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AKRITAS

Eclectic Prog • Greece


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Akritas biography
Few music and musicians from Greece have propulsated progressive rock greatly and with resonance, not to mention originally (and none so extensively). Along with the monumental APHRODITE'S CHILD (with whose conceptual merge they're actually far from identifying) and with AXIS or SOCRATES (with whom they match better), AKRITAS is strongly recommended for its lasting vintage sound up to an exciting mix of impressions. Definitely hidden from the amateur eye (also, given the music, against it) and exceptionally regarded, although exactly inside the level and the story of Greek passionate prog, the band made a tasteful effort.

AKRITAS formed in the late moments of 1972, being made of vocalist, guitarist and bassist Stavros Logaridis, former member of POLL, drummer Giorgos Tsoupakis and keyboardist Aris Tasoulis, former member of BOURBOULIA. Their praised effort came later in 1973, crediting a collaboration with guitarist Dimos Papachristou, and also benefiting of greek magic lyrics from Kostas Ferris. After that, the magic vanished.

The impressions that do exist, regarding influences and prog touches, can be mixed, going still on a refined blend of swirling progressive, psychedelic (or psycho-space), symphonic rock archetipes (with sufficient melodic moments, of a mediterranean breeze), Canterbury, jazz-rock improvisations and several other intimately approached nuances - to which we can still add the traditional and the conceptual opening towards, simply put, riveting rock. Except the already mentioned relations with the greek prog minds of the period, the influences also stretch towards ELP (the rythms are said to meat the expectations of none other than Carl PALMER), AMON DUUL II, light OSSANA, SPRING, ARCADIUM, or, more peculiarly, GENTLE GIANT, FRANK ZAPPA, DR. Z, GRACIOUS. There's an uncomparable Italian symph fluency to be considered, more closely in the lines of BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO.

Akritas is not only a full portrait of the band's passion, creativity and standards, but also gains itself the price of admission towards a sort of prog rock killer mood (with demanding bits, here and there). Drawn as a concept of particular obscurity and experimentality, judging the multi-instrumental complexity, it saves some space though for the vocal originality and emotiveness. Mixing the sound of psych-(s)paced guitar play, baroque organs, pianistic tunes, driving drumming, art vocalizing and sound high effect, the material can be an u...
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Akritas (Remastered)Akritas (Remastered)
WALHALLA
Audio CD$15.50
akritas LPakritas LP
ANAZITISI
Vinyl$70.00 (used)
Akpitae [Originial, Not a Reissue]Akpitae [Originial, Not a Reissue]
Intersong Hellas
Vinyl$599.99 (used)
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3.71 | 39 ratings
Akritas
1973

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AKRITAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Akritas by AKRITAS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.71 | 39 ratings

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Akritas
Akritas Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is without a doubt one of the best recordings to come out of Greece. Released in 1973 this album seems to have far more in common with some of those Italian greats from the same time period than anyone else.This is different but very interesting. Just over 33 minutes in length this album has a psychedelic flavour at times but there's lots of complexity as well. AKRITAS were a trio of drums, bass and keyboards although the bass player also plays acoustic guitar. A guest lead guitarist was added for this album and it's so cool to hear the two guitarists playing together.The album cover is stunning ! By the way the man who wrote the lyrics here also did them for APHRODITES CHILD's "666" record.

"Invader" opens with drums and synths that pulsate then the guitar comes in lighting it up after a minute. A calm with vocals and piano follows then it kicks back in to end it. Great track. "Genesis" opens with a pastoral sound as a beat with reserved vocals join in.This changes before a minute as the vocalist cries out.This is a moving section full of passion. "The Family" reminds me of POPOL VUH the way the lead guitarist plays while the acoustic guitar is strummed. Drums arrive around 1 1/2 minutes. "Memory" is an organ only tune that gets quite powerful at times. "Return" opens with organ as the drums join in and it builds. Piano a minute in replaces the organ. Guitar follows.

"Love" opens with light keys and drums. Mellow stuff. Bass follows then it kicks in 1 1/2 minutes in. Piano over top.The tempo picks up before 3 minutes.Spacey synths late. "Ego" is mainly piano melodies and reserved vocals. "Song" has these gorgeous sounding piano melodies then the drums join in. Great sound. Guitar before 2 minutes. So good. "The Festival" is a piano and drum led track. "The Miracle" is laid back with acoustic guitar,piano and reserved vocals. I like it. "The Dream" opens with vocals that remind me of Italian Prog. Strummed guitar with the lead guitar over top again in that POPOL VUH style. Things get intense late. "Look Both Horse & Green" features piano throughout with other sounds. "Conquest & Z Force" opens with guitar then synths join in followed by reserved vocals. A psychedelic track if i've ever heard one.

