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(47 min, The Laser's Edge)
TRACK LIST: 1. Freder 7:30 2. Cold Inside 4:06 3. No-11812 8:00 4. Shade 4:29 5. Uluru 6:34 6. No-11811 7:25 7. Weak 9:37 Bonus track: 8. Mantra (multimedia) LINEUP: Ewa Jablonska - violin Piotr Kocimski - guitars Maciek Adamczyk - bass Maciej Jaskiewicz - guitars Wawrzyniec Dramowicz - drums With: Anna Faber - harp Mariusz Duda - vocals
Prolusion. INDUKTI is a new Polish band, comprised of five classically trained musicians. "S.U.S.A.R." is their debut release, the album featuring also the performance of their two countrymen (see lineup above, both from Riverside). Their drummer is a jester, using an amusing nickname instead of his real last name. Dramowicz would be just Drumson in English.
Analysis. Lots of excellent albums this time around, and the hero of this review is probably the best of those I have reviewed for this update. No flaws here, just virtues, the stuff keeping me thrilled from start to finish. The press kit says: "To retain the spontaneity and energy of the band's concert performances, the material was recorded live in the studio." I don't hear any overdubs, but indeed the sound is highly saturated, which doesn't seem to be unusual, considering the number of instrumentalists, six, two of whom play chamber instruments, a harpist participating on most of the tracks. All in all, Indukti appears as a little Chamber / Rock / Metal ensemble of a rather non-typical configuration (no keyboards for starters), each of the three genre components taking equal parts in the overall structure of their music. Their skill to create a vividly picturesque atmosphere under ever-changing arrangements, abundant in odd meters, place Indukti higher than most of their contemporaries playing Art-Rock and Prog-Metal and put them on the same plane with most of the RIO performers. (Although the style is, overall, a blend of the first two genres, not without angular constructions, but not RIO.) Their unusual compositional approach, partly linked with their liberal use of growling guitar riffs, which are related either to Thrash or Doom Metal, in combination with crying violin solos, make them sound like no one else. Nevertheless, I will dare to name a few well-known bands and some of their albums, following my desire to give the reader at least some general idea of the music: King Crimson ("Starless & Bible Black"), My Dying Bride ("Turn Loose the Swans"), David Cross Band ("Testing the Destruction") and Skyclad ("Irrational Anthems"), the latter three being inferior to Indukti by the level of complexity. Two out of the seven tracks: Cold Inside and Shade come with lyrical content, and one of the instrumentals, Freder, features wordless vocals, which are more than eminently suitable here. The vocalizations are actually so unique and impressive that the composition would have lost some of its spell without them, in spite of all its musical greatness as such. Back to the songs, I must note that Cold Inside is the one with the relatively quiet arrangements throughout and no heaviness, though the music remains intriguing everywhere on the album, whether it's heavy, intense or is more symphonic and atmospheric. All of the other compositions follow the album's primary style, but the attentive listener will immediately notice the Sitar-like sounds and overtones on Shade, which has a distinct oriental sense in places, and also in the intro to Uluru, where they are barely perceptible, though. The first four tracks contain some more chamber and related colors in the palette, as one of the guitarists plays acoustic guitar nearly everywhere, rarely switching over to the electric one. But then, the other three compositions are even more tangled, demanding more efforts from the listener to be comprehended, which is always a merit in the eyes of a true progressive music lover, isn't it? The prevalent mood is rather dark, melancholy bordering on anxiety, which will never annoy the profound listener, though, and is just exciting, because the drama is so deep in emotions itself. History has proved that tragedians cover with ease all the complete spectrum of art, but which is usually beyond the power of representatives of light genres. Finally, it must be mentioned that this is an enhanced CD, featuring a video of unreleased track Mantra, so the lucky owner will have the opportunity to see the band playing live.
Conclusion. Indeed, I believe you are fortunate if you have this CD. If you don't, do what you can to find it. "S.U.S.A.R." is one of the very best releases of the year, while its makers are probably the best Polish band I've ever heard until now. Ultimately recommended. Top-20-2005
VM: November 6, 2005
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