"Wonderful World” is a varied record, providing heavy Gothic passages complete with soaring female vocals and growls, mellow and life-affirming Progressive Rock, and even a touch of Gospel on a few songs. That’s just a small sampling of what these Poles have brought to the table. I have to say, it reminds me more than a bit of a similarly eclectic German band, TIMEMAGE, whom I reviewed a few months back but I can happily assure you, though “Wonderful World” falls into some of the same traps, it’s still better than “Nightmares.”
“Wonderful World” is DIFFERENT WORLD’s third self-released album, their first full-length. Since this album’s release in April of 2005, two members, vocalist Jadwiga Kucinska and keyboardist Daniel Serkowski, have left the band.
The band’s greatest strength, its variability, is also a serious challenge they’ve yet to overcome completely. For instance, how do you keep an audience who came for the Gothic parts of your releases interested in some painfully bright and saccharine places where life is beautiful and Gospel is the order of the day (see “I Believe”)? Further, it’s difficult to concentrate on writing good Prog songs when you’re also writing Symphonic material for “Here’s No Way Out.” There just isn’t a linking factor strong enough nor a uniform quality to the songs.
For instance, the title track is the most reminiscent of TIMEMAGE, laying down a vaguely Goth-Prog-Thrash piece that’s never quite as exciting as the three-genre description would seem to indicate. “Wonderful World” is so feel-good happy and hopeful that I can’t help but feel a little ill, quite a contrast to the INTERITUS DEI Gothic Metal vibe one gets from “So Close So Far Away.” The piano on “Indifferent” and “Necessary War” (why are they the same piano line?) makes me think of a retreating Big Band or Jazz group providing covering fire.
There are some groups that can pull this off. Just look at SIGH, who can go from 70’s-styled psychedelia to Black Metal to Country in the same song but manage to connect it all together. DIFFERENT WORLD’s songs may have internal coherence, but the album as a whole is disjointed and the songs can go on too long (see “Truth” and “So Close So Far”). I want to like this album more than I actually do, but I think I will be checking out their next release.
(Online January 24, 2007)