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Ciccada - A Child in the Mirror CD (album) cover

A CHILD IN THE MIRROR

Ciccada

Eclectic Prog


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Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars What? No reviews for this one yet? A friend of mine told me about this greek band, praising their original stuff. He said it sounded like a mixture of Jethro Tull, Renaissance and Gentle Giant. This description looked odd to me, but upon hearing their debut album Child In The Mirror, I realize it is quite accurate. As strange as it seems this unusual chemistry works wonderfully. As one should expect, the influences are many, like symphonic prog, jazz, baroque and classical music and lots of different folk styles. I´d say that GG is their main heroes, but I also would point out Gryphon as another group that they must like a lot.

What struck me first was their fantastic sound: great flutes, terrific guitars (bothe acoustic and electric), nice 70´s sounding keys (inlcuding Hammond organ and mellotron), very well played bass and drums, but most of all, Evangelia Kozoni´s angelic vocals. She has a great voice and the band surely knows how to write songs that sound at the same time old and original. I mean, they do seem to be from a 70´s record, and yet they are fresh and excting, helped by the obvious, much better, modern production. Interesting enough there is some very good sax and clarinet that are not credit but I believe they were played by flutist Nicolas Nikolopoulos. There are no fillers anywhere, all the tracks are excellent. And sometimes, like in Epirus - A Mountain Song, they reach the divine.

Conclusion: a brilliant debut! I would like to give it a five star rating, but since it is only their first, I have to believe they can do better in future releases. thus, 4,5 stars is a more fitting rating for now. A very nice surprise from Greece and a must have for any prog music fan. I´m looking forward to hear what they have in storage for the next CD. Highly recommended!

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#293187)
Posted Monday, August 02, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
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Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars And now some tunes in Greece style. I'm always keen on finding national elements in music. When you have Prog music (style I'm interested in last few years) from let's say Israel, you can be sure that there will be some "own" elements, like Folklore. In US/UK music, it's mostly non- present, as it has diminished over the years (remaining only in Prog Folk).

A Child In The Mirror isn't Folk, yet there are some elements that I would say that draws influence from rich Greece history. And believe me, they have very interesting one.

Extremely melodic (mellow), pleasant (this kind of flute used helps here) with some heavier (darker) moments that counterweights calmness (like in Gryphon's Chess epic work, which this reminds me probably most). There's also a little bit of Karda Estra (at least their latest work). Woman vocals are fine, Evangelia Kozoni is doing great job (again, she reminds me someone, but I'm not sure who).

5(-), the album is what cover art suggest. Nice and optimistic thoughts involving.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#293281)
Posted Tuesday, August 03, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Excellent debut from Greece, in the albun Child in the Mirror", CICCADA presents a work influenced by bands as GRYPHON, GENTLE GIANT with some pinches of jazz (traditional), folk and symphonic prog music . A disk of easy audience, with excellent instrumental work and very capable musicians and to complete Evangelia Kozoni's very beautifull voice, if not possessed Annie Hasslan's and Mady Prior vocal potency... , gets to bring the heaviest passages of the music a lightness that turns more pleasant the audition. In my opinion strong candidate the best disk of 2010 in the style!!! My rate i 5 stars!!!

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Send comments to maryes (BETA) | Report this review (#293790)
Posted Sunday, August 08, 2010 | Review Permalink
avestin
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Unlike the Cicada insects whose music might sit comfortably in the avant-garde/noise camp, this Greek sextet called Ciccada makes pleasant melodic, folk-tinged progressive rock with heavy emphasis on keyboards and flute.

Ciccada came to be in 2005 as Nicolas Nikolopoulos (flute, keyboards) and Yorgos Mouchos (guitars) joined forces, soon joined in by vocalist Evangelia Kozoni (who also plays accordion and percussion), thus forming the core of the band. More musicians came and went as years went by and in this album they are joined in by bassist Omiros Komninos and contributions from session musicians.

