On through the edges of the mind, the seas of imagination, unending possibilities waiting to […]
November 12, 2013
Exlibris - Humagination album cover

On through the edges of the mind, the seas of imagination, unending possibilities waiting to be fulfilled, sequencing the subconscious to work overtime in order to experience occasions in a different light, like looking on your true self from the outside. Maybe there is a reason why man's subconscious is most of the time blocked from view, who knew if it would have been for good or utter chaotic encounter. Surfacing another path between melodic Heavy Metal dosed by Hard Rock with traces of Euro Power Metal fixated on splinters of progression, there is an additional player that captured my attention, actually this band EXLIBRIS from Poland. Easily I am able to call these guys the Polish MASTERPLAN (Jorn Lande era), however, there are also several indications of IRON MAIDEN, ROYAL HUNT, BALANCE OF POWER, PERSUADER, POWER QUEST, SECRET SPHERE, EDEN'S CURSE and VISION DIVINE. "Humagination", via Metal Mind Productions, was just released, ascribing to the band's melodic guitars' admiration, heavily active keyboards in good taste and constructive arrangements while not deserting Metal's riffery crispiness and a profound harmonic vocal showcase with a commanding authority.

Listening to this album for several time felt as if time has no meaning, it just halted from moving forward. I was drowned in a sea of riffs, battered by a storm of melodies cradled by masterful atmospheric keyboards that also kicked a few soloing efforts just in the right timing phases along with being mesmerized by the diverse songwriting, multifaceted arrangements and orchestral engagements. Though conjuring some tremendous ideas, EXLIBRIS set themselves in a path that is rather common to this crossbreed between Heavy / Power Metal to Hard Rock. On the other hand, it all depends on the delivering, handling and of course the quality. Gladly, these guys proved that they have what it takes to dish a melodic Metal release, sliding through smooth lines of flow and musical elegance.

The "Another Day" song blazes into the air with an enchanting contemporary Symphonic type Hard N' Heavy, showcasing a crispy harmonic riffs and powerful vocal display featuring bits of choirs. Possibly one of the best orchestration efforts I have heard in a while, following an impressive exchange of solos between the lead guitar and keyboards that is simply maniacal. "The Arrival" assumes the position as a passionate intermission within a sea of fast paced and heavier Metal. Though the last thing that I think is proper is electronic additions, I saw nothing more suitable to the arrangements done on this song. Practically, this is an astounding balladry where the frontline vocals were breathtaking. "Follow The Light", could have been a MASTERPLAN / PLACE VENDOME tune with Jorn Lande at the helm, melodic Heavy Metal with joined with wonderful symphonic enhancements with tips of catchy Hard Rock. Not fierce for an opener, yet a good song nonetheless, just wait till you hear the lead guitaring. "Left Behind" is a driving force, bombastic, highly memorable with quite a diverse rhythm section that appeared quite tight. Once again the entire lead section, vocals and guitars, were phenomenal.

EXLIBRIS is a band that should endorsed into your Metal album collection. This five piece crew has established itself a significant posture to become one of the leading in melodic Metal. "Humagination", on its mysterious theme, is smooth, somewhat complex and heavy at times yet it euphonious direction, in conjunction with the quality classical characteristics, made it comforting and easy to listen. Highly recommended.

8 / 10


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"Humagination" Track-listing:

1. Follow The Light
2. Hellphoria
3. Astral Geometry
4. Of Fire And Thunder
5. Elemental
6. Left Behind
7. Dreamcraft
8. Another Day
9. Illumina
10. The Arrival
11. All Guts, No Glory
12. The Curtain Falls

Exlibris Lineup:

Krzysztof Sokołowski - Lead Vocals
Daniel "Dani" Lechmański - Rhythm / Lead Guitars, Lead / Backing Vocals
Piotr "Voltan" Sikora - Keyboards / Orchestration / Backing Vocals
Piotr "Toper" Torbicz - Bass
Misiek Ślusarski - Drums

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