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TRACK LIST: 1. Intro 1:14 2. Forsaken 6:36 3. Dream of Destiny 5:37 4. Love 7:29 5. Belief 4:00 6. Judgement-I 2:37 7. Judgement-II 6:59 8. Insomnia 3:32 9. Stone of Memories 4:56 10. Hope 2:40 11. Mury Czerni 2010 4:42 SOLO PILOT: Bartosz Ogrodowicz - all instruments
Prolusion. Bartosz OGRODOWICZ is a young and talented composer and keyboardist hailing from Poland, who despite only being 22-years-old already has had some tenures with band projects. "Forsaken" is his first solo album, and was released in the fall of 2010.
Analysis. Some young and aspiring musicians have a thing about them, especially if faced with limitations in the manners in which they can channel their creativity. For the right people this seems to have something of an invigorating effect, the fight against the boundaries that shackle their possibilities releasing a higher degree of creative and adventurous impulses perhaps, where the limitations to supply or use some solutions leads to the insertion of others. Where the end result arguably may be better than what was intended. And while I don't know that this is the case for Ogrodowicz, this was a line of thought that often surfaced while listening to his initial production. As far as limitations go, I suspect that the main one for this album was on the instrumental plane. Unless I'm mistaken, this is a disc that has been crafted by tangents and, most likely, a PC alone, where bass, drums and the occasional guitar all are of an emulated nature. The style of choice resides firmly within the symphonic part of the art rock universe, and explores an energetic and expressive variety of the genre from the opening fanfare Intro to the fading echoes of the metal-tinged final excursion Mury Czerni. The 50 or so minutes that make up this CD are a jubilant, joyful and energetic celebration of the symphonic art rock universe, where fluctuating backdrops combined with fragile wandering piano themes, jubilant synth cascades backed by brooding bass-lines, and flamboyant keyboard cascades riding on top of a steady backbeat and the careful piano-driven landscapes of the mellow ballad supported by mournful digital strings all have their place. Melodic and harmonic in nature rather than challenging and innovative, and with a fair few examples of symphonic backdrops of a gentler nature supplementing a metal-inspired, bass-driven theme, but by and large a production that stays well within the progressive rock field. If a guitarist had been involved in this project that would probably not have been the case however, and I can foresee some of these compositions reappearing as progressive metal anthems a few years ahead. But for now these creations are utilized within an art rock boundary and, to my ears, they fit very well within the current arrangements too. And I'll give Ogrodowicz some additional credit for what to my ears sounds like a restrained flamboyant tendency, where he'll suddenly insert a flowing piano scale run rather than resonating notes or an intermediate motif when evolving or changing themes and otherwise inserting a few brief examples of technical prowess to add flavor and an edge to his creations. The short and concise nature of these subtle additions is an invigorating aspect, much more so than instrumentalists who prefer elongated movements showcasing similar skills. The boundaries and limitations this disc has been made with do result in an album that's good rather than great, however. While Ogrodowicz at his best manages to project his compositions in the manner in which they should have been crafted in a perfect world, the very synthetic nature of this production is a distraction that will limit the overall appeal. And, to my ears, he does run out of ideas towards the end too.
Conclusion. If you enjoy symphonic progressive rock and don't mind listening to an album made within a framework of limited instrumental possibilities, Bartosz Ogrodowicz has launched an enjoyable debut with "Forsaken". Synthetic in sound and with a distinct self-produced air, it isn't an album that will appeal to all and sundry. But if you enjoy good compositions and can envision and appreciate their quality also when explored within a confined setting, you will probably find this CD to be a surprisingly enjoyable example of its kind.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: October 17, 2011
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