The band's music lies in what many call "symphonic rock" (a term I'm not sure of its meaning, but if it helps you, then that's good). Their music is very pleasant and warm, even soothing and calm. The dominance of the flute and Evangelia's vocals (not an in-your-face type of presence, but in the sense of being at the forefront, leading and setting the tone) is the element that permeates throughout the entire album and creates its atmosphere and its charm.

While other reviewers and the press release cite Jethro Tull, Renaissance, Gentle Giant and the likes as influences, which is all well if you'd like to get an idea of what to expect, I'll chime in with two notions: One, I personally would place Ciccada in a "camp" along with Viima and their "symphonic folk prog rock" style. Two, instead of searching for labeling and sound-alike bands, I'll say this: Ciccada's music finds its inspiration and characteristics from symphonic prog, folk and to a lesser extent jazz. The result as I hear it, is a compelling, though not flawless, sound that doesn't appear as a senseless mélange as can be the case sometimes.

I appreciate very much their use of varied instruments to create a rich and spacey sound (acoustic and electric guitars, flute, clarinet, strings, French horn, trumpet, glockenspiel, piano, violoncello and of course bass and drums). Another aspect I like here is the balance between the mellow and the less delicate. There are moments of higher intensity (as much as it can get intense in this album) where more instruments chime in, or the electric guitar gets involved (such as in The Endless Sea) and elevate the energy, whereas there are more refined and serene moments where only a few instruments play (usually the flute) along with Evagelia's singing. But even as they become more powerful and noisy, it never gets over the top or abandons completely the peaceful roots of their sound (manifested in the accompaniment of the flute, piano and vocals as well as the pace of the music).

I must say I'm very happy to hear such a lovely album that is filled with beauty and tamed passion. Though I'd love to hear more daring and breaking out of the mold from this talented band, this is an album I enjoy listening to and one that has made me look out for their future release. Recommended!

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Send comments to avestin (BETA) | Report this review (#295769)
Posted Sunday, August 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very interesting music, lots of polyphony and weird time changes ( I'll agree with the Gentle Giant/ Tull influences). But instead of the sometimes irritating voice of (the later) Derek Shulman, we are treated to the pleasent voice of Evaneglia Kozoni, which doesnt stand out like "lead singer", but is a part of the whole ensemble. If there is ONE thing that bothered me with this disc, it seemed that sometimes when they were on the verge of some really melodic line, they suddenly switched gears and went into something else. I would have liked to hear more of their melodies develop, which could probably be magnificent instead of just REALLY good.

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Send comments to DieHi (BETA) | Report this review (#298326)
Posted Friday, September 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4,5 stars, a near masterpiece

"A Child In The Mirror" is Ciccada's debut and a real journey through time. Being heavily influenced by prog folk bands, such as Gryphon, Spirogyra and Jethro Tull, and others, mainly Gentle Giant, King Crimson and Renaissance (the band and the era), Ciccada managed to build their own musical style. As the album opens, it sounds like a 1972 album with a fantastic sound production and as it goes on various more current elements emerge (e.g. modern classical and jazz, and even some heavy riffing).

This album is one of the best prog debuts in the last years. It's great to hear mellotron, acoustic guitars and flute in a 2010 album, and have the impression of something new and fresh. The musical textures in all the songs are complicated and progressive in the most flattering sense for any prog rock band. The sounds of Ciccada flow like a stream, while their classically trained musicianship structures the frame of their lyrics, which balance between fairytales and the romantic positive aspect of Betty Thatcher's poems.

Recommended to all symphonic progressive and prog folk rock fans.

Favourite tracks: "A Storyteller's Dream", "Epirus - A Mountain Song", "Elisabeth".

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Send comments to DeKay (BETA) | Report this review (#300062)
Posted Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A strong and impressive debut effort from this Greek ensemble, taking the art of sophisticated folk inspired music into new and exciting territories at their best.

Their blend of medieval inspired folk wanderings blended with touches of jazz and symphonic progressive rock isn't a novelty in itself, but the manner in which these elements are blended together is something of a novelty. In particular in the cases where guitar riffs of a more metal oriented nature are utilized to good dramatic effect, but also when the organ, clarinet and various additional instruments for intriguing and richly layered soundscapes with ample room for subtle dissonances and disharmonies, with the occasional jazz-tinged motif sneaking in on these themes as well.

