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Until Rain - Anthem To Creation CD (album) cover

ANTHEM TO CREATION

Until Rain

 

Progressive Metal

3.97 | 55 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aldebaran_Well
4 stars This is a 3.5 review for me but definitely a 4 star for every dedicated progressive metal fan.

Until Rain hails from Thessaloniki city, which is the second greek city in population but holds the first place for decades now in giving birth to good metal/rock bands. Formed in 2004, this is the band's second album after 2009's ''The reign of dreams'' but it was the ''Pandemic'' ep, released in 2012, which mostly set the ground for this one. ''Anthem to Creation'' is the first U.R release that really meets high quality standards and places the band amongst the hottest new names of today's prog metal.

The band's style is basically modern sounding power metal that uses many technical progressive elements to add depth and richness at their compositions. Recorded by Jens Bogren at Sweden's Fascination Street studios, the American-style, in your face production firstly brings forth the massive, bigger than life guitar work of Theodore Amaxopoulos, who is an excellent shredder. It's very interesting that his riffs seem to be influenced by three different metal generations: there are many classic 80's Metallica-like riffs, 90's prog riffs in the veins of Dream Theater/Conception/Symphony X and some thrashier, more aggressive parts, in the path that bands like Nevermore firstly tread. Yannis Papadopoulos' vocals are crystal and powerful, reminding me very much of Conception's Roy Khan at several moments, while the rhythm section is very technical, precise and always pounding. To my ears, Lefteris Germenlis plays a very important role at their sound, providing the extra pinch of salt that spices things up a bit. His inspirational symphonic keyboard contribution is mainly responsible for the progressive side of U.R.

The first songs of the album are very dynamic, giving the impression that it's all about power metal. The progressive ideas unravel slowly in the record's second half. There are three 10 minute long songs (''Empty Helmet'' deeply influenced by ''Disposable heroes'', the 2 parts of ''The clang of shields'' and ''Marionettes'') and the 18 minute long album title track, showing that the band flirts with epic, grandiose compositions, lyrically and musically, aiming to a more cinematic result . Obviously, the songs have been worked to the last detail, they are wonderfully performed and arranged but, still, at times I felt that the band has not yet clearly decided which is the path to follow, if there is only one. For best songs I would choose: the opening ''Brain death'', which is a great fists-in-the-air, sing-along kind of dynamite, the very melodic and commercial ''My own blood'' (featuring an amazing bass line at the verse which I really enjoy) and the pure prog moments of the album, the beautiful ''The clang of shields part II'' and the haunting tune of ''Marionettes'' which ends the album in a very sophisticated way.

I have to mention some cons, too. I really believe that there should be room for wider range of dynamics and maybe some improvisation. The songs are perfectly structured but nothing sounds spontaneous and I'd love to feel them breathe deeper. For me, Until Rain proved that they can compete at the highest level. In the next album, I'll wait to see them build a more personal and specific sound.

''Anthem to creation'' is probably one of the 4-5 best 2013 releases of its genre. Its 78 minutes will present you to a new, passionate band that obviously works very hard to build a good name. It will be very interesting to see how they will evolve in the future. My hope and wish is that they won't follow the safe path to success but that difficult one, that of genuine artistic creativity. In the meantime, ''Anthem to creation'' awaits to be discovered and enjoyed!

Aldebaran_Well | 4/5 |

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