainly not essential. If you like Genesis-flavoured acts like Marillion and IQ, you should enjoy this. The recipe is widely available, but try a taste anyway.
Peter

This was one of those albums I bought after reading about the band on this site, and downloading the free track above. The whole album is beautifully produced, and the tracks are consistently good. The sound is powerful, yet melodic, and the musicianship is of a high quality. Every track has something to merit it, and the keyboards and guitar work are especially appealing. Guitarist Mirek Gil does play in a manner that is more than reminscent to Steve Hackett at times, and this is certainly not a bad thing in my book, as Hackett is my absolute fave. Best tracks for me are the opener, 'Heroes Cry' 'The Blues' and 'Living In The Moonlight'. But all are good and different people will have different favourites - always a sign of a good album. The vocals are in English, with little trace of accent except on the final track. The drummer, Szadkowski, is the main songwriter and lyricist, and a good job he does too. He's not a not a bad player either! All in all, an album I would recommend to anyone who likes lush, melodic symphonic prog, not particularly daring, but enjoyable. A worthy addition to anyone's collection.
Carl Swallow

It's been more than 10 years since the release of "Moonshine", arguably Collage's definitive masterpiece, yet it continues to send shivers down a number of listeners' spines in the present day - at least that's what happens to me every time I return to this neo-prog gem. Born out of the now distant Polish neo-prog "new wave" of the early 90s, Collage managed to become as important as a couple of other brilliant compatriots (Abraxas, Quidam), in no small degree thanks to "Moonshine". This is the band's apex because it is the album in which the cohesion among the musicians and the magic of the material fulfill their potential at 100 %. The repertoire's sound perfectly epitomizes the way in which Collage assume and reelaborate their main references - early Marillion, "Wind & Wuthering"-era Genesis - with the use of some good old folkish vibes and a musical strength of their own. The folkish thing is not as evident as in their amazing debut "Basnie", but definitely it is still there, as some sort of implicit alternative to the predominant symphonic prog ambiences. The main sounds are provided by the guitar and the keyboards. Mirek Gil's leads, harmonies and textures sound like a fusion of Hackett and Rothery, while the keyboards play an essential role in orchestrations, solos, multi-layers, and even well ordained segues between most of the songs. While in the melodic aspect we can accurately state that the main core is Palczewski, the whole structure of each song is solidly laid by drummer Wojtek Szadkowski, whose fantastic skills lead him closer to Peart [no kidding - just listen to his inventive rolls and constant use of cymbal tricks] and White than to his usually more constrained neo-prog colleagues. Amirian's voice, on the other hand, has always been a bone of contention for Collage reviewers: I stand on the positive side, since I think that his style and charisma are more than proper for the sound that Collage create. Well, the album kicks off with excellent keyboard-driven bombast, like the start of an epic movie. Soon the bombast subsides in order to let the evocative development of 'Heroes Cry' follow a natural course of reflectiveness. The epic thing feels more constant in the following track 'In Your Eyes', the first of the three suites that are comprised in the album. 'In Your Eyes' contains a fluidly connected succession of romantic and energetic passages: these are 14 minutes of pure prog glory. The other suites are 'Wings in the Night' and the namesake track. The former has a bigger emphasis on the reflective side of things, although it is not bland or boring at all: that peculiar intensity is always present. Although this suite tends to be the most highly praised in the Internet, I must prefer the darker 'Moonshine'. The way in which the drumming cadence gives way to the starting point and the way the succession of motifs meets a fluid cohesiveness make it one of the album's highlights. Another undisputed highlight is 'The Blues', an energetic exercise of self-determination as a source for the impulse to overcome melancholy and frustration: the melodic ideas are great, and so are the inputs of all five members. Before 'The Blues', there is the duality of 'Lovely Day' and 'Living in the Moonlight'. 'Lovely Day' brings a breeze of folkish air to the album, providing a warm portrait of the harmony between a man in a moment of happy meditation and the landscape. Segued to this track by a brief series of piano arpeggios, 'Living in the Moonlight' brings the darkness of both the night and the sorrow for love lost and still yearned for. 'Living in the Moonlight' was the band's major hit, a sort of 'Kayleigh' for them. The emergence of 'The Blues' helps to bring a statement of self-assurance and determination once the storm of nostalgia is over. But what about conflict? Can it be over? According to Amirian's closing statement, it can. 'War is Over' is an optimistic Celtic-based song that unabashedly shows off its own naive belief in a better future for human beings and mankind as a whole. Everything about this beautiful song brings soft emotional solace: the duel between the acoustic guitar and mandolin, the bagpipe "allusions" provided by the guitar and synth leads, the final accordion harmonies, Amirian's initial almost whispering turning into a candid frenzy. A beautiful end for a beautiful album. "Moonshine" is a testimony of College's artistic talent at its peak.
César Inca

