PROGHMA-C - Bar-do Travel

Proghma-C - Bar-do Travel

9 songs
56:22 minutes
***** ****


Having had their own pope may have made Poland a religiously rather conservative country, but fortunately this has no negative impact on the quality of their rock music, especially when it comes to the more progressive minded kind. Decapitated made a really great reputation for themselves with their intricate death prog, and Riverside have long since become their main export article of more consumer-friendly progressive metal.

Proghma-C neither opt for extremity nor for overt accessibility on their debut album Bar-do Travel, following four years after their self-released EP Down In A Spiral. The nine minute long opener Kana shows parallels to Tool, mostly due to the similar vocals, but it would be unfair to shrug them off as mere copycats. It becomes immediately obvious that the quartet is out to let as many genres as possible flow into their music, to come up with a uniquely original prog cocktail flavoured by progressive metal, fusion jazz, ambient soundscapes, alternative rock and extreme metal. At times the musicians like to show off their incredible skills by inserting amazingly complex patterns, but they never lose sight of the song per se. They even cover successfully Army Of Me by Björk, an artist not so often revisited by metal bands.

Opening in the past for bands like Meshuggah, Cynic, Voivod, Anathema, The Ocean and Apocalyptica lets you take a guess at Proghma-C’s uncategorisable sound. And that’s a good thing, because it allows them to stand their own ground. While many innovative artists have a hard time getting recognition, Proghma-C have enough sense to forbid their songs of becoming too intractable, and that should help them win fans of intelligent rock music from all over the world. Their live concerts should be even more impressive, with a fifth member in charge of customised video projections. Bar-do Pond is possibly the most outstanding record I have ever heard from a Polish band, which is even more remarkable considering that it is only their debut longplayer. Let’s hope Proghma-C get all the fame they deserve.

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