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martes, 3 de noviembre de 2015

Lizard - W Galerii Czasu (1997)


Artista: Lizard
Álbum: W Galerii Czasu
Año: 1997
Género: Neo-progresivo / Rock prog
Duración: 74:07
Nacionalidad: Polonia


Lista de Temas:
1. Ka¿dy dzieñ to wiêcej ran w twej g³owie
2. Galeria iluzji
3. Autoportret
4. Strefa cienia
5. Ogród przeznaczenia
6. W krainie szmaragdowego jaszczura
7. Galeria iluzji (Bonus track - live version)
8. W krainie szmaragdowego jaszczura (Bonus track - live version)
9. Bez litooci II (Bonus track - live version)

Alineación:
- Damian Bydliñski / vocal
- Andrzej Jancza / keyboards & synthetizers
- Mariusz Szulakowski / drums & percussion
- Janusz Tanistra / bass
- Miros³aw Worek / guitars

Para aquellos a quienes se han gustado las banda polacas que hemos presentado al estilo Quidam, a quienes estas mágicas canciones cantadas en el hipnótico idioma polaco los ha seducido, llevense ahora otra joyita desconocida, un gran disco, hermoso y terrible, desconocido y sumamente disfrutable, aterriza en el blog cabezón para disfrute de todos ustedes... No se lo pierdan!



Varias veces me han comentado sobre la belleza de producciones como la que presentamos ahora, traída por Alejandro en otro invalorable aporte. Música que países como Polonia, al que muchos neófitos desconocen en cuanto a producción musical, que es basta y sumamente bella, al mismo tiempo que la cedencia de su lengua aporta un extra al resultar sumamente armónico en conjunción con el resto de los instrumentos. Aún en este disco, donde justamente lo que se destaca no es la parte vocal (Damian Bydliñski no es un vocalista demasiado bueno) la lírica se entremezcla hermosamente con la música de una manera mágica.


Vamos a presentar el grupo y el disco, y no lo haré yo porque recién lo conozco y escucho, me voy a ayudar con comentarios de terceros, pero lo que sí les puedo adelantar que el disco me parece muy bueno, algo desparejo y creo que tiene canciones de más que no aportan nada y tiran abajo la calidad general, pero con momentos de suma belleza. Directamente le quitaría algunos temas para convertirlo en un discazo.
Ese fue mi comentario, así de breve, ahora vamos a la presentación del disco.


Antes de grabar éste: su primer disco de estudio, LIZARD ya advertía en qué consistiría pues lo presentaba en sus conciertos anteriores. Damian BYDLINSKI (voz), Andrzej JANCZA (teclados), Miroslaw WOREK (guitarra), Janusz TANISTRA (bajo) y Mariusz SZULAKOWSKI (batería), alinean una formación que si bien no es prolífica (su segundo disco de estudio sale hasta el 2004), sí demuestran una gran calidad interpretativa en lo que exponen.
Es cierto. En la música de LIZARD se pueden encontrar referencias musicales por contagio, influencia y reconocimiento de los más importantes representantes del rock progresivo clásico sinfónico europeo de la década de los setenta, mas una pizca de lo más característico y excelso del neo progresivo, también europeo pero claro, de mediados de los ochenta (de qué otra manera podría ser). Uno piensa en los grandes exponentes. Sin embargo, la escuela de Europa del Este, la técnica perfeccionada, la actualización tecnológica, la capacidad actual, a final de cuentas, imprimen su propia imagen en un gran y poderoso, que no estridente, progresivo sinfónico de dimensiones elevadas.
A pesar de la fuerte presencia vocal de Damian no se trata de un concepto sustentado por los cantos; el álbum está muy bien equilibrado en las partes musicales y vocales, y éstas son cantadas en polaco, con gran dominio en sus registros e intenciones. Los teclados de Andrzej distribuyen bien los sonidos electrónicos y sus emulaciones tipo acústico y las atmósferas que crea son envolventes, incluso cuando imitan a un oboe o a un ensamble de cuerdas resulta difícil distinguir la diferencia, saber si esos instrumentos son reales o no. El bajo de Janusz mantiene un gran soporte, es profundo y sus escalas complicadas. La guitarra de Miroslaw es bien rasgada; cada sección rítmica se integra bien, marca bien las pautas y cada solo expresa con coherencia el diálogo con los demás elementos musicales, y la batería de Mariusz es intrincada, sólida, precisa, golpeada con poder donde requiere y acariciada con pasión donde merece. Aunado a lo anterior, al equilibrio armónico de la obra aparecen eventuales influencias folk, dulzura, misticismo, sinfonía, contemporaneidad. Un álbum muy recomendable para amantes del buen rock progresivo, especialmente para aquellos que disfrutan más el clásico sinfónico. Incluso para quienes gustan más del neo progresivo y quieren algo más complejo. Una especie de evolución de lo sencillo a lo intrincado, sin saltar abruptamente de uno a otro.
Alfredo TAPIA-CARRETO





