Neoprog has been criticized by classicists of being simplistic. Compared to its classic prog contemporaries, the general thrust of neoprog is to take the intentions behind progressive rock and make them accessible and modern - and to do this compromise is often necessary.
Millenium is a Polish neoprog band, and like its contemporaries, Abraxas and Collage, it borrows as much as bands like Marillion as it does from Genesis and other 70's prog bands. Like many neoprog bands it is also a simplistic form of prog. Generally a good strong lead guitar weaves between layers of keyboards and generally passionate vocals.
The difference between Millenium and it's neoprog contemporaries however, is the subtle perfection of it's balancing of mood, melody, passion and adventure. The band consists of Lukasz Galeziowski who sings, Tomasz Pabian on guitar, Piotr Mazurkiewicz 5-str. bass, fretless, Tomasz Pasko - drums and Ryszard Kramarski - keyboards, guitar. There are guests on flute and sax and additional guitars.
Both acoustic and electric instruments figure prominently in the orchestration. The keyboards are used as a lush backdrop and are rarely obtrusive. That is a welcomed feature because more often the keyboard sounds are sampled rather than analogue based.
Singer Galeziowski has a clean, articulated, almost classical sounding voice. The clarity of his Polish lyrics add an odd flavor to what sounds prodominently an "English" sound. They have some nice female backup singers that provide a bit of "white soul" to the music in the same way Pink Floyd embraced that element in "Dark Side of the Moon".
The self-titled debut CD is just short of 70 minutes in length and never falters for a second. In fact, by track four of the CD, you wonder how the band will keep up the great music and when will the first bad track appear. The opposite happens: the music gets better!
The songs vary from 3 minutes up to 13 minutes in length. I will not point out favorites. It is safe to say that each track has its own strength and works for different reasons. A lot of different sounds are explored, from soft to hard, symphonic to angular. My personal favorite is "Byl Sobie Kraj!" which features a powerful melody, and the effective interplay between singer and backup (female) singers.
This is a CD that contains a lot of depth. If there can be any criticism of Millenium, it can only be the limitations of the neoprog genre itself. If you are a fan of neoprog, this CD is essential. If you are a skeptic of that genre, here is the CD that may just change your mind.