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State Urge: Confrontation

Album number two from Poland's State Urge is my first encounter and what an introduction it makes. Confident progressive themes which pull from the old school of Pink Floyd, the Neo surge of Arena and the Polish revival of Riverside makes for a rounded set of songs which remind of many, yet don't rely on any for a singular direction. Instead the moods and approaches veer left and right before surging forward, the cohesiveness both within each song and from track to track something to bask in. Vocally Marcin Cieslik is a tower of strength, able to bring the atmosphere of Fish, the subtlety of Mariusz Duda (Riverside) and the theatricality of Stuart Nicholson (Galahad), yet he doesn't actually sound like any of them. However his guitar work is a thing of beauty, a beast of ferocity and a tool of intricacy and when grafted to the keyboard prowess of Michal Tarkowski, the sparks really begin to fly.

Five shorter songs dart amongst lengthier compositions and yet these blasts offer as much colour and variance as their lengthier counterparts. The title track kicks into gear, an obvious nod to Riverside in evidence and yet this is a more ebullient smack of the up-tempo. "Revival" continues in a similar vein, keys and guitar sparking wildly as bass and drums pulsate and pound, before "Cold As A Lie" pulls the exuberance right back in, a claustrophobic melancholy somehow made to be inviting. "New Season" again offers hope, although in a decidedly considered manner, before hitting a confident stride which leads to a simply superb, extended guitar solo which is utterly captivating. Leaving "Before The Dawn" to tip its hat towards the dark atmosphere Marillion used to be able to create and marrying it to the uplifting bursts the current version of the band specialise in. Fantastic though these shorter excursions are, it's the longer tracks, which given time, become the obvious stand-outs; the church organ, swerving emotion and powered drums of "Midnight Madness" totally fixating the attention as the mood builds and drops, before becoming a threatening snarling swirl of melody. "Liquid Disease" heads in another direction altogether, keyboards creating a maddening dance where you're whisked off your feet at blistering pace, although things never feel out of control; the precision of the vocals enveloping you with a real sense of security even as the insanity ensues. "More", which closes the album, steals the show, State Urge employing all their influences to create a beautiful, stark piece which could easily grace a Gilmour led Floyd work, a Neo masterpiece, or, as it does, fit neatly into the Polish progressive scene which is currently providing so much of the best sounds the genre is serving up. State Urge on this evidence are right at the forefront of that movement and their Confrontation is an encounter to be taken head on and savoured for long after.

Track Listing
1. Confrontation
2. Revival
3. Liquid Disease
4. Cold as a Lie
5. Midnight Mistress
6. New Season
7. Before The Dawn
8. More

Added: May 25th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: State Urge online
Hits: 2224
Language: english

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