A year ago,on April 17th,2005,I bought this masterpeice.The album has grown on me from that time,and now it's my second favourite neo-prog release (after the stunning "Script for a Jester's Tear")!!!I remember looking at the cover artwork and thinking how does it perfectlly reflect the plot of the work.It is dark,but not miserable.It is Darkness with a spot of Light at the end of the Way.It is the best Polish release ever,and that's why I adore Polish prog now!!!
"Moonshine" blows your ears with opening "Heroes Cry",which is one of the best opening tracks I ever heard!!!Mighty keyboards,fiery drumming and wild guitar(while Gil is said to be influenced by Rothery,I found him even more original than his "teacher"!!!).Closing riff will take you away,I bet!!!The next one,"In your Eyes" stars very moody and darkly,reminding of the best MARILLION's moments(the beginning of "Bitter Suite" or "Pseudo Silk Kimono").Then a theme in a major key follows,and it takes us somewhere far beyond heaven...a little break somewhere on 8th minute and again pompous ending("Here tonight..." etc)."Lovely Day" gives a break from astonishing epic,and second part of it is really nice.But then my favouritest part of the album begins - my fav 3 tracks!!!"Living in the Moonlight" could be made even by Guns'n'Roses or Led Zeppelin,this is stunning touching rock-ballad with great melodic lines(a break before the solo just drives me insane!!!).It crushes into "The Blues",which has plenty of changing complex signatures and vintage Gil/Palczewski duels.The song- part of it will make sing,I bet!!!And the highlight of that trio - "Wings in the Night" epic,written in 3/... signatures,which has awesome soloing coda...it seems that these solo-bridges would last forever!!!"Why..."chorus makes me cry - it is SO TENDER and BEAUTIFUL!!!The best track here,IMHO.The following mighty "Moonshine" is almost the same genius...and closing "War is over" reminds me of Polish folk songs(whose are so close to Ukrainian ones) and it's great coda - a return to your roots...
Finally,I'd like to say,that "Moonshine" is the best Neo-prog release of 90s and it helds everything,that every progger needs - and even more!!!I recommend it to EVERYONE!!!
Igor Sidorenko

COLLAGE present an emotional and uplifting album in "Moonshine". I can't get over how much they sound like SATELLITE, of course three of COLLAGE's members started that band up including the vocalist so it's no wonder they sound so much alike. From the keyboard passages to the soaring, melodic guitar, to the emotional well sung vocals, this is Neo-Prog at it's best..This is very polished, with layers of sound, that are simply ear candy. Lots of orchestral-like passages created through the keyboards as well.
"Heroes Cry" is so moving, especially the chorus.There's even some heaviness with guitar after 2 minutes. Some nice instrumental work to end it. Amazing sound 6 minutes in. "In Your Eyes" opens with keyboards as fragile vocals come in. It kicks in after 2 1/2 minutes. Passionate vocals with guitar a minute later. The tempo and mood shifts continue.The guitar just lights it up 7 minutes in. It's so moving 9 minutes in. Gulp. "Lovely Day" is such a transcending track both instrumentally and the lyrics. Lots of piano in this one. "Living In The Moonlight" is another emotional track with fantastic vocals. Love the guitar before 3 minutes as well.
"The Blues" is uptempo and they really put on an instrumental display here.The mood and tempo changes a lot and themes are eventually repeated in yet another great track. "Wings In The Night" is mellow to open as fragile vocals join in. It starts to build then settles with piano after 3 1/2 minutes. I like when it settles again after 7 minutes and the guitar comes in. "Moonshine" opens with drums as synths join in. A full sound before a minute and then it settles when vocals arrive. As per usual this song really changes a lot. The highlight for me is the final song "War Is Over" which is pure joy as the title would suggest. ANEKDOTEN have a song called "The War Is Over" from their "Gravity" album that is just as uplifting than this one believe it or not. This song is addictive though as the chorus keeps spinning in my head over and over. When I hear this song I just want to celebrate.
A solid 4 stars and my favourite album from all the COLLAGE and SATELLITE albums.
John Davie

