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Persona Grata - Reaching Places High Above CD (album) cover

REACHING PLACES HIGH ABOVE

Persona Grata

 

Progressive Metal

4.25 | 31 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars Persona Grata are from Bratislava, Slovakia, not an area really known as a hotbed of progressive rock bands, but perhaps it is all about quality as opposed to quantity, because take it from me this is a debut album that is just going to blow you away. Back in 1999 keyboardist Adam Kuruc and lead guitarist Martin Huba started working together, and in time this band came together, heavily influenced by Yes, Dream Theater, Muse, and others. This is complex prog metal with a focus on melody and allowing all of the musicians plenty of room to shine and be heard. The full line-up is Martin Stavrovskỳ (vocals, guitar), 
Jana VargovŠ (flute, vocals), Martin Huba (lead guitar), Adam Kuruc (keyboards), 
Timo Strie? (bass) and JŠn ?teňo (drums ? who says that he is personally heavily influenced by Mike Portnoy, and it shows).

What makes this band so interesting is the way that they move and thrust in so many different musical directions and time signatures, and whatever they are doing makes complete musical sense as does the transition from one section to another which often is quite diverse from what has been going on before. In many ways this is quite a tiring album to listen to, as it is amazingly intense and demands a lot from the listener just because it has to be listened to, as it downright refuses to be accepted as background music. Here is a band that are going to hammer it into your ears and face until you accept that they are the masters and that you will listen all the way through to the end.

For me the over-riding questions have to be such as "why aren't these guys signed to a major label?" or "I wonder if they will ever come to NZ for a gig?". While the latter is unlikely in the extreme, I am convinced that the former must be close at hand. These guys reached out to reviewers and asked if we wanted to hear the album, have provided press kits and have a professional website yet are doing this all on their own. It certainly isn't what one expects from a band with a self-released debut.

Powerful, intense, compelling, complex, brash and full of confidence, this is a band to be reckoned with. On wonders how they are going to follow this up, especially as both Adam and Martin have left the band since the album was recorded, but replacements are already on board and the guys are convinced that they are ready to take it to the next level. Based on this, I believe them. Superb. For more details visit www.personagrata.sk

kev rowland | 5/5 |

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