Always beautiful and often fresh, those who love sophisticated progressive folk rock should note down this production right away. In particular of they don't mind the occasional really adventurous and challenging touch to the proceedings.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#303921)
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Nice surprise - really strong debut of this Greek band! Even if music is something we know for years, it doesn't sound boring, or cloned too much to be criticized.

Very melodic, with strong folklore (mostly English, not Greek) influence, music is kind of contemporary symphonic prog. Without darkness, but with Mediterranean sunny soul, warm and light music really can attract wide range of listeners.

Female vocals are very competitive and pleasant, and all sound is more than well balanced. Musicianship is complex enough (in symphonic prog genre's traditions), but it is no way complexity because of complexity. Everything is combined under the sign of Harmony, and it not so often case in modern prog! In many moments songs remind best Renaissance work, just more modern, and with touch of warm Greek weather instead of cloudy rainy England.

It's really nice to realize there are new bands working in symphonic prog-folk with big potential and original point of view. Album, recommended for listeners searching for great modern releases of symphonic prog-folk, and neo-prog as well.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#305194)
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's been quite a struggle trying to hear and/or acquire a copy of this album or its music. But, the persistently high ratings and reviews lead me to persevere--and I am very glad I did. My first listen was appreciative ("a lot of JETHRO TULL riffs," I remember thinking), but I knew this child in the mirror was no simple kid, so I took my time, let it percolate, let the music get familiar, before trying to comment on it. I immediately knew we had a collection of very intricately constructed songs performed by very skilled "classical" chamber musicians. Repeated listens caught me thinking of WOBBLER, THIEVES KITCHEN, ALAN STIVELL, and even a little bit of NIL, GENTLE GIANT, THE CHIEFTANS, HAPPY THE MAN, GRYPHON, DIXIE DREGS and even some Southern or Country Rock. Such an odd yet intriguing mix, no? I only hope/wish that this album gets the listens and attention I believe it deserves.

My favorites:

"A Storyteller's Dream" (10/10) is a beautiful song--yet another (mostly) instrumental--with a very strong grounding in folk traditions--not unlike THE PENTANGLE or ALTAN. For me, probably the album's most emotive song. I love the organ solo with strumming acoustic guitars and mellotron mid-song which builds into quite a jam! 10/10 IMHO, stands shoulder-to-shoulder with any of the all-time great prog-intrumentals.

"A Garden of Delights" (9/10) has a very Greek JETHRO TULL beginning to it. The near-operatic vocals of Evangelia Kozoni change this--as does the very catchy chorus, giving the song much more of its own identity. Music and lyric/vocal together lead us on a journey quite like a classic Greek play--full of many twists and turns, trying to get us to see sense and joy against the backdrop of a very arduous life of pain and struggle. Quite a journey! Quite a powerful, convoluted song! A true example of what I'd call classic progressive rock.

"A Child in the Mirror" (9/10) is another instrumental, here mixing Renaissance instruments/styles with TULL's Thick as a Brick/Passion Play era sounds/styles (and riffs!), yet also contains some kind of indescribable YES-like quality to it. I absolutely love the acoustic guitars and recorders in this song.

"I Stigmi--The Moment" (9/10) is a very classy folk-jazz-classical chamber piece with keys, electric guitar, and woodwinds noodling around over a standard C&W bass & drums back beat. The guitar picking even seems to come right out of Nashville. I love the fact that Evangelia Kozoni's vocals are being sung in her native Greek.

"Epirus--A Mountain Song" (8/10) begins with piano, clarinet and voice setting an almost chamber music-like scene. They are later joined and embellished by acoustic guitars, drums, electric bass, and electric guitar in a kind of IONA-like slilghtly amped up rock version of a folk song. I like the male b-vox on this one. More of this in the future would be nice.

"Raindrops" (8/10) has a very pastoral, folk feel to it, with flute, acoustic guitar, bassoon, electric piano (?) and voice constantly weaving in and out of each other's melody lines.