Call it neo if you will - but that would be Mr Polish Neo to you, since this so far exceeds the quality and emotion exhibited on British so-called classics of the genre. I am just happy that this effort tends to get the respect it does. For what a wonderful uplifting album is Moonshine.
From the opening notes of the intensely beautiful "Heroes Cry", this CD grabs hold and only lets go during some of the lesser moments within "In Your Eyes". The production is dense and seems to have a lot of reverb, with the vocals sometimes a bit buried, at least on my non remastered edition, but it also gives Moonshine a lot of character. Robert Amirian's voice is highly emotive and unaccented, while Mirek Gil's guitar leads are strongly reminiscent of Steve Hackett, specially in the best song, "Wings in the Night", which really has everything a melodic prog fan would want. The keyboards are perhaps slightly overdone but also create the dreamy nighttime atmosphere so well that I am assuming this was the intention. Lastly we have the adept drumming of project mastermind Wojtek Szadkowski.
For a lovely ballad, listen to "Living in the Moonlight" a few times. True, it could just as easily be referred to as melancholy pop as prog, but it doesn't matter when the tune, guitars and voice are so well crafted and touching. "The Blues" is another favourite - it's only mildly bluesy, and I think of it more as Collage saying "here is our take on the blues, and all you bluesmen out there, I hope you can handle it!". Excellent fiery opening followed by slow verses and a magnificently intense chorus that just keeps coming. "War is Over" is a pastoral closer which ends with some accordion of all things. Again, produced lovingly and replete with a cosmic pining that permeates most of this great work.
Even allowing for the fact that tracks 2 and 3 are not great, the rest is of such high quality that you don't have to be high on moonshine to gush with appreciation for this 90s classic, or to give this moon five stars.
Keneth Levine

About a decade ago I went to a CD-shop, got hold of this album and asked the salesman, can I listen to some of it ? I put on the headphone, heard 5 seconds and was already blown away, I never heard something like this !! Of course Herous Cry is a great opener with a big impact, so that's very clever of Collage but I have to say: the rest isn't any less impressive. It's a romantic, bombastic album (great combination it proves to be) with fantastic compositions. I like the longer tracks best but also Herous Cry and The Blues are really awesome. It's just the other three shorter songs that are somewhat less impressive but still nice.
So it's 5 topsongs which is in my book clearly 5/5 stars
Henk van der Hoff

It´t very seldom I listen to neo prog albums that I really like besides Fish era Marillion which I absolutely adore and a few other exceptions. Moonshine which is the third album from Collage is one of those exceptions. It´s a very unique album IMO and even though many of the ideas on Moonshine were also heard on the two previous albums from Collage Basnie and Nine songs of John Lennon the ideas are fully developed on Moonshine and with the massive production and elaborate synth layers this makes for quite an experience in melodic prog rock/ neo prog.
The music is heavily synth layered but the guitar leads from Mirek Gil is also omnipresent throughout the album. On top of that there are some excellent melodic melodies sung by Robert Amirian. It´s close to pop at times but the music is always done with finesse and attention to detail that you won´t hear in commercial pop music. The pop moments are only tendencies though and with many of the songs being well over 10 minutes long the structure is not commercial at all.
The album starts with Heroes Cry which is a really excellent song that starts very bombastic and has a nice memorable chorus. In Your Eyes which with it´s 14:04 minutes is the longest song here is a great and very dynamic song. It has subtle beautiful moments and full on symphonic ones. There are many sections in In Your Eyes but everything fits nicely together. Lovely Day is a ballad type song but it never gets long or cheesy for that matter. Listening to the next song Living in the Moonlight for the first time I was sure it was a cover song of an eighties pop hit, but I´m sure it just bears lots of resemblance to one. It´s the most melodic and memorable song on Moonshine and even though the cheese factor is pretty high here it´s a great song. The rest of the album continues without much change in quality. All songs are of high standard. One of my few regrets with Moonshine is that the arrangements and the sounds Collage uses are very much the same throughout the album and it makes the listening experience a bit trivial at times. This is not a major problem though and for once I won´t complain too much about quantity even though Moonshine is a very long album.
The musicianship is outstanding but I have to mention Wojtek Szadkowski on drums as he brings something special to the music. His style is very unorthodox especially when you think of how the drums are generally played in neo prog. I would call him a very busy drummer and that might even be an understatement of his style. He makes millions of different fills and small time and tempo changes that keeps the music exciting. I´m sure his playing is an aquired taste though, and some might think he is too busy, but I really enjoy his playing.
The production on Moonshine is really unique. It´s one of those larger than life productions that is so full of reverb and chorus that you think your ears are gonna explode any time when listening. This is a positive remark if anyone should doubt it. It´s so grand that it sounds like it´s recorded on a mountain. Personally I love that kind of a production and to me it´s an important part of Moonshine.
Moonshine is a really excellent album and I will rate it 4 stars. It´s a bit too long ( there I did it again! Complained about quantity instead of quality, but I just can´t help it) and had it been a little more focused and cut down just a bit, it might have been a 5 star album, but on the other hand I really like the long songs on the album because it´s here Collage gets to play all the beautiful melodic sections that´s so enjoyable. Well even though how I see it, Moonshine is a very excellent album but falls short of a masterpiece IMO. It´s very recommandable though to fans of the neo prog genre and some fans of symphonic prog rock might be enchanted too.
UMUR

