Band: Pawel Penksa
Band Website: http://pawelpenksa.blogspot.ca
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2013
I’m not sure what it is about Poland and the progressive rock genre but there sure seems to be an affinity for the genre there. Perhaps that’s true of other musical genres as well, but there is no denying that people there love their prog. I say that because I keep hearing from Polish artists…the latest being Pawel Penksa who also performs with Night Rider Symphony. Penksa is a keyboardist who also handles all the programming, which would include the drums but here he’s working with Kuba Szostak – (guitars) [Night Rider], Robert Kazanowski – (guitars) [Night Mistress] and Blazej Grygiel – (Voice on Pendemonium) [Batstab, Hellectricity]. Musically Penska’s style is one that will be familiar to fans of keyboardists such as Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman.
Pandemonium is a swift 30-minutes showcasing lots of interesting keyboard work and well-crafted compositions. Each of these five tunes displays multiple melody lines allowing for the instruments to shift from one melodic line to the other. And while the compositions are not overly long, four to seven-minutes there is a lot going on within each one. The balance between keyboards and guitars is really good but as you might expect it’s the keyboards that win out and get most of the lead lines here. Sometimes that’s a synth and sometimes it’s piano or even a combination of both like on the soft and pastoral “The Valley of Forgotten Dreams” [4:18]. The arrangements provide for many intense solo lines backed up with some grand symphonic flourishes as in “Runaway” [7:00] a tune that features the most musical contrast of the bunch. It’s also the longest.
I’m glad that Penksa found time from his other projects to createPandemonium. As a debut solo project there is much to recommend to fans of symphonic prog particularly if you enjoy the keyboard work of the masters of the genre. Penksa’s efforts will certainly be pleasing to your ears. I know I really enjoyed it. By all means check him out.