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(50:33, Progressive Promotion Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. The End of the Winter Lethargy 5:30 2. Huge Black Hole 3:58 3. Egoist 5:32 4. Lunch 6:34 5. Our Story Is Beginning Now 3:58 6. Tomorrow Will Change 6:19 7. Musical Land 4:23 8. Ocean of a Little Thoughts 3:45 9. Swallow the Green Tone 10:34 LINEUP: Jakub Roszak – vocals Maciej Klimek – guitars Lukasz Marszalek – bass Alan Szczepaniak – guitars Beata Lagoda – keyboards Robert Kusik – drums, percussion
Prolusion. The Polish band RETROSPECTIVE started out back in 2005, formed by Robert Kusik and Maciej Klimek. Since then the band has expanded to a total of six members, and they now have one EP and two full length albums to their name. "Lost in Perception" is the most recent of these, and was released by the German label Progressive Promotion Records in the late fall of 2012.
Analysis. The German label Progressive Promotion Records has so far in its relatively brief history supplied the progressive rock audience with bands that emphasize strong, accessible moods and melodies as cornerstones of their repertoire, and the Polish band Retrospective follows up on that tendency quite nicely. And more than so too at their very best. At the core of this band's style is a tight bass and drums interaction, giving the individual compositions drive and energy both. The opening two tracks in particular come across as creations when this foundation is very well executed indeed, on the former sporting gentle keyboard textures of the kind you'd normally expect to hear from a neo progressive act combined with more of a Porcupine Tree oriented expression. This latter detail stays for the next piece too, now supplemented by textured instrument details of the kind that comes with direct associations to post rock. A lighter toned and initially ballad oriented variety of this style comes next with Egoist, a creation that develops towards a harder edged arrangement in the final phases. The combination of compelling bass and drum foundation, high quality vocals, subtle instrument effects and a great lead vocalist elevate these fairly accessible items quite nicely, and later on compositions such as Tomorrow Will Change and final piece Swallow the Green Tone also manage to come across as very well made and executed pieces of accessible music more or less in the Porcupine Tree vein, elevated by the combination of subtle instrument details, high quality vocals and an elegant mix and production. The remaining songs at hand tend to be a tad more anonymous however. The dividing line between stunning, excellent and pleasant is a tiny one for melodic progressive rock of the mainstream oriented variety, which is how I'd describe this fine Polish band, although this is obviously also an observation of a highly subjective nature. What is undeniable is that this is a production sporting a smooth, glossy finish on top of accessible material that should have a broad appeal outside of the progressive rock community also. Whilst those who need music of a more challenging and innovative nature will probably find this album to be somewhat outside of their sphere of interest.
Conclusion. Retrospective's second full length CD "Lost in Perception" is a production that should find favor amongst most with a taste for accessible, melodic progressive rock. Fans of bands like Porcupine Tree will perhaps be the main and key audience, although I suspect that quite a few followers of neo progressive rock might also find this disc to be a tantalizing and intriguing experience overall.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: June 23, 2013
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