Saturday, January 17, 2015

SBB - 2009 - Iron Curtain

Iron Curtain

01. Iron Curtain (5:07)
02. Defilada (6:07)
03. Camelele (4:50)
04. Rozmowa z Mistrzem (5:13)
05. Opowie?æ (4:33)
06. B³ogos³awione dni (5:00)
07. Sunrise (3:01)
08. Góry tañcz¹ce (4:40)
09. Dopóki ¿yje matka jeste? dzieckiem (4:18)

Limited digipak edition features two bonus tracks: "Aleatoryka" (track 4) and "Nie?miertelno?æ" (track 8).

- Józef Skrzek / Bass, piano, organ, micro moog, mini moog, vocals
- Apostolis Anthymos / guitars
- Gabor Nemeth / Drums, percussion

34 years after the release of their debut album, and less than two years after "The Rock", SBB return with yet another fine album of diverse styles and sounds. The line up of the trio remains unchanged, their focus moving further away from jazz towards a more symphonic style of progressive rock. The album title is not a direct reference to the Communist East per se, but is intended to reflect divisions in society at all levels and in countless ways.

The title track, which kicks things of, demonstrates the band's commitment to this a orientation straight away, the piece building towards an anthemic repeated chant. "Defilada" also features some vocal chants, but here these are of a more spiritual orientation. The laid back "Camelele" slows things down affording Apostolis Anthymos space to slip in some fine lead guitar work against a background of piano and lush keyboards.

"Rozmowa z Mistrzem" features some fine prog synth sounds, the track containing jazz overtones while being driven by a solid rock rhythm. The quasi-instrumental "Opowieoæ" features a variety of vocalising, with voice and guitar sharing the lead theme to good effect. "B³ogos³awione dni" is probably the most straightforward rock song on the album, but it does give Gabor Nemeth the opportunity to place his percussive skills well forward in the mix. Anthymos receives a rare compositional credit for "Sunrise", a piece which would sit well on his recent solo album (it makes for a fine interlude here too).

"Góry tañcz¹ce", which translates as "Dancing mountains", is a repetitive crowd pleaser for future gigs on the band's forthcoming tour. The album closes with "Dopóki ¿yje matka jesteo dzieckiem", a song which is quite different to the rest of the album. This smooth pop ballad has hints of Santana, the emotional vocals being supported by some fine lead guitar.

At a shade over 42 minutes, the album is somewhat brief, although the digipak version does offer two further tracks. This is though another excellent release by one of Poland's finest bands. The current trio clearly work well together, approaching their recordings with consummate professionalism while not forgetting to enjoy themselves along the way.



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