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16 Mar 2017

Exodus "The Most Beautiful Day" 1981 Poland Prog,Symphonic,Art Rock






Exodus  "The Most Beautiful Day" 1981 Poland Prog,Symphonic,Art Rock
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 Between 1977 and 1979 Exodus entered a very prolific period, full of live dates, while the group participated in different music events, scanning the whole Polish land.Towards the end of the decade they even wrote music for ballet shows.In March 1980 Exodus entered the studios of Polskie Nagrania and record what was to become the band's first official full-length release, the highly acclaimed ''The Most Beautiful Day''.
Excellent Progressive Rock with huge symphonic tendencies is the style on this album, not really representative of the country's sound, but definitely this effort belongs among the best Symphonic Rock releases around the time.The first side of the LP contains four mid-length tracks with evident GENESIS influences, mostly on the acoustic and synth parts.The arrangements are somewhere between a dreamy and a spacey atmosphere with strong use of keyboards, excellent and warm Polish vocals, dicreet use of guitars and lovely acoustic textures, while the sound has a beautiful, symphonic nature.The second side contains the sidelong 19-min. eponymous opus, divided in four movements.This is another example of great Symphonic Rock with some great interplays on the instrumental parts, nice breaks between pleasant and darker soundscapes and tremendous keyboard parts by Komendarek, this time including a few amazing organ and harsichord moves.The GENESIS influence is still apparent, even the guitar work of Andrzej Puczyński has a welcome HACKETT-ish touch, while the last movement offers a fantastic, grandiose atmosphere full of intricate melodies and bombastic keyboards.

The CD reissue of Metal Mind offers four bonus tracks, recorded in February 1980 at Polskie Radio Warszawa.They follow a similar style with the original album, dramatic, slightly spacey Symphonic Rock with acoustic guitars and synths in the forefront.

One of the most overlooked pearls of Symphonic Rock, recorded in a hard period for Progressive Rock.The album is full of delicate, elaborate arrangements and deserves certainly a wider fame among Prog fans.Highly recommended. ........by apps79 .........


 Exodus are another band that I and probably most Westerners don't know much about, mostly because their heyday was spent behind the Iron Curtain. Like so many great Polish and other Eastern bloc bands from that era they had to wait for a freer and more tolerant world for their music to be made widely available. But that's good for us today now that the Wall is gone and these albums have most all been reissued on CD.
This particular album is a delight, with three bonus tracks to boot. I was skeptical of their symphonic prog claims after hearing the opening "Ci wybrani" which sounds a bit more like discordant avant-garde music influenced by the likes of Zappa and maybe Vanilla Fudge. Good music, but not what I was expecting for sure.

Things change dramatically with the opening strands of "Stary Noe", and the rest of the album shows a band quite skilled and comfortable with making the most of their collective skills. The delicate 12-string guitar and brassy percussion blend beautifully with the ranging alto vocals of Pawel Birula and keyboard sounds of Wladyslaw Komendarek. I've no idea what the Polish lyrics are all about but it really doesn't matter as the band delivers a solid composition with more than a little folk influence.

The nest two tracks "Zloty promien slonca" and "Widok Z góry najwyzszej" are more energetic with plenty of electric guitar and at times a pair of synthesizers, while Birula continues to strum along on acoustic guitar and provide lead vocals (though there are at least two other vocalists on both songs).

The original vinyl release closed with the nearly twenty-minute long "Ten najpiekniejszy dzien", a driving epic with enough tempo shifts to make your head spin while delivering complex electric guitar riffs, lush keyboard forays and plenty of heavy organ passages. This one is truly a classic symphonic rock composition and is worthy of inclusion in just about any collection that represents mid- to late seventies symphonic prog rock.

As far as the bonus CD tracks go, "Ponury Pejzaz" and "W Kalendarzu mojego Zycia" are heavier than most of the rest of the album and sound a bit Krautrock-influenced, while "Uspokojenie" qualifies as a rock ballad with just a bit of electric guitar bite to keep things interesting.

I wish I knew more about these guys and will definitely seek out some of their other recordings. As for this one I recommend it highly to both classic symphonic rock fans as well as students of Soviet-era Polish music. Four stars out of five for sure........by ClemofNazareth .......

A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go, I ho a dairy oh, a hunting we will go! After 42 years of prog stalking, you think you can smell a prey from far away but there is always some hidden gem that never lets itself be caught, sometimes highly adept at blending in with the scenery like a chameleon. In many cases, it's behind the former Iron Curtain that one can catch these little beasts, who for decades were in hiding from the Stalinist Music police, as anything with a Fender, Gibson or Moog was considered 'decadent imperialist propaganda' which was only laughable in that the whole 'Western' rock movement was inherently a social upheaval against overt capitalism and blatant materialism. Shows how inane those idiot commissars were! Hungary and Poland were relatively open to Western stylistics (Omega, Lokomotiv GT, SBB and Skaldowie) but Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, East Germany and Mother Russia were severely reprimanded by the authorities governing music, where subversive lyrics were particularly targeted and annihilated. It explains why the all-instrumental jazz scene was so huge there, it was the only conduit for artistic dissent. So since 1989, there has been a flood of hitherto unreleased or poorly distributed material that begged for a new day in the free sun.
Exodus actually went to the unreal level of waiting for the People's Republic of Poland to begin its course towards change with the advent of Solidarnosc. 33 years later, I get to hear and purchase this phenomenal symphonic jewel. It's never too late to be impressed and feel cheated out of such pleasure for so long. There is a reason why Exodus are labelled the 'Polish Yes' mostly due to lead vocalist Pawel Birula's soaring Polish language voice and Wakeman copycat Wladislaw Komendarek's flowery keyboard display. The bass guitar is delicious but not as overtly trebly as Squire while the drums lean more towards White than Bruford (Who can drum like Bruford?). The percussor's name is Zbiegnew Fyk (it's not pronounced the way you may think, this is a family site!) and the soaring Howe-ish guitar strains are from Andrzej Puczynski who also plays bass, synths and background vocals. His brother Wojciech handles mostly bass and switches to guitar when prompted. They are all accomplished musicians with a clear and concise style that will appeal greatly to many prog fans. The mood spans the gamut from muscular to spacey, keeping things nicely spiced up and refreshing.

