The Broken Bridges is another new Polish band, founded in 2014 and signed by their countrymen from the prolific label Lynx. After multiple line-up changes the current members are Marek Habryn (vocals and guitar), Grzegorz Grzanka (keyboard and accordion), Łukasz Dryl (bass guitar) and Sławomir Kaligowski (drums). The material on this debut album entitled Endless Road from 2019 was recorded between 2017 and 2019.
This album starts with the instrumental The Gate featuring melancholically soaring strings. Then Looking For My Hiding Place, a dynamic Neo-prog inspired track with moving guitar (in the tradition of Gilmour, Latimer and Rothery) and Mark Kelly-like synthesizer flights. Next a surprising blend between rock, Neo-prog and a swinging beat, embellished with pleasant work on guitar and keyboards in Tune In!. Then the ballad You Have No Right with tender vocals and again wonderful guitar play, in the end the atmosphere turns into bombastic. After these first four compositions I notice that The Broken Bridges deliver nice and varied Neo-prog oriented music, no more or less, and the English vocals are OK but at some moments the accent is a bit obvious.
But during the following song I've Found My Hiding Place the music starts to generate a lot more excitement: an intro with the sound of the sea and twanging guitar, then soaring strings and melancholic vocals join, the climates shifts between dreamy, a slow rhythm and bombastic, halfway a sensational bombastic eruption with exciting propulsive guitar riffs and Minimoog sounding synthesizer solo plus wonderful strings, wow, and finally a howling guitar solo with heavy runs (Rush comes to my mind). The Broken Bridges seems to have found its formula, now with the alternating and dynamic track Endless Road, between dreamy and bombastic, from mellow piano and vocals to a sumptuous Hammond organ sound, fiery guitar and emotional vocals. In the next song The Voice the Neo-prog hints are obvious (Marillion-like synthesizers and guitar) but the band succeeds to keep my attention for every second, what a spectacular and compelling composition!
In the final epic track Get Ready For Your Fight (close to 12 minutes) this promising Polish formation rises to the occasion. In the first part lots of shifting moods, the atmosphere is melodic and harmonic, very accessible but also very tastefully arranged, and with warm vocals. Halfway the music turns into bombastic in a slow rhythm, featuring strong rock guitar work and sensational synthesizer flights, what an exciting part. Now the music gradually changes into a prog metal sound, but suddenly the band surprises with a cheerful rumba rhythm, coloured with accordion and flamenco guitar, this sounds like a fascinating musical encounter between Argentine tango, Spanish flamenco and European rock, wow! Next an explosion of rock guitar and propulsive drums, followed by a slow rhythm and melancholic vocals, topped with soaring strings. Finally, another howling guitar solo, evoking Rothery and Latimer but heavier. For me the guitar player is the bands asset on this album, and really shines here.
On this debut CD The Broken Bridges strongly incorporates elements of Neo-prog but with a healthy variety and lots of surprising ideas. Recommended.
***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Dave Smith)
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