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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Miscellane - Painted Palm - 2001
"A stunning surprise from Slovakia"

Miscellane was founded in 1993, in the Eastern part of Europe, which has now the name Slovakia. The first line-up, which already included bass player Peter Bales and guitarist Peter Orel, made in 1995 their first demo entitled "The Wave". They played a combination of metal, jazz and classical music. After the second demo "Noli Tangere Circulos Meos" the band had difficult times and the singer and drummer left the band. Guitarist Peter Orel became the new singer and first they tried to program the drums. But after a while they found their drummer, Marek Hrabec. After the decision to add keyboards to their music, Roman Hubinsky made the new line-up complete. Bee & Bee Records got a golden tip from the Swiss Gallileo Records and signed this "new, fantastic band".

Line-up band:
Marek Hrabec - drums; Peter Bales - bass; Roman Hubinsky - keyboards; Peter Orel - vocals and guitar.

Miscellane debut album is called "Painted Palm" and is recorded at the Czech Bellatrix Studio. The album is mixed and mastered by the American Paul Speer. Some of you will know him of his own projects with Scott Rockenfield (Queensrÿche) and Narada artist David Lanz. The beautiful "progart" cover is from a guy, who is becoming famous in the prog scene nowadays, Mattias Noren.

The album is build around two long suites "Solstice story part 1" (13:56) and "Solstice story part 2" (24:16). Peter Orel and Peter Bales used the structure of a novel they read a long time ago. Both are ancient rituals at the day of Solstice and there is a time-lapse of 18 years. It is about the love of the Queen of a tribe and a young guy, who should be offered during the rite. But lets talk about the music now. The album opens with "Solstice story part 1" (13:56). The opening is fantastic with broad keyboard layers and a huge sound. As listener you are at once drawn into the music. It is a mix of sympho and progmetal, but more on the progressive side because the music is complex, atmospheric and well arranged. When guitarist Peter Orel begins to sing, Miscellane has got your full attention; what a great singer! There is lots of passion and emotion in his performance. I haven't heard such a great singer in years. And the music is never boring; there is so much variation. Before you know it the long track of more then 13 minutes is over. "Wings" (5:39) is one of the shorter tracks with also a heavy sound, great drumming, a nice keyboard solo and a catchy refrain. The beginning of "Laments" (4:31) is more relaxed after all this power in the first two tracks. But it also develop into an up tempo piece. Again that great emotional voice and nice keyboard solo's on top of a steady rhythm section. Then it is time for the second suite "Solstice story part 2" (24:16). The band is bringing here again a mix of sympho and progmetal. A lot of variation, breaks and an atmosphere with a lot of tension, which is slowly building up towards a climax. The drumming of Marek Hrabec is amazing. But all the guys are very talented and are playing with a lot of passion. The last track is called "Few letters on a tomb" (4:24) and it is a great song to close this remarkable album. The structure is heavy with dramatic vocal lines. Heavy guitars and delicious fat keyboard sounds.

This band from Slovakia is one of the discoveries of the year 2001. Each of the members is an excellent musician and they play a kind of heavy-sympho. The music is complex and the arrangements are great. The two long tracks have a lot of variation and are nowhere getting boring. In Peter Orel the band has an incredible singer who can sing with a lot of passion and emotion. I recommend this amazing debut album to all lovers of heavy sympho. I don't want to use the term metal because this band has more warmth and passion.

Douwe Fledderus - January 2002
rating - Bee & Bee Records

 

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