Having released a couple of respected if unremarkable albums in the early 1990's (including a John Lennon tribute), Polish neo-prog band Collage recorded what is widely acknowledged as their finest album in 1994. The sound here is pure neo-prog, so as long as that is one of your genres of choice you will be fine with this album.
The opening "Heroes cry" sets the scene in exemplary fashion, with floating mellotron like symphonic synths and plenty of lead guitar. The trembling vocals (reminiscent of Pallas) add fine atmosphere to a blending of the styles of bands such as Genesis, Pendragon and Arena. The 14 minute "In your eyes" which follows allows the band all the space they need to fully develop the piece into a beautifully lush suite. Here, the Genesis (circa "Wind and wuthering" especially) influences are more pronounced, particularly in the Hackett like guitar work of Mirek Gil, but there is no question of this simply being a derivative work.
The emphasis is very much on melody and sensitivity. There is nothing here which might be described as harsh. That is not to say the music is soft, or lacking in substance, the synth runs in the aforementioned "In your eyes" are every bit as exciting and dynamic as those by Tony Banks (a reasonable comparison in fact). The tracks flow together seamlessly, with "Lovely day" simply sounding like the next phase of "In your eyes".
After the enthrallingly lovely "Living in the moonlight", "The blues" offers another burst of very Hackett like lead guitar supported by symphonic synths. Two further tracks run to over 10 minutes. The first of these, "Wings in the night", manages to incorporate some pretty fiery synth and guitar yet retain an overall atmosphere of symphonic gentleness.
The title track, which runs to almost 13 minutes, is a bit heavier primarily due to the pounding bass line which pushes the vocals back in the mix slightly. This song is actually closer to the type of product which would be delivered by Collage's successors Satellite. The album closes with "War is over", an more straightforward number with an anthemic, repetitive hook.
For some, an album like this may be just a little too rich. It is perhaps the prog equivalent of a chocolate gateau, drenched in orchestral synths, smooth guitar and evolving melodies. Those like myself with a sweet tooth will however find this to be an absolute delight.
Bob McBeath

Recently my good friend and PA colleague Henk Van Der Off (Progrules) asked me why I haven't written a review for this album. I could not find a good answer at the time. So I decided it was time to do so,ething about it. In fact I still find hard to rate this album. Its importance can't be understimate. For me, and a lot of people outside Polland, this was the record to put that country in the prog map. Even today Moonshine is a reference. Why? It is simply the right album at the right time with the right musicians. And it is more than that.
The band had matured into something unique due the fact it included an excellent songwriter (drummer and leader Wojtek Szadkowski), a guitar player that was more than good: he had built his own style of playing (Mirek Gil) and had aquired recently an excellent and distinctive singer (Robert Amirian), But most of all they had a keyboards player that gave their sound a very unique feel: Krzysztof Palczewski . He can only be described as one of those one in a million cases of a truly genius in his work. Just listen to his playing and try to think of anyone who have done anything so brilliant, melodic and overwhelming.
That said, just listen to the record. It sounds like nothing else, and yet their influences are quite easy to recognize (Genesis, Pink Floyd, early Marilliom, Camel and the like). the result is a masterpiece of music that defies categorization. to me they play symphonic prog rock with some polish folk influences here and there. the music is complex and accessible at the same time. they ahve great melodies and fine tunes. A pleasure to hear from beginning to end. Production could be better, but nothing that spoils the overall great effect of their music.
to me is one of the best prog rock records to emerge form the 90's and it is a masterpiece of progressive music. In other words: essential. Five stars with honors. One of my favorite CDs of all time.
Tarcisio Moura

