Preliminaries – Artyfiction
I recently stumbled across a post in the Progrock Group on Facebook by Mirosław Berg the bass player of a new Polish band who call themselves Artyfiction. He actually posted the 1st track from their debut album Preliminaries along with a message asking what people thought of it. I was not that busy at the time and the artwork caught my eye a bit so I decided to give it a blast. Upon having a listen I was quite impressed, though I did notice that this was an instrumental piece and as it had quite an heavy rock feel about it and some fine progression, it had me thinking maybe this would not work if the rest of the album contained instrumental pieces only.
For example It would perhaps be like the band Rush making their album Moving Pictures out of instrumental pieces only, and as good as the instrumental track YYZ is and works as an instrumental piece, I think the rock part of that band does cry out for vocals and I am not sure if I would of brought that album in the first place if it was filled with instrumental pieces only. I generally find instrumental albums only work perhaps better for those bands who do music like Jazz Fusion like the band Brand X or even electronic music like Tangerine Dream as an example, rather than prog rock bands. However I was intrigued by what I was hearing with Artyfiction enough for me to click on the link to Bandcamp and listen to a few more tracks.
Upon doing so I soon discovered they did have a singer and he was even singing the words in English. Once again I was enjoying what I was hearing so I decided to try and find out more information about the band, and upon doing so I noticed that the vocalist was in fact only a guest singer and was not part of the original band line-up and they was in fact looking for a permanent singer for the band. Well I had no intention of applying for the job :)))))) but this mini album the band had made certainly impressed me enough to buy it. So let’s take a further look at the band and its debut album Preliminaries.
The Band Artyfiction…
The band Artyfiction as far as I know of consists of 4 members and are from Wrocław in Poland. They are currently looking for a permanent singer to join the band so that they can put themselves about a bit more and play some live festivals to get a bit more recognition. Many of the songs on the album was also written and they played them live under the band name of Laszlo Taxi a couple of years ago. Though from what I heard of those songs Laszlo Taxi did back then, they have arranged them differently today and obviously changed the name of the band to something more fitting to the bands music.
The current line-up of the band is as follows:
Wojciech Bator: Guitar.
Dariusz Kawa: Keys.
Miroslaw Berg: Bass.
Pawel Kardis: Drums.
Guest Vocalist Jacek Ziora. (on tracks 2,4 & 5.).
Preliminaries Album In Review…
Preliminaries by Artyfiction is the bands brand new debut album and was released last month on the 21st March 2018. The album contains 5 tracks, 3 of which are vocal tracks and the other 2 instrumentals and it comes with an overall playing time of 31 mintues, 38 seconds. It’s perhaps a bit on the short side of things for an album these days, but never the less this time slot was nothing unusual to find back in the 60’s and 70’s for an album, and I myself prefer the older time slot of 30 to 40 minutes. It comes in handy (especially if you have a lot of albums like myself) and this lesser time slot allows you to give more attention not only to the record, but to all the other records in your collection so to speak.
The album was mastered and recorded by Przemysław Wejmann at the studio Perlazza. The albums artwork was provided by Anna Jeżowska and it sort of gives the impression that the band Artyfiction are into heavy metal, but if you was to look up the word Preliminaries which is the title of the album, you will soon find out that the artwork is very apt to the title of the album we have here.
The band Artyfiction consist of some pretty darn good musicians who certainly know their way around their instruments, and have the ability to carve and sculpture some pretty fine musical pieces and well crafted songs that have the diversity and progression you will find in most great progressive rock music. There is no doubt they also have their own distinctive style too. So let’s take a deeper look into the music at the music the band are presenting as I go through the individual tracks on the album.
Track 1. Scamper.
The opening track is the first of the 2 instrumental pieces on the album, and also happens to be the longest track on the album weighing in at just over 9 minutes. It sort of launches itself straight into the action with some rather tasty lead guitar playing from Wojciech Bator and is supported very well by the back line of both Pawel Kardis and Miroslaw Berg on the drums and bass respectively, and a rather a fine vamping piano melody from Dariusz Kawa accompanies it very well.
I must confess on my first couple of spins I got the impression that this nice little intro came in perhaps a bit quick, and it perhaps needed to be either faded in gradually. or another intro needed to be developed to make it work better. But after a good few spins you soon get used to it, and the guys obviously knew what they was doing, and I no longer get this feeling about the intro.
The intro is all of about 28 seconds long and it comes down nicely enough with some nice little bass fills backed by the keyboards. Around the 43 second mark the band bring in the heavier artillery and the action really starts to take off with some great interplay between the band which goes through some fine transnational changes and incorporates some great lead work from both the keyboards and guitar.
Musically the piece is very well structured, it has great diversity, heavy power chords from the guitar with some strong melodies from keyboards that hold it all together. The piece builds up very well and runs into some really great sections throughout it all.
The interplay and interaction between the section from 4 to 6 minute mark is very good, and then a couple of seconds later Wojciech Bator comes in with a flying lead guitar solo played at blistering pace. Dariusz Kawa follows it up nicely with his own solo on the keys and the band get back into the same routine to end it all off very well.
“Scamper” is a really great piece of work that displays the capabilities of all 4 members very well. It works well as an instrumental piece, and it could of easily been structured to incorporate vocals I dare say if they wanted too. It’s a very strong contender for the top spot on the album and is a really great track.
Track 2. Appreciate.
