Believe — Yesterday Is a Friend
(Metal Mind 0593, 2008, CD)
Believe — Hope to See Another Day Live
(Metal Mind MMP DVD 0139, 2008, DVD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2009-07-01
Believe are a new Polish group founded by ex-Collage guitarist Marek Gil. At first glance the band is similar to Collage except for one big difference: the presence of Japanese violinist Satomi. Her playing provides the kind of classical elegance and old-world sophistication that prog fans have enjoyed since bands like Curved Air. Believe leans heavily on spacious, melodic rock that rarely kicks into complex instrumentals or solo grandstanding. Similarities can also be drawn to Enchant, especially when vocalist Tomek Rózycki gets involved (which is often.) He provides an uncommon level of quality at the microphone that doesn’t rely on operatic histrionics. The songs are modern without resorting to shoegazing or gratuitous studio window-dressing. Another point of comparison is Riverside, and along with Satellite these three bands are establishing a modern Polish prog rock style that emphasizes melody and expressiveness without indulging in sentimentality. The arrangements deliver effective vocal lines and melodic hooks — best exemplified in the song “Memories” — and considering how much the disk has to offer there’s much here to enjoy.
The DVD reveals a band that’s still finding their way as a live ensemble. The individual performances are earnest with Satomi the most naturally gifted and charismatic presence (and attractive, to boot). Gil spends most of the time concentrating on his guitar leads and effects, and trying to not imitate IQ’s Mike Holmes too much. Rózycki would naturally be the main object of the camera lenses and while he’s a capable singer his live performance falls a notch below his studio work. I’ll chalk it up to the band’s relative inexperience working together in a concert setting and with some seasoning I’ve no doubt they’ll be an entertaining act. Bonus material includes an interview with Gil and Rózycki as well as the usual goodies.
Related artist(s): Believe
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more