Although never revered as the hotbed of the progressive music scene, Poland has been home to some of the finest progressive groups. The list of luminaries includes pioneers like Jozef Skrezek and his project SBB , SKALDOWIE, KLAN, EXODUS, RSC , ABRAXAS, and the most familiar to progressive fans COLLAGE, RIVERSIDE , and QUIDAM. Add to this impressive list of talented artists the group OSADA VIDA.
“Uninvited Dreams” is the third release from this impressive Polish prog/metal group, following their highly acclaimed “Three Seats Behind A Triangle” (2007) and “The Body Parts Party” (2008).
Their brand of progressive metal is often compared to the usual list of suspects like YES, DREAM THEATER, O.S.I., PORCUPINE TREE , and PAIN OF SALVATION, but unlike a majority of prog/metal groups OSADA VIDA also infuses their music with an element of Canterbury and jazz fusion.
The playing style of keyboardist Rafal Paluszek has more in common with Dave Stewart and Alan Gowen of 70s’ Canterbury groups NATIONAL HEALTH, EGG, GILGAMESH and HATFIELD AND THE NORTH or Peter Bardens of CAMEL than DREAM THEATER’S Derek Sherinian or Jordan Rudess. His use of vintage era electric piano patches like the Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer takes the music from the realm of metal groups like AYREON, SYMPHONY X, OPETH, ANGRA, and PLANET X into a sometimes funky jazz/fusion direction. And his synth solo work is fluid and melodic without relying on unfeeling bombastic light speed arpeggios that simply impress but seldom move a listener. And the album is filled with those passionate majestic Mellotron chord washes which elevate the listener to another plane of existence.
It’s been ages since I heard a guitarist embrace the old wah wah foot petal with the enthusiasm and panache of Bartek Bereska. His brilliant guitar work soars, creating a concrete wall of controlled distortion – powerful but never over-powering.
The line-up on the album includes: Lukasz Lisiak (bass guitar, vocals), Bartek Bereska (guitars), Rafal Paluszek (keyboards), Adam Podzimski (drums), and special guest vocalist Natalia Krakowiak.
“Uninvited Dreams” combines the best elements of all the above mentioned groups as well as THE TANGENT, RUSH, SAGA, and GENESIS. The lyrical theme of this concept album as the title implies is ‘dreams’ … especially those unwanted nightmares that plague our subconscious mind brought upon by the stress of modern day life. Thankfully there was no stress involved in reviewing this album – I loved every minute of it. Highly Recommended!
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on March 20th, 2010