"Isabella Sunset" (8/10) starts with piano and violin before drums, bass, flute and electric guitar join in--Baroque to rock in an instant! The vocal melody and lyric very much has the same feel as that of NIL or THIIEVES KITCHEN where the female singing is really just another instrument in the (very complicated) weave--here an beautifully trained operatic folk singer--often even mimicking the melody line of another instrument. A pretty song with, again, some very intricate songwriting construction. I hope the group continues to explore more multi-voice harmonic weaves as there are near the end of this one as I much prefer this kind of vocal weave to those barbershop quartet/Beach Boys-like ones of MOON SAFARI. Great outro.

"Elisabeth" (7/10) is another instrumental tune that begins like an acoustic folk song before turning classical chamber music--perhaps even Renaissance music. Surprisingly, it goes to heavy rock power chords near the two minute mark, then digresses back to its pastoral yet intricate and sophisticated acoustic weave. Back and forth several more times--which surprisingly works really well--kind of like AFTER CRYING or some YES and KING CRIMSON. Some nice segues and added instruments (cello, organ) spice it up and keep it from getting too repetitive, predictable or boring. Halfway through the back beat falls into a very standard Country and Western beat--which again works!

This is the only album from 2010 that I've given 5 stars. It is, IMHO, a masterpiece of progressive rock music.

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Send comments to BrufordFreak (BETA) | Report this review (#326302)
Posted Friday, November 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars The truth is that prog rock in greece is not that strong than it was in the early 70's with bands like Aphrodites Child, Akritas, Socrates. There was a great gap in the 80's and a small period in the '90s with a small progmetal scene.(Listen to the first Horizon's end alboum "sculpture on ice" for the best examble) Among the best effort by a greek prog band is this alboum by Ciccada. Their sound inspired by the classic bands of prog folk Jethro tull, Gryphon etc. but also classical oriented ones like Renaissance, Flairck. But the point is that they carefully combine theese influences with Gentle Giantish orchestration and harmonic and rythmic figures along with canterburish sounds and atmosphere!( Listen to the alboum titled song fo a GREAT examble) The sound is rich and powerfull with a trully big symphonic arranegment. The instruments participating here are , flute, recorders,mellotron, el.piano,ac.piano,accordion,clarinet,organ, trumpet, sax,violoncello,glockenspiel, french horn along female vocals from Evangelia Kozoni( singing in a Barbara Gaskin style) bass and drums/percussion. They compose their small epics so carrefully with great detail ranging from more "simple" acoustic tunes (Raindrops, The moment) to complicate ,rocking 'n progging epics (a Storryteller's Dream, Garden of delights) and powerfull instrumentals (Elisabeth). A great debut by a new band that can do great things in the future!!!

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Send comments to iliakis (BETA) | Report this review (#339220)
Posted Tuesday, November 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ciccada plays a symphonic-prog that is actually quite refreshing. In an era where there are so many cookie-cutter acts and bands that do nothing but hedge to their idols, it's nice to see someone out there trying new things. They incorporate many instruments into their sound, xylophone, clarinet, flute, and I'm sure some more that I was unable to pull from the music. The vocals are female, which gives the whole record a haunting beauty that pairs well with the alternative instruments quite well. They merge the classic style of progressive rock (King Crimson, Gentle Giant, etc) with a Jethro Tull-esq melody, and each song that is in English (there are a couple that are in Greek) are wonderful.

There seems to be a bit of an underlying theme here, but I'm not getting it. I am just enjoying the album jumping from symphonic-medieval rock into smash-your-face heavy metal, it's all inter-spliced very well and moves together very nicely. I wish there was something more to point out, a song or two that stands out from the pack or a particularly intricate section or melody, but the whole album is so superb that it's just not possible. I will say that "An Endless Sea" is their most metallic song, but even then woodwinds are incorporated so the simple beauty is never lost.

