Millenium is a Polish band that was founded in the year 1999 by keyboardist Ryszard Kramarski. In the early days of progVisions the debut album of Millenium was highly recommended by our reviewer Richard Zywotkiewicz.
Now, twelve years later and after several good albums, the band presents a new studio- and for the first time double concept album entitled “Puzzels”. “Puzzels” is a musical tale about the complicated man-woman relationship: love, doubt, persistence & hope. Adam Eve are the two symbolic heroes here. Creating a good, long-lasting relationship calls for persistence, patience, intelligence, awareness and determination and is similar to a jigsaw puzzle, which correctly solved brings satisfaction. Millenium takes us on a musical journey ... the story of Adam and Eve.
“Puzzels” is Millenium’s tribute to masterpieces such as “The Wall” by Pink Floyd (see the cover of “Puzzels”), “White Album” by The Beatles, “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway by Genesis” or “Freudina” by Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons.
Ryszard Kramarski - keyboards, Piotr Plonka - guitars; Tomasz Pasko - drums; Krysztof Wyrwa - bass, Warr guitar; Lukasz Gall - vocals
Sabina Godula-Zajac - guest vocals in “Our Little Eden”
reviewFirst of all I would like to tell you something more about the concept. When you see the album cover, you see that the design is a wink to the album “The Wall” from the British band Pink Floyd. Also the fact that this is a double concept album can be seen as a tribute to those concept albums of the seventies. But musically ... it is another story ... with “Puzzels” Millenium is not denying their own musical style. The album is divided into two parts with the themes “Together” (Disc One) and “Separately” (Disc Two). We follow the story of a couple and the story of Adam and Eve is used as a metaphor. Both discs have a running time of around 45 minutes.
The first disc opens with the short instrumental song “Eden?”. It is a piece with atmospheric keyboards and a beautiful melody played on the electric guitar. The then following tracks “The Tree Of Knowlegde” and “The First Man On The Earth” could be described as typical Millenium compositions full of rhythm changes, instrumental parts (guitar and synths) and catchy vocal lines. “Apple & Snake” is about temptations and in one of the up tempo parts a guitar solo lies on top of a bed of rhythm guitar and keyboards. That combination of rhythm guitar and the guitar as solo instrument works very well. The band slows down in the first part of “The Sin” that includes acoustic guitars and for the first time you hear musically a Pink Floyd (“The Wall”) resemblance. The middle section of this song is more up tempo and has nice electric guitar and keyboards parts. The instrumental “Broken Rule” has those delicious melodic guitar and synth parts we know from Millenium. For me this song is one of the highlights of the first disc. You can find some beautiful melodies in this song. The last song from disc one is entitled “Everything About Her” and opens with a delicate and melodic guitar part. This diverse song has a good structure and beautiful vocal lines. Musically, the intensity is slowly building up and then after a rhythm break follows a wonderful synth melody. This is a very nice ending of the song and disc one.
The upward trend (quality of the compositions) of disc one continues on disc two with the song “Farewell”. The electric guitar parts reminds me again of Pink Floyd. But the best thing is that the kind of Neo-prog Millenium is making always has a lot of melody. The opening of “Prose Of Life” is up tempo and cheerful and has some pop influences (Beatles?). But then the song develops into a Neo-prog song with nice guitar and keyboard solo’s. In “Ice Dreams”, a slow song with a mellow character, the vocal line is nice and Ryszard Kramarski plays a beautiful synth solo. “Time Is The Great Healer” is a beautiful ballad and has delicate keyboard parts (piano, synth flutes). The song ends with a long and passionate played guitar solo. In the instrumental title track “Puzzled” the guitar plays a big role. Needless to say that you can find some nice melodies in this track. In the nine minutes long “We Try Again” some musical themes are returning. This is the most beautiful song of the album, the vocal lines and melodies in the opening part are just amazing. But it is a diverse track with rhythm changes and several guitar and keyboard solo’s. For me “We Try Again” is the impeccable highlight of the album. The album closes worthy with the beautiful duet “Our Little Eden” with guest vocals of Sabina Godula-Zajac.
With such a concept the band maybe evoke high expectations. Don't expect a masterpiece like “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” of Genesis. With “Puzzles” Millenium has made a very good concept double-album. You can find some wonderful melodies on this album. Recommended to prog-fans who like a lot of melody in their prog. Hopefully the band can reach a bigger audience with this album, because I think that the band is still underrated in the prog-scene.