Millennium – Tales from imaginary Movies (2022)
Do you like nice relaxed neo-prog that is played well with lots of lingering and howling guitar solos and catchy melodies? Then you are in the front row with Polish Millenium. For some it may not be complex or heavy enough and I can relate to that too. Sometimes it's even a bit corny and bittersweet, but I just like it. Especially their latest albums are very good and as you can see on my favourites-page I am quite charmed by the music of these guys.
Still I was very curious about Tales from imaginary Movies because there is a new singer on board. Ooh dear and let the previous singer Lukasz Gall just be one of my favourite singers. Obviously, his replacement Dawid Lewandowski scores a little less than his namesake in Barcelona but still manages to obtain a very good score. He has a somewhat flat voice but sings flawlessly and usually stays within the safe reach. There where he wants to sound a bit more raw, it is a bit forced, but that is not very disturbing. Surely he deserves the chance to grow in his new role and get the time needed for this. But I really do miss Gall and that's a shame because the music on this new album is absolutely beautiful again. Guitarist Piotr Płonka is all over the place and his flawless solos are uncountable. Listen to the Opening Credits of the title track (available on you tube) and you'll know what I mean, goosebumps! That's how you want to start every album and given the fact that it's a kind of concept album, the songs also flow nicely into each other. Another positive thing, at least for me, is the absence of saxophone parts. They sometimes used it on previous albums but on Tales they don’t need it and so right they are.
The lyrics serve the story of a main character, the son of Daniel Sunders from the album Vocanda, who finds himself in all kinds of situations related to movies. Think of things like auditioning, playing a leading role and the ambition to make it in the movie business. But the inevitable disappointments are also sung about. They are not pompous lyrics with ingenious English, but they are easy to follow and that is not always evident.
The tempo is often on the slow side and there is no heavy rocking anywhere but some bombastic fragments can certainly be found. Band leader and composer Ryszard Kramarski plays an important role, not so much on the foreground but provides a super atmospheric background and occasionally takes his solo spot. The rhythm tandem does its job excellently and that completes the feeling of an experienced and self-assured band. I know, I know it could be a bit more challenging and less safe but that is for other bands. Even a song like Sounds of War is played with a kind of hidden intensity.
Highlighting tracks is not really necessary in this case because the quality is very consistent but… I just have to. On the internet the single Brightness hidden in the Dark was available to listen to and in my opinion is not the best song on the album but fits in perfectly though. Second Earth is the last song before the album closes with the Closing Credits of the title track and is the only song on the album without a guitar solo and yet it is very nice to listen to, a bed of undulating keys supports the unctuous voice of Lewandowski. As mentioned, the songs flow into each other through sound fragments and this track also merges into the already mentioned closing credits. And yes, Płonka gives me goosebumps again with blood-curdling beautiful solos. How wonderful to hear this man play. No frantic finger exercises, but feeling and emotion at its best. A cross between Gilmour and Rothery and indeed a kind of Pink Floyd vibe emerges every now and then. I even hear some Roger Waters like rhythms.(A World full of Spies)
It should be clear, I am already clearing a prominent place in my annual list for Tales From Imaginary Movies and that is a great achievement in this excellent year so far.