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Kruk - 'Be4ore' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/8e/26/8b/Kruk-Be4ore-65-1420918872.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 10, 2015    
 
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An album that you certainly should include in your record collection.

Hard Rockers Kruk have come a long way since their covers album 'Memories' which they recorded with the legendary homeland Heavy Metal singer Grzegorz Kupczyk (ex-Turbo, CETI) back in 2006. Now eight years and three albums later, they have returned with 'Be4ore', an album that is their fourth authorial release and the fifth in their overall catalogue. It is also perhaps their best, too, as the band have clearly progressed from bringing back the best of 1970s Rock to transforming 1970s Rock into the 21st century – with a tremendous net effect.

The album's opener, the epic nine minute guitar laden suite that is 'My Sinners', assaults immediately with a Led Zeppelin-esque riff and rough vocals. There's clearly a Progressive vibe to it which is followed by the purebred Rocker 'Last Second'. 'Once' is slow and lumbering, with a monumental Hammond interlude and – similarly to its predecessors – a sublime guitar solo. Even more six string wizardry, provided by the band's lead guitarist Piotr Brzychcy, features in a mid-tempo 'Wings Of Dreams' and its Blues-infused follow-up 'Grey Leaf'. Emotionally laden up-tempo 'My Morning Star' precedes 'Farewell' which – with its deeply moving lyrical theme against its melancholic, ballad-esque charm – is perhaps the highlight of the entire release. 'Open Road' again gravitates towards a rough and raw 1970s Hard Rock sound, culminating in blistering guitar solo. 'Timeline' is another highlight of the album – a charming acoustic/electric instrumental piece that is a showcase of both technical prowess and richness of emotions; music becoming the sole vehicle of expression. The two bonus tracks, 'Moja Dusza' and 'Szary Lisc', are the versions of 'Farewell' and 'Grey Leaf' sung in the band's native language – a linguistic curio for non-Polish speakers.

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'Be4ore' comes in a package with a bonus DVD – featuring, amongst other things, footage of Kruk live in concert. The material was recorded in February 2014 in Spodek Hall in Katowice, Poland (in support of Deep Purple and finishing with the standing ovation of the primarily Purple-oriented audience) presents an interesting cross-section of the band's overall output. Chances are it will encourage more than a few viewers to check out the band's gigs themselves – and that's not all. Other additional material also includes some impressive acoustic improvisations/studio footage by Brzychcy and behind-the-scenes interviews with the band members. A treat for the band's fans, of course, but also a well-crafted introduction to what Kruk is all about.

The fourth authorial album by Kruk finds the band at the peak of their abilities and gravitating towards musical maturity. Many reviewers have already pointed out that Kruk's guitarist Brzychcy's instrumental and song-writing talents remaining the band's main driving force, and the magnitude of tasteful licks and blistering solo parts on 'Be4ore' certainly prove their point. However, the addition of Roman Kantoch to the line-up appears to be a smart move, too, as his Glenn Hughes-infused, emotionally laden vocal performance is convincing. This combined with a fine compromise between the 1970s-infused, Purple-esque Hard Rock tradition and the band's fresh look over the old patterns, gives us an album that you certainly should include in your record collection. And, as 'Be4ore' brilliantly proves, you don't have to worry about the mighty Ritchie Blackmore retiring, since his younger and equally talented disciples are here to stay and carry on.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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