COLLAGE's Moonshine is full of very memorable music. There are many 'hooks' that haunt the listener hours and days after walking away from it. Containing some symphonic elements, this masterpiece of NeoProg has a few shortcomings, namely the vocals are, at times, weak, and some of the keyboards that were 'leading edge' technologically in 1994 are almost embarrassingly out-dated today. Still, the bombastic music, rare treat of frequent synthesizer-electric guitar interplay, and defining appearance of the screaming, infinite-sustain Mirek Gil guitar sound (which is, IMO, one step above that of the Master, Steve Hackett--whose "Spectral Mornings/Every Day" sound Gil was so obviously inspired by).
1. "Heroes Cry." What a memorable, bombastic introduction! And it all begins with the album's major strength (Gil's screaming guitar) and weakness (vocals). At 1:10 the poppy bridge and chorus first appear. At 3:50 we get our first treat to the talented keyboard player as he echoes himself before engaging in the playful chase-and-duel pattern so often explored with Gil's guitar. (Could it be that Gil's soli are, in fact, improved and enhanced--his efforts augmented--by the challenge and presence of the keys?) Prog doesn't get much better that this, folks! A very memorable, haunting song. 9/10
2. "In Your Eyes" opens with the dated synths to about 1:00 when piano and acoustic guitar interplay take over to back the vocal. At 2:36 a very Hackett-esque guitar riff leads to a very "Wind & Wuthering" feeling section of chords and acoustic guitar. 4:30 sees the arrival of a very high, squeaky guitar solo; at 5:30 the song shifts dramatically, till, at 6:25 the song shifts back to the Hackett-esque, "Spectral Mornings" feel. At 7:10 we see a return to previous themes until at 8:35 the song takes another completely different shift with sequencer, synthesizer, and bass taking over until 9:10 when Gil's screaming guitar rejoins. A vocal highlight occurs at the 10:25 mark with an electric guitar supported "here tonight" peak, followed at the 11:30 mark with a low register key & synth solo over some very nice drum work. Tempo picks up again at 12:00 until a stop at 12:45. Whereupon the song plays out with the very enjoyable interplay of keyboard and electric guitar. 7/10
3. "Lovely Day" uses piano and synthesized strings to establish a slow, almost poppy mood for the first three minutes. The 3:05 mark sees the most interesting development of the song with piano arpeggios followed by some electric guitar-keyboard 'gunfire.' Otherwise, a not very memorable song. 6/10
4. "Living in the Moonlight." A favorite among proggers, undoubtedly for it's Hackett-like, "Please Don't Touch" feel as well as its lyrical content. Gil's guitar work is rather subdued and moved more into the background. The "when I feel silence" sees the song shift into a higher gear of intensity, and then higher again when Gil begins his Hackett-esque solo--which he makes his own beginning at the 3:10 mark. 8/10
5. "The Blues." The highpoint of the album. Gil's guitar screams out the defining melody from the first note and climbs, with the help of some wonderful band support, to an amazing beginning song solo before dropping away at the 0:54 mark in lieu of the vocal section--a great vocal dislay, with very powerful delivery of some powerful lyrics. Great full-band interplay and support throughout this amazing song. 4:35 begins the Mirek Gil display. This is the song where he leaves Hackett in the dust and establishes his own ascendancy. Great drum and key support. I do not think that this song could be improved upon. A song for the ages. 10/10
6. "Wings in the Night" takes the first 2:25 to establish itself (fairly weakly) before finally letting some energy show (briefly). The song rather lacks from consistency--bouncing from quiet to dynamic and back again over and over while the vocals go on trampling over all parts indiscriminately. At the 7:10 mark Mirek Gil is finally set free--and boy! does he soar! The final four minutes of the song nearly make up for the floundering first seven (even if there are several moments where one might think you were in Steve Hackett's "Spectral Mornings"). 7/10
7. "Moonshine" begins as if playing Phil Collins' "I Don't Care Anymore" until at 0:46 Gil steps in and lifts it into another world--his own. Still, it takes three and a half minutes until the song finally establishes a consistent self identity--which it does, at a very high level, too. 8/10
8. "War Is Over" is vocalist Robert Amirian's rather pop-anthem contribution to the album. Very simple structure and repetitive lyric make for a somewhat disappointing song. The only real progginess comes in the song's end when Amirian's accordian ushers us out of (the) Moonshine. 6/10
9. (Bonus Track in 2003 remaster) "Almost There." This is a GREAT song. Too bad it wasn't on the original release (instead of "War Is Over"), otherwise this may have helped earn the album the five star rating it feels like it deserves. I LOVE how the vocals, keyboards and bass pace this song. Powerful! For once Amirian's lyrics (repetitive as they are) and delivery work! They provide a great vehicle for an all-out band jam?which could easily (and even happily) have ended at the 3:05 mark. But it doesn't! Instead, we are treated to one more minute of bass and drums pounding beneath Mirek Gil's superlative, screaming guitar and Robert Amirian's (background) vocal screams. Wow! 10/10
Without "Almost There" the album is a definite four star "classic"--and excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection. With it . . . ?
2015 edit: This album has now been a part of my life for several years. It has become one of those "go to" albums I can always depend on to uplift my spirits into those peak experience moments. Though the 1990s keyboards still sound a bit cheesy, the compositions and emotions coming our of this recorded material has become one of the benchmark experiences of both the 1990s in particular and Neo-prog in general. It is for these reasons that I am choosing to reconsider my original four star rating and elevate Moonshine into the "masterpiece" category. It deserves it. I can think of few albums from the 1990s more essential to the proof that Prog Is Alive and Well!
Drew Fisher

