Two years ago I wrote in my review of their previous “RE:SEARCH” album that the music of the Polish band Retrospective stands out among their contemporaries because of the combination of a male and female (lead) singer and that the band was developing their own unique own style. A few months ago their label Progressive Promotion Records released their new album entitled “Latent Avidity”. However all the band members are still in their early 30s, they are already more than ten years on the road and the band has released several fine albums in the Progressive Art Rock genre.
Beata Lagoda - keyboards, vocals; Jakub Roszak - vocals; Maciej Klimek - guitars; Lukasz Marszalek - bass guitars; Robert Kusik - drums
“Latent Avidity” is an intriguing title. Avidity is in biochemistry used as the term to indicate the overall strength of binding between an antibody and an antigen but also means keen interest or enthusiasm. Latent means lying dormant or hidden ... present but not visible. Interesting title but what about the music you can find on this fine album?
The album opens with the short instrumental introduction “Time”. An atmospheric opening with the sound of an ever faster ticking clock which blends seamlessly with the track “Still There”. It is the first single of the album. The first vocal parts are sung by singer Jakub Roszak and together with the delicate guitar work this part made me think of the also Polish band Lizard. The relaxed atmosphere of the music is slowly changing and becomes more powerful while keyboard player Beata Lagoda is joining Jakub on vocals. You can find some lovely vocal melodies in this track. I like the development of the vocal parts of Jakub. He concludes with an aggressively sung part that reminds me of the vocalist (Daniel Gildenlöw) of the Swedish band Pain Of Salvation. “Loneliness” is beautifully sung by keyboard player Beata Lagoda. It is a slow song with a nice structure. This is followed by the track “The Seed Has Been Sown”. A song with more power and diversity. Sometimes aggressive guitars are combined with melodic vocal refrains. But there are also more delicate instrumental parts and fine guitar solo’s. “Stop For A While” has a kind of lightness with beautiful sung vocal lines sung by both vocalists. The combination of a male and female voice is working great in this beautiful and delicate song. In the end guitarist Maciej Klimek is spoiling us with a beautiful and melodic guitar solo.“In The Middle Of The Forest” has a more accessible nature and at one point I had to think of the music of Simple Minds. “Programmed Fear” with it’s upbeat rhythms and catchy vocal refrains is a nice song but it doesn’t stand out due to lack of variety. The album comes to an end with the longest track of the album “What Will Be Next”. Jakub Roszak once more proofs that he is an excellent singer and Maciej Klimek is playing some nice guitar solos. As on the whole album keyboard player Beata Lagoda supports the songs with atmospheric and nice keyboard work. No freaky soloing but just playing in service of the compositions.
The Polish band Retrospective continues their path to develop their own unique musical style. The album is consistent and has no weak points. And like on their previous albums they avoid a depressing mood. The combination of a male and female voice in their music is still one of the strong points. “Latent Avidity” is an album that grows after each listening session. Just check it out for yourself.