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Methexis - Topos CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.95 | 29 ratings

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Antonis Kalamoutsos
4 stars The lonely and difficult paths are the ones that lead to the most beautiful places.

Regular humans in their everyday lives try to keep the forces of chaos at bay, those forces that indicate randomness and the unpredictable and fragile nature of existence itself, remaining closely attached to the forces of order. Well, everyone is entitled to have an opinion of Art and mine is that art should function the other way around, forcing the creator to avoid Order and its linear conservatism and to pursue the fleeting, the chaotic and his/her creative momentum.

The thoughts above came to my mind after listening to Topos since I can't explain or describe differently the total twist of linearity attempted by Nikitas Kissonas and his creative vehicle Methexis. Their 2015 album Suiciety gained excellent reviews by being an ambitious concept that combined social sensitivities with 'normal' progressive rock, music with vocals and eclectic jazz, funk and rock influences. Nevertheless, instead of safely leaning on their achievement, they set sail with Topos to new and unexpected directions.

Topos (translated as'' place'') is consisted of two 20 minutes long instrumental tracks that cannot easily be described with popular music terms. ''Topos I'' kicks off with a traditional prog rock riff, with its odd time signature, off beat dynamics and everything but it is soon proved that it was just an intro. What follows is a 'cinematic' orgy of alternating sound horizons, an epic journey where Light and Dark fail to eliminate or to be eliminated but travel together, tightly held to one another. The sense of colour intensively comes to mind: this is a composition with very colourful and wide arrangements and instrumentation, demonstrating the fact that Kissonas gets the best out of his bandmates, T. Christodoulou (Drums), N. Nikolopoulos (Flutes), K. Kefalas (Trumpets) and P. Krabis (Piano). ''Topos II'' has the same conceptual roots but a feels a bit more dense as a composition, with more parts, a bit more complicated textures and obviously being more guitar oriented. Both tracks are as recitative and fragmentary as they should, though prog rock fans may prefer the fusion mood of ''Topos II'' a bit more. Kissonas offers the listener the option of listening the tracks in 'slices' (in 8 and 5 parts respectively), I wouldn't suggest this easy road to anyone though, a road in which big picture gets blurry and shimmering. I recommend the experience of the undivided, cohesive listening.

One needs to focus on two points of great significance, starting with the production. If Methexis had chosen a slightly more vintage and 'warm' sound, they would build a bridge with music released in the past by prog giants like ELP or King Crimson, thus they could sound a bit more likeable, at least to a specific audience. By choosing a wide and modern production instead, they construct an environment that equally relates to prog, contemporary classical and cinematic music.

But the best feature of all is a well-hidden detail. Almost any creator in Kissonas' place would rather guide the listener to the conceptual and thematic roots of the album, chewing up the 'whys' and 'becauses' of the described 'place' for him/her. On the contrary, in the credit notes he clearly states ' Imagine your own place', respecting in this way the primary and chaotic function of art, in which the creator should have no control over the creation when it reaches the senses of the receiver. Willingly or not, he lets Topos free for the listener to make it his own, with no guidance, no self-suggestions, no Order.

As I have written elsewhere, 'Methexis keep releasing one amazing album after the other under our unsuspicious noses'. Regardless of the final evaluation, Topos is an album that has to be checked out by everyone who believes that music has to be an adventure and something more that simple or refined fun. Methexis' greatest triumph though is not the release of a remarkable album but leaving us righteously eager to see what they will do next. We should welcome the chaos of art upon our well settled lives.

So follow, if you will, that lonely and hard path and discover for yourself if it will lead you into a beautiful place. Travel lightly.

Originally written for

Antonis Kalamoutsos | 4/5 |


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