Some prog rock, it is true to say, is not altogether emotionally uplifting. Some of it can be downright depressing, and in the genre's first heyday of the 1970's, a lot of bands released exceptionally long suites and concepts that were musically, emotionally, and intellectually challenging. I say this not, of course, as a criticism, but as a matter of fact.
If we jump forward to the neo prog explosion, a lot of bands then seemed to have to issue albums that aped that style of music, if nothing else to prove their prog credentials. The better ones got over this tendency, and began to create wholly original music and styles.
The above is stated to introduce this blinder of an album by Collage, a short lived Polish band. Moonshine is an album which drips with relentless enthusiasm, is upbeat beyond belief, and very cleverly intersperses lengthy epics with some extraordinarily catchy prog pop shorter tracks. What they proved, above all else, is that neo prog did not simply have to be a copy of the classic bands to be effective, but basically took the best of what influenced them and turned it into something deliciously original. For that, this band deserve to be right up amongst great outfits such as Marillion and Pendragon as being amongst the best the sub genre has to offer. I say this, by the way, as a huge lover of neo prog.
There is, in this album, more than a smattering of Marillion influence, certainly in the manner that the instrumental passages are constructed, and more than a bit of the Hogarth era at that, as well. Elsewhere, there are also the obligatory nods to classic artists, none more so than the longest track on the album, In Your Eyes, whose end vocal passage bears more than a passing resemblance to Gabriel's track of the same name from So. In addition, the band have clearly listened to the full quota of Camel's albums. In doing this, however, they never once sound like a cheap tribute band.
Robert Amirian's vocals are incredible throughout, and much of it, by the way, does also put you in mind of more than one post indie outfit. The chorus, and accompanying guitar burst, on Wings In The Night transports the listener to another plain.
The musicianship throughout is excellent. Palczewski's keyboard work is nothing short of phenomenal, Gil on guitar backs up Amirian's lead effortlessly, whilst the rhythm section of Szadkowski on drums and Witkowski on are about as tight and urgent as it is possible to get. For no better example of how well they play and riff as a unit, listen to the closing section of The Blues.
This is an excellent work, and the standard would be carried forward into successor outfit Satellite. Very highly recommended for all those who wish to explore neo prog outside of the UK comfort zone, and for prog fans in general who appreciate grand, upbeat, music with more than a hint of wider pop/rock sensibilities.
Four stars / five, and a strong four stars at that.
Steve Lazland

Collage's third album finds the album playing in a distinctive style which is more unique to them than the heavily Marillion-inspired approach of their debut, though occasionally aspects of early Marillion or 1990s Pendragon pop up here and there. The Collage sound as of Moonshine is sweeping, dramatic, and at times (as on the opening number Heroes Cry) thunderous, with keyboards, lead guitar and vocals all uniting to create a particularly emotive and passionate work. At points the production seems to stumble a little; there are parts where the synths sound a little cheap and dated and the drum sound is a bit thin, but just when my attention begins to drift the album turns around and enthralls me yet again. I think Basnie is a somewhat more well-executed work myself, but Moonshine is a little more original so the two complement each other nicely.
W. Arthur

The 1990-1992 period was definitely the more intense in Collage's history.''Basnie'' was warmly accepted by the prog audience, leading to concerts even abroad for the band and to a reissue of the album in 1992 by Vinyl Magic.On the other hand Tomasz Rozycki left the band suddenly to be replaced by Zbyszek Bieniak.Bieniak was a great singer and songwriter but he also quit in early 92', leaving his place for a while to Jarek Wajk.1993 was even more shocking for the band.Only Gil and Szadkowski remained from the ''Basnie'' line-up.The bass was now handled by Piotr Witkowski, keyboards by Krzysztof Palczewski, while the new singer was Robert Amirian.To test his voice Collage released the album ''Nine Songs of John Lennon'' in 1993 with cover tracks of Lennon's discography, followed a year later by the first full-length album of the new line-up ''Moonshine'' on Metal Mind Records.
The new album presented two big differences compared to ''Basnie''.Amirian would sing exclusively in English, having a more sensitive and romantic voice, eventually reflecting on the atmosphere of the album.Additionally the darker compositions of ''Basnie'' left their place to less-raw and more elaborate arrangements with a more positive aura.Of course the style of Collage remained equally grandiose, bombastic at moments and quite adventurous, enriched by series of softer passages inbetween.Overall the extremely unique band's style had developed even more with an aim towards foreign markets but always delivering a pure Neo/Symphonic Rock with dramatic arrangements and a huge rich sound throughout.Dreamy keyboards alternate with bombastic orchestral passages, smooth vocal-based parts are followed by superb guitar solos, the trademark of Mirek Gil, and polished melodies are blended with a great number of breaks.More importantly Collage set the basis of what we would call ''Polish Prog'' in the future, apparently having influenced a great number of local bands.A style characterized by the lovely symphonic keyboards, the deep esoteric vocal lines, the dramatic solos and often the very personal atmosphere of Polish vocals, which are absent on this album.
A great comeback by one of the most original Polish bands.Despite the line-up changes Collage returned with an album full of excellent, dreamy and challenging musicianship, an almost classic of the Neo Prog scene and highly recommended to fans of prog in general.
apps79