An adventerous album from a band who didn't believe there were any boundries when it came to music. Man the early seventies must have been such an exciting time for both the musician and the music fan.

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 Akritas by AKRITAS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.71 | 39 ratings

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Akritas
Akritas Eclectic Prog

Review by Aldebaran_Well

4 stars The early 70's was a very difficult period in Greek history ,politically and socially and this was reflected in the local music scene. I can't stop admiring the people that in these troubled times managed to create progressive or rock music, almost an heroic achievement, regarding the circumstances. And don't forget that Aphrodite's Child, the best and most succesful greek band, left Greece and moved to France to start their carreer. Anyway, Akritas released this album in 1973 and I suppose (I wasn't born yet) that it was a commercial failure, even though singer/bassist Stauros Logarides was very well known from the flower power band POLL. That doesn't mean that it was not a good album, on the contrary, it was a great album in the wrong time and place. It lasts only 33 minutes, most of the 13 tracks are very small but you can find numerous influences from many different styles and genres. From balcan folk and traditional greek scales and grooves to jazzy parts, classical arrangements and psychedelic verses. Everything is happening very fast, keeping the listener in a state of alert and making the album an adventurous journey. All different directions and arrangements are tied together by Logarides' few but wonderful, delicate vocal lines (something like the greek Greg Lake). Lyrics are in greek so I guess very few can understand them but I can assure you that they are very poetic, meaningful and wisely put into the right parts. To conclude, Akritas is a very unique album, doesn' t remind me of anything in particular and I strongly recommend it to the passionate collector ,not only for its folk or historical significance but because of its excellent and wide progressive music.

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 Akritas by AKRITAS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.71 | 39 ratings

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Akritas
Akritas Eclectic Prog

Review by NotAProghead
Special Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

5 stars A friend of mine from Greece, big fan of prog, told me that ''Akritas'' is the best progressive album ever made in his country. After listening to some prog and prog-related Greek bands like PLJ BAND, APOCALYPSIS, PELOMA BOKIOU, PANOS DRACOS, SOCRATES and obvious APHRODITE'S CHILD I completely share his opinion.

AKRITAS created a unique piece of art, Greek in nature (vocals in Greek, though there are not many vocal parts, Mediterranian tunes throughout the album) and similar to Italian symphonic prog in approach, when lots of musical ideas change each other in a short period of time, making the music always unpredictable. The mood of the whole album slightly reminds me of BALLETTO DI BRONZO's ''Ys'' (though I don't think AKRITAS were familiar with ''Ys'' back then in 1973), maybe less dark. There are also hints of jazz and some ELP influences. Lots of contrasts, powerful organ chords, propulsive and at times aggresive drums, testful use of synthesizers, interesting guitar passages are the components of this short record. My only complaint is the final part of the album, it seems to me a little crumpled, while I expected some impressive coda.

A treasure from Greece, by right deserving better recognition. After some hesitations (4 stars + my love to Greece), 5 stars.

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 Akritas by AKRITAS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.71 | 39 ratings

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Akritas Eclectic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Akritas, from Greece!

Well my knowledge about greek music in general is very limited, the obvious artists i knew before discovering PA were Vangelis and Aphrodite`s Child, since then i have been lucky to discover a few other bands, my knowledge is still being limited, but at least i can give my opinion about 2 or 3 more bands, this time Akritas caught my attention.

I had a little break from writing reviews, actually more than a month which is a lot for me, this album was in my list of albums to review, now i feel that i could share my opinion with you.

Again back in 1973 when progressive rock movement was at its best and being more and more recognized 8and practised) all over the world, a 3-member band released their eponimus album, sadly as thousands of bands, they dissappeared and never released a second effort, i would have loved to see if they could reach their boiling point.

This album is pretty short and consist in 13 songs with an average of 2.5 minutes per song, giving us only 33 minutes of very nice music, dont say that it is bad due to their short and not complex songs, i know several 30 minute albums that i personally call masterpieces, this isnt one of them, but anyway it is good. Also, let me tell you that the beginning is not what their music realy is, i mean, the first song starts with a bombastic sound a la ELP, but the direction of the album as a whole is not that, so dont make your choices before listening to all the album. Despite having very short songs, some of them are great and enyojable, with a nice variety of arrangements, and a very nice keys/organ playing, actually none of the members could be named as outstanding or virtuosos, but the music created together is what make this album very nice, the music could be from symph/bombastic, through jazzy and acid, to folkish and very calm,even some spacey notes here and there, so we can listen to different passages here, and if you are strict, probably you would say that the album lacks of an own and clearly defined style.