From the first song to the last, Ciccada's A Child In The Mirror by Ciccada is something special. Their collection of symphonic elements blend excellently with their progressive tendencies, all the way from simple rock to heavy metal. The concept of haunting beauty is never lost, it even never waivers. This is an album for most anyone, be you progressive fans or not. I have several female friends that are always trying to get into progressive rock and heavy metal, but have thus far not had an easy way to get a foothold on that mountain. I think Ciccada is that starting point, something that anyone could enjoy and use as a jumping off point, either into more prog or in taking a baby-step into the world of heavy metal. Seriously great, and if this is at the number three spot in the Prog Archives list for 2010, I can't wait to hear what the silver medalist, Haken, has to offer.

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Send comments to The Klepto (BETA) | Report this review (#381492)
Posted Monday, January 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars According to the liner notes this was a four piece band when this was recorded with lots of guests helping out. Lots of brass and woodwinds are prominant but also a variety of keyboards including mellotron.This to my ears is almost Prog-Folk if anything with female vocals that are mostly reserved and she really pronounces the words carefully it seems. A Classical vibe is present as well. I really didn't like this the first time I heard it surprisingly, but it has grown on me some but certainly not to the point where I want to listen to it again. Just not my style of music I suppose.

"Ciccada" opens with bass that is joined by flute then organ. Drums follow then guitar as it kicks in. Nice. It does settles back as contrasts continue. "Isabella Sunset" opens with violincello and piano as drums and a fuller sound follows.Vocals for the first time as it settles back. "A Child In The Mirror" features a laid back sound with reserved vocals.The tempo does pick up after 3 minutes with bass. I like the intricate guitar 4 minutes in. "A Storyteller's Dream" is acoustic guitar and flute led early. It picks up and gets fuller before a minute then settles back again.Some vocal melodies follow as bass and piano join in, organ too. I like the mellotron later on.

"Raindrops" is flute and keyboard led and the vocals come in before a minute. "An Endless Sea" has some heaviness that comes and goes but mellow sections as well with vocals, acoustic guitar and piano. "Epirus-A Mountain Song" has flute, mellotron, clarinet, vocals and piano standing out. I like the guitar after 4 minutes and the rest of the way. "Elisabeth" opens with acoustic guitar and flute. Drums join in as it gets fuller. It's heavier before 2 minutes but it's brief. Although it will come and go along with the pastoral passages. "The Moment" has lots of intricate sounds and I really like it 1 1/2 minutes in. "A Garden Of Delight" opens with violincello, guitar, drums, mellotron and other sounds that come and go.Vocals join in. Some nice bass 3 minutes in when it settles, organ too. Another calm 4 1/2 minutes in with mellotron then the vocals return.

So we get a blend of Classical and Folk delivered in a progressive manner. Obviously this album has been getting lots of praise here, I just wish I could jump on the bandwagon.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#381928)
Posted Monday, January 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars This album has a serene quality that sort of drifts by while I listen to it. Opening with an instrumental named after the band itself, it is immediately apparent that this group is composed of very talented individuals who did their homework concerning 70s prog101. With a Hammond organ providing the main melodies combined with busy flute soloing and electric guitar work, this piece combines Jethro Tull, Renaissance and Gentle Giant into this somewhat folksy stew with a generous helping of melodies.

With the flute used as a main instrument throughout the album, the Renaissance feel of this effort is already in effect, but it reaches a completely new level once Evangelia Kozoni adds her vocals to the mix, with a lilt and singing style that conjures images of the days when everyone rode horses and used arrows to kill people instead of guns. It almost sounds like a sort of "new age" prog with a bit of a Mediterranean vibe nestled into the mix. It's refreshing at first, and pretty interesting, but by around somewhere during the fourth track I was really looking for a break from all the Hammond organ and flute noodling. They sound pleasant enough for periods of time, but I never realized until listening to Ciccada for the first time how annoying those instruments can become if played continually and excessively. Sheesh. An Endless Sea was a breath of fresh air with its sweet piano melodies and a surprising bit of "rockin' out" by the guitars, and I hope they pursue this path just a little bit more, even if it's not as distinctive as their general sound through most of this creation.

