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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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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

Alhena - Promo - 2011
albumcover

    
“ ... the exception on the rule ... ”

The band Alhena was formed in January 2010 in Bydgoszcz (Poland). It was a realization of passions for making own music visions by people who met shortly after leaving previous music groups. It was formed by: Piotr Kowalski (keyboard), Tomasz Bogulski (guitar), Piotr Grugel (drums), Robert Puk (bass). After a few months of looking for a vocalist, Katarzyna Dziemianowicz became a member of the group. Then, Tadeusz Kołecki took Robert's place on the bass guitar. In such a make-up the group began intensive work on composing material. It resulted in an EP, on which five tracks showed up. The recording took place from July to September 2011 in MG-Studio in Bydgoszcz under Marcin Grzella's supervision. After a few concerts promoting the recorded material and warm receivers' opinions the group decided to start working on the material for their debut album. The band was chosen to open for the also Polish band Xanadu at their CD presention of the album “The Last Sunrise”. An album that progVisions reviewed last month.

Katarzyna Dziemianowicz - vocals; Tomasz Bogulski - guitars; Piotr Kowalski - synths; Piotr Grugel - drums; Tadeusz Kołecki - Bas

The exception on the rule ... normally progVisions is not reviewing promotional EP’s from starting bands. And to be honest, I’m not into metal music and progVisions currently lacks an experienced metal reviewer. Another thing is that starting bands don't have the resources to work in a good studio. You don’t wanna hear the poor sounding promo’s I sometimes receive. You don’t help a starting band with a bad review ... simply because it sounds very poor.

The Polish band Alhena surprised me with a great sounding EP with music I would like to describe as progressive metal with a Gothic character. You can hear that the band has a lot of potential to develop into something special. On this EP you can find the following five tracks; “Trial”, “Better”, “You Lost Me”, “Breath” and “Nemesis”.

The tracks “Trial” and “Better” are showing immediately that besides the heavy character of the music there is also a lot of melody in the music. On top of a carpet of fat sounding synths and a tight rhythm section lies melodic guitar parts and the crystalline voice of Katarzyna Dziemianowicz. I like that the keyboards of Piotr Kowalski and the melodic side of guitarist Tomasz Bogulski get some room in the music. The ballad “You Lost Me” opens with a delicate piano and this song reveals the beautiful voice of Katarzyna in all her glory. Then it is time for one of my favorite Alhena songs. “Breath” has besides the melodic guitar parts and broad synth carpets also a brooding character. Sometimes the tension of the music is slowly building up. The song ends with a beautiful melodic guitar solo of Tomasz Bogulski. I'm sure this piece will end up on their debut album! The last song, entitled “Nemesis”, is the most progressive track of the album. This instrumental track has strong Riverside influences and a delicious fat sounding synth solo. For progressive fans this is the highlight of this EP.

The Polish band Alhena surprised me with a great sounding EP with music I would like to describe as progressive metal with a Gothic character. You can hear that the band has a lot of potential. If the music of tracks like “You Lost me” and “Breath” are combined with the progressive side of the band (“Nemesis”) it could develop into something special. In the person of Katarzyna Dziemianowicz the band is blessed with a good vocalist. Personally I like the combination of the heavy music and the melody that is provided by the vocal lines and guitar solos. Again ... Alhena is a band with potential.

Douwe Fledderus - November 2011
rating - Independent Release

 

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