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Dionysis Savvopoulos - Ballos CD (album) cover

BALLOS

Dionysis Savvopoulos

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.53 | 5 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars A unique listening experience

The early 70's finds Greece in a turmoil caused by the military junta and a number of artists try to find a way to express their feelings. Savvopoulos is one of them and with his third full album he delivers what is possibly his best effort to date, dominated by the brilliance of the title track, a revolutionary atmosphere and hidden messages behind well-worked lyrics.

''Ballos'' (cf. dance of the Aegean islands) takes up half of the album and is arguably Savvopoulos' best composition. Through an orgasm of Macedonian bagpipes, trombone and oboe sounds, the rhythm section reaches a delirium of odd-time signatures and fusion percussion, taking the listener back to traditions of Northern Greece and the Balkans. Combined with the sophisticated Greek lyrics and through a series of sub-sections, you find yourself experiencing an ancient Greek comedy and drama combined, going back thousands of years... The "Choros" is just around the corner waiting to enter the main stage as the drums are pumping, as influences from Zappa and Beefheart merge with this weird symphonic orchestra...

Although the remainder of the album does not reach the heights of the title track, RIO fans will appreciate the Captain Beefheart references especially on ''Killeler'', while the odd trip continues with the mixing of the ironic cabaret-like music, folk (a very interesting cover of Dylan's ''All Along the Watchtower'') and symphonic prog rock arrangements (the closing two tracks). Ranging from light-hearted to dark and mysterious, almost medieval, moods, ''Ballos'' keeps the listener on his toes. Greek lyrics can be an obstacle to appreciating this album, but if you are looking for something different from the norm, this album should be your starting point in a journey to Balkan/RIO prog!

aapatsos | 4/5 |

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