From musical structures to a very well crafted song that’s precisely what we have here with the first vocal track on the album “Appreciate“. Everything about this song is so good. It really has been structured very well both musically and lyrically, and the guest vocalist Jacek Ziora as provided exactly the right delivery for the song with the power and aggression with his voice. It fits the music like a glove. He also wrote the lyrics for this song.
It’s the sort of song of song that grabs you straight away, and one you might latch on too and want to scream the words out yourself when you’re in anger. To be perfectly honest I find a lot of songs today with the many artists I buy tend to lose that special thing about them that many classics had years ago.
I do not know if it’s down to my age or what, but I have always felt that a good written song is one where you can quake up in the morning, get out of bed and instantly find yourself singing a song for no apparent reason without even thinking about it. If a song can do that to you, then it as to be good. Hardly any song in today’s age has the power to do that. But this song the band have so well carved out I definitely feel is one of those songs.
“Appreciate” contains the power, the dynamics and all the qualities of a rock anthem. To put it in a nutshell this record should be an instant smash and a massive hit just like the many rock bands did years ago like ACDC. Judas Priest and all those sorts did years ago. It’s every bit as good and purely rocks my boat. It merits my top spot on the album award and is an highly addictive song that grabs you by the balls. This song is that good I decided to post it here from the bands Youtube channel.
Track 3. Moment of Revelation.
The 2nd instrumental piece on the album weaves its way along very well and is perhaps structured around the very dominant bass line and groove provided by the bands bass player Miroslaw Berg. Both the guitarist Wojciech Bator and keyboardist Dariusz Kawa craft some fine melodies around the bass and Pawel Kardis’s rhythm and pattern playing on the drums hold it all together very well, and the drums are also a great feature here.
The whole piece cooks on gas and once again contains some really great guitar and keyboard solo’s and this band work as a very tight outfit and feed off each other very well. The instrumental piece once again shows great diversity and progression along it path and it’s another excellent track.
Track 4. Perswadator.
The 2nd song or vocal track on the album comes with a rather strange title that is a made up word and a bi of a joke they was having. The bands bass player Miroslaw Berg wrote the lyrics. Miroslaw told me its a mixture of “persuasion” (Perswazja in Polish) and the “tor” is end of the words which are related to a kind of person like “ProwokaTOR” (instigator) etc.
I find the word “instigator” quite fitting to the song and this one even has quite a punk rock feel with how Jacek is delivering the words with his powerful voice. It’s quite a menacing song and familiar with many other bands with how Jacek is expressing his voice on this one.
Musically the song is quite different to punk rock and the band are weaving some magic in and out of this one at some pace. No doubt the song has the power to rock, but personally I do not think it grabs me like the 2nd track on the album “Appreciate” does. Never the less the band are doing a grand job of it all.
Track 5. Viper.
The final song on the album sees the band going back in more of a prog rock direction that we got with the 2 instrumental tracks on the album. It’s quite interesting how Jacek has quite a bit of versatility in his voice, and how is more of a ballad approach in the opening verses works in relation to the more hard edge we got from his voice on the other 2 songs on the album.
No doubt the song does also contain the power for him to raise the game and bring out the harder edge side of things more and it works really well. Once again Miroslaw Berg wrote the lyrics for this one and this is another really well developed and constructed song that the band do the business on. It’s another contender for the top spot on the album.
To sum up my review of the album Preliminaries by Artyfiction. I would say that it’s quite a solid enough album that contains both the power and adrenalin to rock and go in other directions with its diversity and progression. The band have certainly got their act together and have crafted out some fine songs and instrumental pieces and have what it takes to deliver the great music that’s contained on this first album of theirs.
It’s a shame that right now the band are still looking for another singer, and I think it will be quite hard to find one quite like Jacek Ziora who slotted in very aptly to the music the band presented to him here. He even contributed some really great lyrics on the song “Appreciate” which is personally my favourite track on the album, and it’s quite a smash hit in my personal opinion.
There is no doubt that the band Artyfiction have their own distinctive style and the combination of both rock and prog rock is perhaps along the lines of other great bands such as Creed. Jadis. IQ. Arena. Haken. Pearl Jam and many more. My personal highlights from the album are as follows: “Scamper“. “Appreciate” and “Viper“.
To conclude my review here, if your into rock and prog rock I do not think you can personally go wrong here. Preliminaries is a really great album that deliverers the goods at a cheap enough price for anybody’s pocket, and at its price it will give you plenty of satisfaction. It certainly rocks my boat and I am sure it will rock yours too.
The album comes with a very good quality production and was recorded in the studios and mastered professionally so there is no skimping on the quality here. The album is available in the form of a digital download only with a choice of high quality audio formats to choose from. I have provided a link below.
As with any band it’s always hard to get off to a great start, and many struggle to gain the recognition they truly deserve for the hard work they put in and the great music they are putting about. No doubt this band is worthy of a lot more attention and I am sure they will provide great entertainment if only more people would take to the time to listen. They certainly caught my attention and I wish them all the success for the future.
Check out the album for yourself. You might just Appreciate it…
You can listen to or grab your own personal copy of Preliminaries here : https://artyfiction.bandcamp.com/releases
The album track listing is as follows:
01. Scamper. 9:07.
02. Appreciate. 4:03.
03. Moment of Revelation. 6:25.
04. Perswadator. 4:07.
05. Viper. 7:56.
4 thoughts on “Lee Speaks About Music… #72”
Thank You Lee
LikeLiked by 1 person
Your welcome and I hope you guys get a singer sorted out so you can continue to make great music.
Fine review Lee, I’m going to check these guys out.
Cheers very much Stephen mate and this album is quite addictive and is really great.