The opener "The Chosen Ones" is a romping anthem-like piece with tinges of Saga-like zeal and lots of bright sonics, weird synths noises and a hustling beat. The slippery electric axe solo is a definite highlight. Almost immediately a feel good sense kicks in, best exemplified by a ravishing melody on the delicious "Stary Noe", jangly guitars, high-pitched chorus and trashing cymbals all conspiring to carve utter beauty (an acoustic guitar solo of the finest pedigree). Birula's voice is simply wonderful and highly playful on the potent "A Golden Beam of Sun", Komendarek's synths carving some lovely patterns amid the exacting rhythmic pulse, while Fuczynski's guitar style will remind one of Bacamarte's Mario Neto. An upbeat, happy and empowering experience. The dreamy "The View from the Hill" offers some interesting synthesized sounds, clanging guitars, pulsating bass patterns and a divine vocal once again. It explodes literally into a deep space groove that inspires intently, an acoustic Genesis style that surprises with a Tony Banks-like synth chorus of grandiose beauty. When the mellotron layers onto the melody, the proverbial goose bumps appear. A fitting prep for the highlight epic track, the 19 minute title track suite, perhaps Polish prog's finest moment on record. Tremendous build-up with stinging guitar bites, sharp synths, booming bass rumbling and hard-hitting drums , Exodus ramp up the angst with a colossal crescendo of epic prog, fast , furious and exalting. Birula does some serious vocal calisthenics, giving his best theatrical inspiration (before Marillion even appeared on the scene), the volume pedal guitar work here is simply outstanding, clearly reminiscent of Steve Howe on "Gates of Delirium", allied with the harpsichord-like sounds in the background. The influence is uncanny but not clonish, just a fine piece of music all together. At the 9 minute mark, the ionospheric voice becomes breathtaking in its simplicity and effect. It evolves into another glorious melody, both fragile and confident, Birula really showcasing a serious vocal talent, allied with some simple choir work. Three minutes later, a basic and clean guitar riff kicks in, escorted by a loopy bass motif and they just both take off into the wild blue yonder, fueled by crazy Moog solo. There is an obvious Deep Purple tinge ("Highway Star"?) for a few minutes and then some Wakemanesque ivory play. A whispered vocal and grandiose coda finale ends this sucker on a very high note, the choir goodbye is just fantastic stuff!

First bonus track is the playful "Ponury Pejzaz", armed with a deliriously brilliant vocal and a chorus that will stick in your head forever. Pawel Birula moves from child to adult on the microphone with utter impunity. Imagine a hard lullaby and you will get the musical drift. Then we have an unpretentious ballad "Uspokojenie", straight out of the mid-period Genesis playbook, acoustic guitar carpeting a stunning and operatic vocal, cascading lead guitar lines and basic rhythm foundation. "W Kalendarzu?" puts this remarkable experience to bed, another sensational piece of vocal genius amid clanging rhythmic play, the voice spanning the spectrum, from spry to bold. A very slight hint of Aerosmith's "Dream On" and an Ian Astbury tinge at the end, only makes this reviewer smile as these are clever musicians making attractive symphonic prog.

I cannot recommend this 1980 jewel enough, it caught me by surprise and proved once again that there is immense treasure out there even for the seasoned prog pro I foolishly thought I was. I feel humbled and contented.......by tszirmay ...........

Whilst in the Anglo-American prog scene the heyday of the original wave of prog was long since over, the rise of neo- prog hadn't come yet, and major groups were beginning to reconfigure their sound away from prog, over in Poland Exodus were riding high. This debut album of theirs features a brace of tracks refined by extensive live performances over the preceding years, with a sound somewhere on the misty fairytale borderland between mid-period Genesis and classic Yes, the latter influence being especially evident in Paweł Birula's vocals and Władysław Komendarek's keyboard playing. The album is just as charmingly pretty as the title suggests, and the compositions are carefully refined, with flab and filler nowhere to be seen......... by Warthur .........

Line-up / Musicians
- Paweł Birula / lead & backing vocals, 12-strings acoustic guitar
- Andrzej Puczyński / electric & 12-string acoustic guitars, synthesizer, bass, backing vocals
- Władysław Komendarek / Yamaga organ, ARP & Rolland & Crumar Multiman-S synths, Hohner clavinet, backing vocals
- Wojciech Puczyński / bass, electric guitar
- Zbigniew Fyk / drums, percussion, backing vocals

With:
- Andrzej Kropiewnicki / backing vocals (1-5), special effects

Tracklist
A1 Ci Wybrani - The Chosen Onces / Stary Noe 9:00
A2 Złoty Promień Słońca - A Golden Beam Of Sun 5:15
A3 Widok Z Góry Najwyższej - The View From Highest Mountain 5:45
B1 Ten Najpiękniejszy Dzień - Suita - The Most Beautiful Day - Suite: 19:20
B1.1 Leśne Wspomnienie
B1.2 Czas Już Iść
B1.3 Wyścig Z Czasem
B1.4 Najpiękniejszy Dzień

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