I am not familiar with the language here, i think it is Greek and sounds weird but i love bands singing in their own language, also an extra point (at least for me) is that the voclas sound a bit Italian style oriented.

This time i wont name or review song by song, since they are very short and none of them are outstanding to be mentioned and remarked. So for this record i think a grade of 3 stars could be accurate, because is good but definitely non-essential. Recommendable for fans of obscure bands nad for those who like to discover bands from other countries.

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 Akritas by AKRITAS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.71 | 39 ratings

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Akritas Eclectic Prog

Review by mandrake_gr

3 stars Stavros Logaridis was the leader of this band. He was previously in the band POLL which was a very good greek flower power band with hippy and romantic lyrics and some elements of greek folk music, the greek Crosby, Stills & Nash perhaps. (The two other main members were Kostas Tournas and Robert Williams. Kostas Tournas made an excellent prog-folk record called "Aperanta Horafia" (Endless Fields) with greek lyrics - worth checking out. After that he continued with a nice Ziggy Stardust-like album and then recorded many albums of average pop-rock and ballads)

When POLL disbanded Logaridis wanted to create something more complex so he formed Akritas. The only album ever released is in my opinion a great prog album especially for 70's Greece where imported records were hard to get, and there were no concerts of foreign bands so musians were based mostly on their own inspiration and the Greek tradition. Not as folky as POLL but still with a Greek flavor it reminds me of early Yes without, unfortunately, the technical skills to back it up. Although divided into small songs, it is meant as a single piece concept album though the (greek) lyrics do not focus on a particular story. It is worth noticing that the lyrics were provided by Kostas Ferris who also wrote the lyrics for Aphrodite's Cdild - 666. If the band was more daring they could have surely developed their very good ideas and melodies further. Anyway, it is an above average quality album and I would like to award 3+ stars but since that is not possible I have to go to 3.

After the indifference of the public, Akritas disbanded and Logaridis released more commercial rock music trying to appeal to the mass audience. He rarely succeded although he is still trying... What is interesting though is that in his 1979 album "Manoula Ellas" (Mother Greece) he included an instrumental theme that some years later Vangelis used for the main theme of Chariots Of Fire and won the Oscar!! He used it without crediting Logaridis or asking the rights to it and never to this day admitted it is the same theme. However, although differences do exist, those who have listened both (myself included) tend to agree with Logaridis.

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 Akritas by AKRITAS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.71 | 39 ratings

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Akritas
Akritas Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars This is kind of a strange album from a band that quietly released it and then disappeared. There aren’t too many Greek progressive bands, and the few I know of are mostly metal, which makes this an even more unusual band.

I know very little about the band, but the album consists largely of very short tracks (most of them around two or three minutes), some instrumental, with lots of rather disjointed keyboards and sporadic but pretty animated electric guitar. The vocals are Greek, or at least I assume they are, and at times the timbre and timing remind me a little of Bad Company or very early Moody Blues. The guitar work is mostly a kind of picking/strumming style, with occasional short blasts of an almost psychedelic nature. The drum and bass work is pretty muffled (pretty poor production), and not all that complex.

For the most part the tracks seem like unfinished samplers of riffs the band starts to develop, but then loses interest in. Some of the rhythms have a little bit of a Mediterranean feel to them with slow irregular patterns and slightly disjointed arrangements, particularly the instrumental “Ta Paidia” and the piano dominated “Tpagodyi”. "Ta Paidia" also has some decent syncopated drums that stand out a bit. Others like “Epietpofh” are heavy on organ, while still others feature acoustic guitar and ethereal keyboards (“To Oneipo”, “Gennheh”). There isn’t really any dominant style here – like I said, this album has more of the feel of a sampler of tunes rather than fully- developed works.

I’d like to know more about these guys, but none of them ever surfaced again as Akritas or in any other band that I’m aware of, and the liner notes on the reissued (but apparently not remastered) CD is in Greek so it offers few clues.

This is an interesting piece to own if you come across it, and I’ve seen it in used record stores on a couple occasions so the CD must not be as rare as the vinyl version probably is. Nothing special, but worth a few spins if you come across it. About 2.6 stars, so I’ll round to three and call it good.

peace

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