I bought this album by the Polish band Lizard on a whim and the fact that it was in the clearance section of one of my favorite online sellers. You certainly can't beat a bargain, and this one was well worth the price. Many of the reviews for Lizard's 2004 release, Psychopuls, have described their music as a cross of King Crimson, UK, and ELP. I can only guess the group got it's name from KC's Lizard album of 1970. But their debut, in my opinion, only shows a slight King Crimson influence and very little signs of the other mentioned groups. In fact, I would say their debut has a rather unique sound combined from a more diverse mix of influences. Finally, please disregard that this has been released by Metal Mind Records. This band has nothing to do with metal. They are an equal mix of symphonic prog and neo prog.
Clearly the main focus of Lizard's sound is keyboards. There are ample amounts of lush and spacey atmospheres creating a beautiful background for guitar playing in a Hackett/Rothery-like style, excellent drum work, and strong bass playing. The vocals are entirely in Polish, which is hardly a distraction as the singer is quite skilled. The music is not really that complex, but it has well-composed melodies. As mentioned before, there is a slight King Crimson influence in places, but I sense a much stronger Marillion influence in many of the songs. I've also heard this band compared to Collage and although I have not had the chance to hear Collage's material, they do sound somewhat similar to another Polish band called Abraxas, especially Abraxas' first release. Of the six tracks on this release, not one of them is weak in my opinion. The best song is clearly the epic W krainie szmaragdowego jaszczura.
The last three tracks on this release are live bonus tracks. Two of them are live versions of songs from this album, the other is unrelated. These are performed really well, the audience is almost not heard at all (maybe they were doing laundry? or maybe they were removed from the mix to bring out the band's sound better?), and the recording is of lesser quality than the studio tracks, as expected.
Overall, a great buy if you can get it cheaply. It's also one of the better debuts I've heard in awhile and I would highly recommend to symphonic/neo prog fans, especially those looking for that unique East European feel. I think instead of the bonus tracks, one more epic would've convinced me to seriously consider this as a masterpiece. However, this is still an excellent addition to any prog rock collection. Easily four / five stars.
Theodore Vrandt

Los polacos nos atacan a puro sonido, y de mucha calidad, aquí otro importante ejemplo para agregar a su ya prestigiosa historia progresiva, un quinteto desconocíso por mí hasta ayer mismo, de mucho talento y que crea una música impresionante en el gran estilo ya habitual asociado con esta tierra legendaria. En la verdadera tradición progresiva polaca, dulces temas con un muy buen gusto, pasajes instrumentales inspirados y ardientes se entrelazan con voces apasionadas. Esta entrega de este material tan original y raro merece ser escuchado con suma atención, grandes momentos sonoros que me resultan dolorosamente hermosos y cautivantes.
Les dejo algunos comentarios en inglés y no pierdan tiempo, conozcan esta rareza que nos trae Alejandro para disfrute de todos los cabezones...

Dare it be said again, the Poles have another major recommendation to add to their already prestigious Prog history., an talented quintet that creates breathtaking music in the usual grand style one associates with this storied land. This debut album is a concept based on the magical mystery tour of an enchanted mythical museum and the silent beauty emanating from the canvases. Sung entirely in Polish (no, its not that harsh at all) , the music flows gingerly in melodyland, with synths gone beserk, muscular yet defined rythms, immediately grabbing the jugulararrangements and unpredictable soundscapes. In the true progressive tradition, themes return with added gusto, fiery instrumental passages conspire with passionate vocals. The overall impression is one of smooth confidence, never a hint of tedium, delivering highly original material that deserves lofty praise. As far as concept albums go, this CD is a fine testament that would make Chopin proud. The softer track 5 is a defining moment that is achingly beautiful. Grab a chilled vodka (polish, of course), sit back and enjoy.
Thomas Szirmay