This Polish prog group has produced a few CD's in the 90's and stopped as 'Collage'. They reappeared, at least some members, as 'Satellite'. I have two other CD's of Collage, for which I would go for 3-stars, and the majority of Satellite, for which I would give about 4-stars each. But this one is amazing and in a class by itself...
From a musical standpoint, I could say that the keyboard is everywhere, mostly in the 'high-notes' level, always well suited and virtuoso. It brings a superb atmosphere of 'grandiose' to the songs. The guitar play is majestic, also in the 'high-notes' level, and completes the keys very well (or, is it the opposite ?). The songs vary tremendously in tempos and rhythms, and sometimes when you think they head to the conclusion, they surprise you with another burst of energy, with a theme variation that is mind blowing. And it is one of the most powerful albums I own, even if it is not metal at all ! There is also an emotional feeling that emanes from a few listenings, because it is touchy in some passages, it grows in intensity in others, the singer is very inspired in others. 'In your eyes', 'Wings in the night' and 'Moonshine' are my favorites, as I consider them as super prog gems ! They have the best ingredients : emotions, good variations, changes of tempo, atmospheric keyboards... The first track, 'Heroes cry', will get you directly into the romantic and inspired moments that you will encounter again later... The other ones are also of good quality, with no really weak tracks, which is rare. You can easily let this CD play in its entirety, the best way to appreciate that superb work and get the feeling (other reviewers here are describing this particularity very well; go take a look !). The lyrics are directed to 'positive' subjects, another good quality in my view.
This CD is a heavy good surprise, with a specific emotional sound and a high quality all over. You even question why this group has produced all the other albums with more standard and average focus, for which I do not intend to write anything !! While they reach submits here... and a lot !! So, 4 stars would mean 'excellent addition' ? No, it deserves more than that, because it is unique and perfectly produced in all aspects. In my collection, it turns around the Top-10 to 15 position...
It is a 'must', if you like different, atmospheric but powerful neo-prog stuff ! Gets the best ! To be discovered absolutely.
Denis Bélanger

Probably the best album of the whole neo-prog polish school (Satellite, Quidam, Abraxas), with strong and easy to recall compositions and good musicians. Main defects: the heavy accent of the singer and too many melodic passages.
babbus61

This album of Collage is to Rock music what Rococo is to classical music. It's filled to the brim with little guirlandes, the dynamics are frivolous, and the music is full of great melodies. Mozart couldn't have done better if he was a contempuary artist. Don't mind the simpistic lyrics, they only serve as sound-board. This must count as one of the greatest albums of neo prog. If you enjoy great melodies with complex arrangements, and a distinct classical baroc/rococo feeling, this is for you. I won't go into the individual tracks of this album, since they are all great. My personal favorite is "Wings in the Night" but I like all the rest. Easily 5 stars, and by far the album I played most after discovering it about 6 months ago.
Jan Bril

What a wonderful spatial sound.
What a great track HEROES CRY is, empassioned and full of soaring melodies. Excellent opener to the album. Though the remaining tracks don't quite live up to this stunning opener, the album sits well in my collection.
A Polish group trying to appeal to a wider market by singing in English, much appreciated and I'm sure the ploy worked well. An excellent addition to any proggers collection.
Hugh Richards

If I have one prog album to bring on an island it will be this one, nonetheless. For me it's the perfect neo-prog album. Every songs are solid, you can feel the emotion in the music in each and every note. Robert Amirian sounds fabulous on this one, better than on the other Collage and Satellite album. The orchestral keyboard sound is just fantastic. Mix it with the excellent guitarist Mirek Gil and you get an astonishing guitar-keyboards combination. This album is solid from A to Z, with great feeling, emotion and solid musicianship. Try it, you will not regret it.
StephLevs

