Promena (independent, 2012)
Promena (Transformation) is the new album by Czech progressive rock band Jeseter (which translates as sturgeon). It is a fine album with notable guitar, keyboard and vocal work sung in Czech. The centerpiece of the album is the 20-minute title track Promena. Guitarist Jan Gajdica uses a small arsenal of guitars, sometimes overdubbed, with plenty of creative melodies. The most interesting vocal moment is when David Tobiasz combines regular vocals with whispered voices. It creates a mesmerizing effect. On the keyboard side, Robert Hejduk treats the listener to tasty piano and synthesizer solos. The piece ends with an epic conclusion in classic progressive rock tradition.
The music slows down quite a bit on track 2 with a foundation of acoustic guitar and vocals. Another highlight of the album is track 3, ‘V baru Tam na predmestí’. The bass leaves its comfort zone and takes a leading role for a few moments with noteworthy lines. The band also makes use of captivating dreamy guitars and piano.
Promena includes two bonus tracks. Number 4 has more of a pop feel. The dramatic violin of Daniel Tlolca is outstanding and plays a leading role in this piece. More violin would enhance the band’s sound even more.
The final piece is a straight ahead rocker of little interest in a progressive rock contest.
Jeseter was founded in 2005 by progressive rock enthusiasts who played covers of classics such as Yes’ “Close to the Edge.” Guitarist Jan Gajdica, also known as “PJG” wrote some original songs so the band decided to play its own music. In the summer of 2007, Jeseter released its first album, titled “Slavnost pro jednoho” (Ceremony for the one) which featured seven original songs.
The current line-up features Jan Gajdica on electric, acoustic and pedal-steel guitar, vocals; David Tobiasz on lead vocals; Robert Hejduk on keyboards, vocals; Martin Šimícek on bass; and Lukáš Krejcí on drums. Lukáš replaced original drummer Viktor Doricák in 2009.
“Why are we singing in Czech? Why not?” says the band “Progressive rock is not a global product, so it should retain an element of originality and regionalism. Our lyrics are all about finding oneself, relationships and transformation through time. Another theme is the poetry of the city, the moods, colors and smells of the streets, crossroads, embankments and also the pubs and people who live here who are interesting to us.”
Jeseter is currently working on a rock opera titled “Siddharta” based on a book by Hermann Hesse. The group plans to carry out this project with a greater number of instruments than it normally uses.
Buy the album at http://www.jeseter.com/en/shop/