Polish hard rock band Kruk follow up their debut Before He'll Kill You with the exciting It Will Not Come Back, an enticing collection of Deep Purple/Rainbow/Uriah Heep/Whitesnake/Led Zeppelin influenced songs that is sure to spark interest in retro lovers worldwide. Though there are plenty of bands doing this sort of homage to the heavyweights of yesteryear, Kruk have the chops and dedication to really make it work, and the have delivered a really enjoyable slice of melodic hard rock here.
The band is made up of Piotr Brzychcy (guitar), Krzysztof Walczyk (hammond organ),
Tomasz Wiśniewski (vocals), Krzysztof Nowak (bass), and Darek Nawara (drums). Together, they form a tight unit and produce songs with expert musicianship, catchy hooks, crunchy riffs, and loads of melody. Guest star Doogie White (ex-Rainbow, Cornerstone, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tank) duets on vocals with Wiśniewski on the soaring Hammond drenched rocker "In Reverie", and Walczyk's Hammond & synths do battle with the powerful riffing from Brzychcy on the Purple/Heep influenced "Now When You Cry". Wiśniewski really is a fine vocalist, his style falling somewhere between Ian Gillan, Klaus Meine, John Lawton, Bob Catley, and Mark Boals. Tasty guitar licks and raging keyboards permeate the driving "Imagination", and the 8-minute barnburner "Embrace Your Silence" in another heavy rocker with plenty of crankin' guitar & Hammond riffs to get your fist pumping in the air. The funky "Every Night" will instantly remind you of Burn/Stormbringer/Come Taste the Band era Deep Purple, and prog rock fans will love the epic 12-minute title track, complete with lush acoustic guitars, dreamy vocals, and haunting Hammond. The Hammond is so powerful here it will take you back to the glory days of Ken Hensley & Jon Lord. As a bonus track, the band covers the Tina Turner hit "Simpy the Best", an odd choice but it works, with Wiśniewski turning in a stunning vocal performance.
The CD comes with a bonus live DVD, recorded in a small hall in Poland in front of an adoring crowd. The band is on fire here, playing a bunch of their original tunes as well as a few covers. At just over 90 minutes, it's a great bonus to have with this release. Brzychcy's Ritchie Blackmore influenced guitar playing is really in the spotlight here, especially on the Deep Purple covers "Child in Time", "Knocking at Your Back Door", and snippet of "Highway Star". Wait till you see Wiśniewski tearing down the house with his perfect Gillan impression on "Child in Time". Impressive.
All in all, It Will Not Come Back should be a mandatory purchase for fans of all the 70's hard rock legends mentioned above. Hammond organ enthusiasts will also just love what they will hear throughout the CD, but most importantly, Kruk knows how to write heavy hitting, memorable rock songs that make you want to go back for more. This is most certainly a band I will be following closely from this point on.
1. Now When You Cry
2. In Reverie
4. Embrace Your Silence
6. Here On Earth
7. Cold Wall
8. Every Night
9. It Will Not Come Back
10. Simply the Best