DCM Records [Release date: 04.11.13]
Poland is something of a hotbed for progressive rock, it is therefore somewhat surprising when you hear an absolutely cracking album from a Polish band which sounds like it could have been conceived in a smoky studio in Seattle. The album was in fact recorded in Canada so maybe that country has provided a breath of fresh – if a tad Nickelback infused – air.
Arriving unannounced sans press release from what we can make out Chemia formed in Warsaw in 2010 and this is their second album. From the opener ‘Ego’ this is a rollercoaster ride of great songs, razor-sharp riffery, and some great vocals. Lukasz Drapala who joined the band in 2011 would certainly give Myles Kennedy a run for his Zloty.
The band are evidently influenced by classic rockers but their resulting sound owes much to the Alter Bridge/Bush/Audioslave school of post-grunge commercial rock. However, to my ears, they sound a whole lot fresher and slightly less calculated so don’t let those comparisons put you off.
There’s a great mix of heavy, commercial , but not too predictable tunes starting with the energetic ‘Ego’ and ‘Bondage Of Love’ (the two early singles) and including another likely single ‘Walked Away’. The mid-tempo ‘Everlasting Light’ provides a slightly funky respite whilst ‘Stalker’, ‘Hero’ (cue immediate memories of Chad Kroeger’s Spiderman track) and the bonus track ‘Letter’ show that the band can slow things down too. For a long time a bastion of emerging prog, Poland now offers up one of the most engaging and energising rock albums of 2013. *****
Review by David Randall
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