I was a little surprised with this one, having really enjoyed "Psychopuls" i was expecting another KING CRIMSON sounding record. Not even close. This is their debut and I was impressed at how clear the sound was. Excellent production. As usual the vocals are in Polish and are the only real negative for me.The keyboard play dominates this record, although the drumming is very well done.
"Kazdy Dzien To Wiecej Ran W Twej Glowie" is a long title eh ? It opens with a bombastic display of sounds before settling down to piano and gentle vocals as washes of synths come into play.The sound becomes intense 3 minutes in led by a drum / synth melody. Some in your face (ears) bass towards the end of the song. Nice."Galeria Iluzji" is one of my favourites on this disc. It has such a powerful sound of drums, bass, vocals and scorching guitar. Some strange sounds towards the end of the song."Autoportret" opens with piano and reserved vocals. Drums come in as the vocals strengthen. Soaring guitar solos come and go. Synths come in late as the song ends with the sound of a gong. "Strefa Cienia" is an uptempo song with some raw sounding guitar. The bass lines are great as the vocals and synths follow.
"Ogrod Przoznaczenia" is my favourite track and I agree with my friend tszirmay that this is "achingly beautiful". Acoustic guitar,flute and synths create an especially beautiful melody 5 minutes in. Some crisp drumming earlier as well.The final song "W Krainie Szmaragdowego Jaszczura" opens with some ominous sounds.The drums and synths sound so good when this song is played loud. Vocals and flute follow as the song kicks in before 3 minutes.The vocals are strong and there is some ripping guitar 8 minutes in then check out the drumming !The final 3 bonus tracks are live versions of their songs. And "Galera Iluzji" sounds amazing ! Atmospheric sounding guitars really make this a standout track.
This is a quality release ! Excellent sound and playing by all. I much prefer their "Psychopuls" album though with that darker, heavier KING CRIMSON sound.
John Davie

W Galerii Czasu is Polish band Lizard´s debut album. It´s a pretty interesting album if you´ re into melodic yet challenging prog rock. But beware that the lyrics are in Polish and it might not be the most easy language to like on first impression.
The music has some characteristics that makes it original even though you can hear Lizard´s influences more than once. The keyboards are generally melodic and besides the typical chords that accompany the music Andrzej Jancza also uses a really fake piano sound which I really dislike. He is a very cool musician though and adds some jazzy chords here and there which is one of the original things on W Galerii Czasu. That part is something I really like and it reminds me of Allan holdsworth. The guitar plays some solid eclectic notes while the loud bass is also enjoyable. The drums are pretty good too. Damian Bydliñski is a great singer with a touch of Derek Shulmann but his own none the less.
Ka¿dy dzieñ to wiêcej ran w twej g³owie starts the album with it´s almost 10 minute playing time. Lots of different parts in this song. It´s pretty great even though there is a part that is played 4 times instead of 2 like it should have been IMO. It sound amaturish to me. Galeria iluzji continues the album and it might be my favorite here. There are some great guitar riffs here that sound really great. It´s not hard rock but more emotional playing. Autoportret is the next song and it´s the most hard rock like tune here. It´s only a tendency though and it never breaks into full hard rock. Strefa cienia is a very progressive song. Maybe the most challenging song on the album. Ogród przeznaczenia is a semi-ballad with some sombre keyboard notes. W krainie szmaragdowego jaszczura is the ending epic of the album which has a long instrumental intro. The song evolves with vocals later on and it´s one of the best songs on the album. There is even a folky part in W krainie szmaragdowego jaszczura.
The album is very cohesive and stands as a unit despite the eclectic nature of the music.
The musicianship is great on W Galerii Czasu and I´m sure these guys have played in other bands before this one.
The production is both good and bad. I like the sound on the bass, guitar and the vocals while I dislike the sound on the drums and some of the keyboard sounds. The overall impression is OK though nothing special.
I´m really happy I took my time to listen to W Galerii Czasu as it has been a pleasant surprise. I will most definitely be reviewing the rest of their discography too. My overall impression is that W Galerii Czasu is a good album that touches excellent at times and I will reward it 3 big stars with a recommendation. It´s good to see that there are so many quality prog rock bands coming out of Poland.
UMUR