This is not an album I can play from beginning to end without needing a serious pause...maybe it's just something I'm not used to. The playing prowess is excellent, the melodies are diverse and quite complex at times, the singing is very pleasing to the ears, and there was plenty of thought put into these compositions and lyrics; nothing felt like a rush job. Still, all those busy flute & Hammond organ passages can be a chore for me to deal with; I suppose nothing a good mug of fine mead wouldn't cure.

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Send comments to Prog Sothoth (BETA) | Report this review (#439675)
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars In my eternal quest to discover new music, now and then, though unfortunately not as often as I would like, a new band or one I simply haven't discovered yet will come along with something rather special. One such band is Ciccada who released their debut album, A Child In The Mirror in 2010. The band come from Greece, a country that unless I've missed a load of stuff which I doubt is not particularly prolific in prog circles and this turns out to be the first album I've bought from a band from that country. Yes, not even an Aphrodite's child Cd in my collection!

Listening to A Child In The Mirror, I'm struck that there's nothing particularly original here, yet it still comes across like a breath of fresh air. Ciccada draw on many musical styles with folk being high on the list, but there's also jazz, classical touches and some symphonic prog too. This is all played by highly skilled musicians in complex arrangements that for the large part is played with a lightness of touch that is rare, even in prog. To cap it all off there's the lovely and pure vocal delivery of Evangelia Kozoni, who sings partly in her native tongue and partly in English.

For the large part the music just seems to float along all light and airy with lots of acoustic instrumentation - flute, recorder, acoustic guitar and piano sit alongside the more traditional (in rock) electric instruments, which never overpower the acoustic, despite the occasional more bombastic moment which works the better for being saved for special moments such as their namesake track or Elizabeth and even here the light and shade elements still play an important role. Due to the complexity of the music it takes a few listens for the beautiful and subtle melodies to shine through but the rewards are worth the perseverance as A Child In The Mirror proves to be a highly enjoyable and multi-faceted album.

Unfortunately I only bought this Cd a few months ago. Had I acquired a copy last year I'm sure it would have had a place in my top 10 of 2010. Well worth seeking out in my humble opinion.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#447510)
Posted Friday, May 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars A new band from Hellas with a very impressive following here in ProgArchives already. Is Ciccada the saviour of Greece ?

They could be that. Their music is very dense and cleverly put together. There is a lot of mellotron, moog and piano in their sound in addition to a thundering bass/drums constellation. Add guitars and flute too and you get this sound. That and Evangelia Kozoni's superb vocals. She sounds like Kari Rueslaatten though and I get the feeling that Ciccada is what Third And The Mortal could had been if they had gone prog instead of electronica. OK, just a personal reflection......

Ciccada's music is based on folk music with expansions into the eclectic prog landscape. But folk rock is mostly what we get here. Their place in the eclectic prog genre is justified though by the eclectic build up of their songs.

This is a very good album which should had been a great album with the addition of one or two killer tracks which would had elevated this album to a great album. It is not, but it is close enough to explain their popularity. There is no doubts Ciccada is onto something here and I have high hopes for their second album.

3.5 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#472821)
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars 'A Child in the Mirror' was one of my Top-10 album picks for 2010, thanks mostly to its wonderful and liberal use of mellotron, woodwinds and keyboards that managed to explore the range of the music without being overpowering or 'trendy'. This is a beautiful album with the sort of imaginative arrangements that pay tribute to the masters of old while at the same time making its own contribution to the current progressive rock scene.

Greek progressive rock of the 21st century tends to remind me a bit of RPI in terms of the omnipresent trait of layered instrumental sounds that expand rather than simply reiterating the rhythm and musical theme of a given song. Flutes and recorders make their own way through a composition while at the same time the piano, organ and other keyboards traverse ever-shifting scales and tempo shifts, setting an overall mystic mood to most of the music. Finally the guitar, bass and percussion ground the whole thing in a decidedly rock vein, but something that seems far removed from the traditional blues, jazz or folk influences that characterize most rock music. The whole thing is simply enchanting, cosmopolitan and culturally amorphous, yet the band manages to make it all sound so simple and casual. There are similarities to another Greek band, Will-o-the Wisp that I find appealing here, especially the fantasy-tinged mood and soothing female vocals that make every song seem like a small suite even though most of them (excepting "A Garden of Delight") are not much longer than a typical FM radio tune.