If you feel you're getting just about as much as you can out of the more popular Neo Progressive bands--Pendragon, IQ, Arena, and so on--then turn now to Collage (and indeed many other of the lesser-known Neo bands). The song structures on Moonshine are often symphonic in nature, yet the music is obviously Neo-Prog. Epic, multi-instrumental, and filled to the brim with emotional vocals effectively describes Moonshine. What's beautiful about the album in particular is that the song order is very logical and flowing, yet each song has a deep independence and stands by itself.
"Heroes Cry" is the perfect way to begin the album. It packs a huge punch in its mere 6 ½ minutes with a catchy, very heavy, and almost metal keyboard riff impersonating string instruments. "Living in the Moonlight" is brought to life and held together by an innocent keyboard theme with understated keyboard chords and an occasional guitar solo. The three longer songs on Moonshine ("In Your Eyes," "Wings of the Night," and "Moonshine") are all very good. The first is more of an upbeat love song, the second is my favorite with a wondrously brilliant chorus, and the third is a bit jazzier, angrier at times, and has many mood swings, making for an interesting listen. Sometimes, however, the songs don't really warrant their length and would make a bigger impact in a more condensed version.
The final song on the original disc, "War is Over" has become a prime contender for the most listened to song in my collection. It is greatly addictive, has a simple melody witch is easy to latch onto, and also has the best ending of any short song I know of: a rousing, danceable, Irish tune dominated by a mandolin and accordion. It's fun to listen to and adds a bit of light-hearted flavor to the album, which tends to be heavy and dark.
I don't quite feel comfortable giving Moonshine a perfect score, despite the praise I've heaped on it. Though the songs are well-written, catchy and focused, most of them are dark, even when the tune is major-key. The music isn't really depressing, but it's really better suited for nighttime listening or on rainy days, if you buy into that sort of thing. And since I mostly like upbeat music, I have to lower the score a bit. If this doesn't bother you, then that's all the better. Either way, you need to hear Moonshine, a highlight of the Neo Progressive genre.
Drew

I be glad very, that group is in Poland so good :) Music sounds perfectly, though somewhat it is weak vocal...However, it compensates for dose of emotion Robert. Percussion could be strongest too...
Everything that is in such style like: -emotions -romantics -perfectly guitar -zero of scream -zero of aggression I think , that it most curious group of last year. Much better, able and intelligent than Deyss, Church... It's very BEAUTIFUL music! There is as oasis, water on desert of murderous commerce. It's diamond. Bravo! Album "Moonshine" I evaluate on 5 definitely.
baziul

5/5 stars This is absolutely stunning, such a high quality neo-classical prog rock from Poland. I never would believed it without hearing it. This is a masterpiece. Whoever loves the Hackett era of Genesis or Pendragon will be amazed. Every song on this album is at least very good. The lead guitarist (Mark Gil) is the most likely Hackett-like contender I ever heard. He is technically perfect. It is quite shocking how high the technical level is. Warning: the Collage album after "Moonshine" is "Safe", it is quite bad it is not really progrock either. But when you like Collage (the reverse is not imaginable) you can listen to Satellite - it is not quiet a masterpiece but very good and solid classic prog rock. If you like Genesis, Pink Floyd, Pendragon, Aragon etc. than you MUST listen to this..... wonderful piece of music.
frebre

Here is a jewel of an album I unearthed while cruising through this web site. I had heard of this band but never really done much research on them.
I decided to order this one and take a chance. So glad I did. Right from the start with the opening track HEROES CRY, this CD grabs you by the throat with it's atmospheric,symphony type keyboards and the booming drum track. Then comes a siren like guitar riff that blends perfectly with the mood established before it's arrival.
I found this band to be very conscientious about the arrangement of their music. The production value is high and there doesn't seem to me there are any wasted passages in any of their songs. Every note is rich, well thought and well played particularly during the mid - part of IN YOUR EYES where we go from a pretty tame piano driven theme to a stirring section that has a definate "jam" or 'improvised" feel to it.
WINGS IN THE NIGHT and the title track round out the best of what this more than capable group of musicians offers on this release. You can't go wrong buying this one.
Allan Hutchen

You may consider me Polish orthodox, but I must say this record is a masterpiece of art rock. I remember I bought Moonshine casette for three zlotys (which means less than half a pound) in a music shop. I remember I found the music too complicated firtst, but after listening to it for a few times I asked myself: "Shit, why dit it llie in a shop for many years and become dirt cheap?". The only rational reason must be that people don't have time to focus a little longer on ambitious music. What a pity... I have got most of Collage records, I also own both records of Satellite, a crew of which are mainly former Collage members. They sound great, the mellodies are wonderful, but the best ones are on Moonshine (Living In The Moonlight could be played on FM stations regularly, as for me). And there is one more big difference - some parts of compositions sound ute agressively, although they don' loose specifi sound. I'm not a bald headed guy and I don't use such words often, but I can say with full responsibility, that I feel national pride when I listen to Moonshine.
trybiszon

What a real surprise...how can a rock band create such a tremendous and wonderful sound like this? The whole album is just great, but Heroes cry is simply out of comparission. The lirycs and music are from other dimension....simply a masterpiece.
mlabadia

Ni duden en llevarse este disco, yo que no soy un amante del género neo-progresivo les digo que seguramente lo van a disfrutar tremendamente, otro gran disco recomendado en un día que se viene a pura calidad.
No se lo pierdam, y agradezcan al Mago Alberto por favor.




2 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac - No Cue - No Log - No Scans)
    http://pastebin.com/wpjXv4yT

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  2. al parecer tambien esta dañado el track 2 ?

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