[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
TRACK LIST: 1. Daydream-I 10:53 2. Severed 7:25 3. Not for You 6:34 4. Subsistance 6:22 5. Red Light 6:45 6. Alright 7:20 7. Daydream-II 10:13 8. Twoja 2:35 All music: by Naamah. LINE-UP: Anna Panasz - vocals Adam Szewszyk - keyboards Adam Kaliszewski - guitars Mikolaj Szalkowski - guitars Krzystof Szalkowski - drums Marcin Stasiak - basses Produced by Naamah & T. Dziubinski. Engineered by M. & R. Srzedniccy.
Prolusion. Originally a distribution group, Metal Mind Productions was reorganized last year into a universal recording company and was therefore renamed Metal Mind Records. Today, this is the largest progressive label in Poland, an Internet 'subsidiary' of which is now called Metalopolis. Don't be confused by the presence of the word "metal" in the company's name. They work with all kinds of progressive music, though Prog-Metal and Art-Rock so far remain the profile directions there. One of the label's latest releases, "Resensement", is the second album by the Polish band NAAMAH. I have heard their debut, the 57-minute "Ultima", which was released last year, and I found it very promising. I see violinist Marta Frakstein is not in the lineup on this album. The other six musicians are the same.
Synopsis. Apart from the eight songs in English, "Ultima" features three bonus tracks with Polish lyrics. Here we have a similar situation. However, one of the two bonus tracks on "Resensement" is just a Polish-language version of Subsistance, while the music is absolutely identical. In that way, I haven't included it in the track list above, and I am not going to describe the same song twice. Consequently, I have shortened the album's playing time. I am sorry for such license, but, quite frankly, I believe it was unnecessary to make that addition to the album, especially since Anna Panasz's English is very good, and an example of her singing in Polish is presented on another bonus track. Still, the band's general musical direction is a combination of Progressive Cathedral Metal and Symphonic Art-Rock with the slight predomination of the first genre. However, "Resensement" is a much more diverse and stronger effort than "Ultima" and is a huge step forward. (Here, I must note that their debut has a five-star status within my personal table of ranks.) This is a highly eventful album, which, moreover, is covered with signs of distinct originality and tastefulness, and not only. The music is predominantly both complex and beautiful with an epic and dramatic sense throughout. In addition, it is very imaginary, as it possesses a positive hypnotism, which is always linked with magical things existing in the world of cosmic noises - sequenced notes. Various tempo contrasts, starting with those between intensive and mostly up-tempo instrumental parts and kind of lazy, as if laid back vocals, are strikingly effective. So they immediately draw the listener's attention to themselves, serving somehow as a key to comprehending the other aspects of the album where there is a great depth of progressiveness. With the exception of Severed and Twoja (2 & 8), the first of which represents Symphonic Art-Rock, and the latter is a piano-based ballad, the songs are largely instrumental, and the arrangements on them are direct legatees of Mrs. Unpredictability. This is like honey to my soul, tired of a Neo monotony that many albums from the previous update are marked with. The ubiquitous, outstandingly diverse and inventive passages of piano and solos of bass don't know the rest, filling up every bit of saved space, regardless of whether they go along with vocals or not. The guitar solos, as well as those of synthesizer and, less frequently, organ shine mostly in the context of purely instrumental arrangements. A drummer seems to be unacquainted:-) with even meters and, often, as if tends to push his parts athwart the melodic line's way. All the tracks located straight in the core of the album: the songs Not for You, Subsistence, and Alright (3, 4, & 6) and the only instrumental composition Red Light (5) are entities of the band's favorite musical dimension, the utilitarian meaning of which I've mentioned in the beginning of this paragraph. The music in the beginning of Daydream-I (1) is much like that on Daydream-II (7), which is entirely about an electronically symphonic Space Rock. However, all the further arrangements on it develop in the vein of the album's basic style, though these are the most intricate and unpredictable. There are very little repetitions on the five best tracks here in general, but the album's opener is completely free of them. Daydream-I is probably the brightest gem in the crown of this wonderful release.
Conclusion. I am not one to grudge gorgeous epithets if the music is really worthy of them, and this is the case when I gladly followed my emotions. (If such an approach to reviewing a pleased material may seem to be rather easy, it is not apocryphal in any case.) Along with >Presence, I consider Naamah one of the very best Prog-Metal-related bands with a female singer. Bravely check "Resensement" out, if only you don't suffer from a pathologic allergy to any forms of heaviness in progressive music and as such. (>Top-10).
VM: July 8, 2004
[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]