I guess there's a story here, or at least the song titles suggest as much. Almost all the lyrics are in Greek though so unless you happen to speak it or have a good interpreter the message is left to the imagination, but the album cover, mood and titles give pretty good insight into the general theme.

Other than the title track most of the music fits the description above. That one song has a couple of short instrumental passages and one vocal track that seem to be in a smooth jazz bent, not overpowering but distinctive enough from the rest of the album as to stand out. The brass is synthesized I believe, while the piano and organ blend to make this sound like a sort of folksy ballad. There is a sadness to Ms. Kozoni's vocals that melds with the opening of the next track "A Storyteller's Dream" and its weeping acoustic guitar with wispy flute that give way to an energetic rock rhythm of guitar, bass and drums although the song never lets go of the woodwinds and even adds mellotron and organ to great effect for an overall passage of music that seems to go on forever. The closing flute and wordless vocals feel like a bridge, a shift in the musical theme that carries on through "Raindrops" before turning darker with the mellotron strings and heavy beat of "An Endless Sea" and "Epirus - A Mountain Song". "Elisabeth" gets even funkier although the bits of flute and acoustic lulls keep the percussion and guitar from overpowering the delicate mood. The listener gets the sense that there is a climax of some sort coming, so despite the laconic mood there is a feeling of anticipation and tension that heightens each song as they build on each other.

Finally "A Garden of Delights" pulls all the various instruments and sounds together along with a solidly grounded guitar and organ base, stilted sharp piano and the few English vocals on the album. This is the summation, the point to the story and the keyboards and guitar strings definitively mark the buildup to the end. In the end though the music fades rather than explodes, yet another demonstration of the unique character of modern Greek music as this waning is both unexpected and immensely appealing. A great ending to an exquisite album.

I know almost nothing about this band and have purposely avoided trying to find out too much. Like their countrymen Will-o-the Wisp the band are all consummate musicians and collaborate very well together. Their music is unique in that it is clearly in the progressive mold but doesn't sound like any prog rock created outside of Greece. For those reasons I highly recommend this album to any prog rock fan, and don't have any problem rating it as a high four out of five star effort. You really should have 'A Child in the Mirror' in your collection.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#586794)
Posted Sunday, December 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars A Greek Canterbury? It is hard to say. I felt obvious Canterbury atmosphere while listening to this album, although it contains lots of other elements, from British folk to Scandinavian melancholy. This is definitely one of the best albums in recent progressive rock production, not only because of some extraordinary contributions of the members and guests (especially Evangelia Kozoni who sings both Greek and English), but also because of the fact the songs have their identity, their artistic particularity and depth of expression. When you unexpectedly recognize that uniqueness buried with hundreds of modern progressive rock albums, hardly avoiding being a clone of the fundamental progressive rock achievements of the seventies, then it is the sign you are dealing with the group that has definitely something to offer. Especially recommended for those who like Gilgamesh, White Willow, Syrinx and similar stuff.

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Send comments to Bilkaim (BETA) | Report this review (#603483)
Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Ciccada from Greece offers a very entertaing album and pleasent most of the time. A child in the mirror is the name of the album released in 2010 and is for many listners a very good one, ok with that , the minus of the album at least for me is the voice of Evangelia Kozoni, who fits perfectly is this prog folk atmosphre, but to my ears his tone and his vocal manuvres are to swell or cool for my taste. Anyway the instrumental arrangements are more then ok with some fantastic parts like the opeing track or another highlight being A Storyteller's Dream. Well performed folk prog with caterbury and eclectic passages here and there, some Gentle Giant parts meets Gryphon, not band at all in the end but I can't express my total delight for this album overall. A good debute for these greeks who presented an enjoyble album but to me at least is nothing really impressive. 3 stars for A child in the mirror.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#653584)
Posted Sunday, March 11, 2012 | Review Permalink

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