Lizard debuted in the world of prog rock with their opus "W Galerii Czasu", released in 1997 in a time when neo-prog seemed to be the dominant prog trend in Poland. The original quintet pretty much developed a kind of sound related to IQ and Pendragon, especially regarding the strong presence of stylish keyboard ornaments and solos all over the place - Andrzej Jancza's inputs are featured in the mix. Regarding compositional strategies, Lizard was really focused on the retro scheme, which truly helped them to state a more muscular line of work than those of compatriot bands Quidam or Collage. As much as he was the main wrtire from the very beginning, Damian Bydlinski's more recurrent role was behind the microphone. The album starts with 'Kazdy dzieñ to wiêcej ran w twej glowie', a track whose introductory cosmic synth layers serve as an appealing force. After the serene classical guitar interlude, the main motif emerges with an irresistible hook. The jazz-friendly cadences stated by the rhythm duo pretty much announce the kind of drive that will be further developed from the "Psychopuls" album onwards. Track 2 is also notably sustained on the melodic hooks, but thsi time the instrumental work is more meticulous, aptly developed on intrincate tempos, properly displayed through a wide timespan. It is 3 minutes shorter than the opener, but notoriously more complex. Like I said earlier in this review, Lizard started as a prog band aiming to explore the standards of neo as deep as going beyond the usual framework of the aforesaid subgenre. The ballad 'Autoportret' is indeed more akin to the style of "Safe"- era Collage. 'Strefa cienia' comprises some sonorities that combine psychedelia and hard rock, not unlike post-Signify Porcupine Tree. the keyboard adornments in the interlude make a hint at King Crimson's vintage intrumental 'Red', albeit not as oppressive. 'Ogród przeznaczenia' brings back teh melancholy of 'Autoportret', although it feels more introspective and less romantic. This is certainly one of the most brilliant prog ballads in the 90s, that strongly I feel about thsi song. the evocative chords on classical guitar, the effective string ensemble and clarinet sounds stated by the digital keyboards and the serene vocal deliveries by Bydlinski provide a bullet-proof sense of emotional vulnerability to this song. It has happened to me more than once that I listened to this song 2-3 times in a row before going to the next one. And now, let's go to the next one... The suite 'W krainie szmaragdowego jaszczura' closes down the album's official tracklist, retaking the shcemes and atmospheres of teh opener and 'Strefa cienia' to a large degree. the addition of soem folk-influenced melodic elements insert an interesting variation to the whole track's series of moods. The splendorous bolero that sets the last section is quite captivating. All in all, "W Galerii Czasu", while not reflecting entirely the musical power that Lizard will eventually show in teh 2000's, is an excellent example of the best melodic prog rock that Europe created in the 90s.
César Inca

Although formed in Bielsko-Biala, Poland in 1990, Lizard escaped right from the start from the typical Neo Prog sound of the local bands.Singer Damian Bydlinski, guitarist Miroslaw Worek, keyboardist Andrzej Jancza, bassist/guitarist Janusz Tanistra and drummer Mariusz Szulakowski were the original members, who focused on recording the first demo tapes of Lizard and building a cult fame through live appearances.In 1996 the band came to the attention of the Polish label Ars Mundi and the same year they recorded their debut ''W galerii czasu'' (''In the gallery of time'') at the SL Studio in Gdansk, released in 1997.
When you take your name from a KING CRIMSON album, it's impossible not to include some hints of the British legends to your sound.But being a Prog Rock band, developing your style in Poland through the 90's, the Neo/Symphonic Prog vibes are almost impossible not to be part of your music.These two styles led Lizard to their debut, they tried to evoke the sound of COLLAGE or ANNALIST and pass it through a personal filter, which contained the darkness and complexity of KING CRIMSON's offerings.While not fully convincing or moreover cohesive, the result was definitely enganging and quite personal.Echoes of PINK FLOYD, MARILLION and KING CRIMSON are evident throughout the album.Plenty of atmospheric passages and intricate instrumental work, complemented by Bydlinski's theatrical vocals are main elements of Lizard's debut.The keyboard and piano parts are falling fairly into a more symphonic enviroment, but most of the guitar parts are complex and tricky with light jazzy influences and occasional breaks into heavier textures.The music generally is pretty dramatic and sinister with more romantic/atmospheric overtones in particular moments, as the band avoids approaching to melodious themes and prefers to offer rhythmic, dark or atmospheric variations.The long closer ''W krainie szmaragdowego jaszczura'' pretty much defines what Lizard were born to do.Experimental touches, mid-70's GENESIS and even SBB influences in the instrumental and vocal passages, nice and heavy guitar moves and an excellent closing theme, somewhere between PINK FLOYD and MARILLION, with evolving piano and synth lines and a growing guitar sound.
Metal Mind re-released the album in 2003 with some extra material from lives.An intricate mix of Polish Neo Prog and KING CRIMSON-esque Heavy Prog with both good and mediocre moments, but satisfying enough to earn a recommendation.
apps79

