introCan’t believe this is the first review on progVisions of one of my favorite Progressive Rock bands from Poland. The band released so far eight studio albums, two live albums and two live bootleg releases. These two bootlegs are special releases which were distributed for free among their fans. The band was formed in 1990 by vocalist Damian Bydlinski. He is still the driving force behind the band which describes their own music as Hard, Difficult and Unpleasant Music. Well I can understand this bold statement. This music is not for the faint-hearted. It is music for the open minded music lover. The real Prog lover has already noticed that the band name directly refers to the third album of King Crimson. The first six years the band’s activity was focused on demo recording and playing as many concerts as possible. This resulted in a magnificent debut album “W Galerii Czasu (In the gallery of time)“ that was released on the Ars Mundi label in 1997. For me this was the progressive rock album of that year! This also resulted into the invitations to support legendary bands like Emerson Lake & Palmer in June 1997 (Spodek, Katowice) and Porcupine Tree. “Half-Live“ is Lizard’s eight studio album and is released under exclusive license to Audio-Cave.
Special guest: Dominika Rusinowska - violin
The album is packed in a digipak with beautiful artwork that will remind you of the artwork of Roger Dean. I believe Damian Bydlinski is also responsible for the concept and the design. As a designer myself I am impressed by the artwork.
“Half-Live“ consists out of one long song with the duration of almost 44 minutes. This piece of music is split into two unnamed tracks. Probably this is done for the limited and colored vinyl versions. With the CD version you can listen to the album as one long track. Of course you could split this long piece of music into several parts. For example there is a beautiful opening scene with delicate piano and beautiful violin parts of guest Dominika Rusinowska. I love that on this album the violin is back. After this lovely and spaciousness opening another instrumental part is following. Only after six minutes we hear the characteristic voice of Damian Bydlinski which sounds a little bit whiny at first. But for me and the Lizard fan it is the typical voice of Lizard, a voice with character. The music is working towards a kind of climax and several times is gaining in complexity but has great diversity and is full of nice melodies. This increases the accessibility of the music. The violin parts are beautifully integrated into the music. It is difficult to describe the music of Lizard because the band has developed an unique own style. The keyboards are often symphonic and the beautiful piano parts have a classical character. The guitars and the rhythm section are providing the heavy bites. Talking about the rhythm section, you can find some amazing drum work on this album and because the sound of the album is very transparent you can hear the bass parts clearly. In the second part of this long song you can find some nice guitar melodies and some jazz influences are sneaking into the music. The intensity of the music is working towards a big climax. This is followed by a delicate piano and vocal melody before the tension is rising again. After the next big climax the album ends with the piano and violin theme of the beginning of the first part.