In one word : Excellent ! The music is sprinkled with "Wind & Wuthering" flavours a la Genesis mixed in with various bits of other styles of legendary Prog groups but still remaining original and creative prog. The voice is superb, but I must admit the Polish vocals threw me off at first, but they eventually became like the sound of an instrument instead of words to comprehend. The melodies are really pleasant and interesting. From a musicians point of view:The drumming is tight ,crisp , effective and very well executed.The bass complements the rythm of the drums well. The synthesizers are well done and have alot of nice atmospheric textures and sounds. Electric and acoustic guitars gracefully fill the melodies. I've bought over 200 prog CDs to discover new groups and Lizard is one of the best I've found.Its definetly worth a listen to make up your own mind according to your personal taste.Highly recommended. Go and buy it so that Lizard makes more!
Cris Aztech

I cannot recall which neo-prog album made that kind of impression as Galerii Czasu did...
First of all: this album is nothing new in a prog-rock world. it didn't discover any new directions but...
Every track is a masterpiece. Well produced, fantastic twisted melodies, many tempo changes and especially great music ideas which created this songs in reach-arranged and brilliant performed compositions.
It is hard to pick one of those few which You can tell: this one is essence of entire album. Each of them has its own world but all together make it as a giant epic tale.
I am not gonna describe each song od this album. It's impossible to judge every sound without listening it as a whole.
Just listen to it and fall into the land of emerald lizard.
Pawel Horyszny

I remember that time when bought this CD few days after the premiere...
My today's feelings about this music are the same as 9 years ago. Everytime I listen to "W Galerii Czasu" ("In The Gallery Of Time") I ask myself the same question: "WHAT THE F*** IS WITHIN THIS MUSIC WHAT BRING DOWN ON MY KNEES?!?!?" I didn't get an answer even today.
After all Damian Bydlinski & Co. don't discover any new musical horizons. All six tracks are only clever and good performed piece of classic progressive rock. There are songs influended with King Crimson sound like agressive "Strefa Cienia" ("The Twilight Zone"). Some of them show inspirations of U.K. like "Kazdy Dzien To Wiecej Ran W Twej Glowie" ("Every Day Brings More Wounds In Your Head") in keyboard sound and the way the compositionsd are constructed.
I'd like to thank the guys from Lizard because I still feel the same thrill when I push play and float to "the land when the lizard of emerald sleeps..."
Patique

W Galerii Czasu (Gallery of Time), the re-issue by Metal Mind, is the first Lizard album I got, quickly followed by the newer three (a lucky chance) and the official bootleg last. It took a long while afore I got around to listening to it well enough, but when I did, it was a pleasant experience.
First and foremost, I have none of UK's albums, none of ELP's albums and only one live 2CD of King Crimson's (namely "Vrooom Vrooom"), and I can't say I hear the comparison to KC, or Collage for that matter. Lizard has their own sound. The lyrics are all in Polish, so I really have no idea what Damian is singing, but it doesn't make the music any less enjoyable. In fact, it sounds quite nice. He has a pleasant voice. The rest of the instruments are handled very skillfully and none really dominates the other. Lizard knows what they're doing, alright.
To me, the tracks "Autoportret" and "Ogród Przeznaczenia" are my favorites. The rest is definate of great quality too. This re-issue features three live tracks (and a fourth hidden live track), which are a nice addition, though unfortunately not of my favorites. A nice bonus, regardless.
Conclusion? This is an excellent debut which made quite an impression on me. So much, even, that if they were to come to Holland for a gig, I would probably go too. This is an excellent addition for anyone that likes progrock.
Tailscent

Repito, muy buen disco! no se lo pierdan!




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