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SOUNDGEIST

Progressive Metal • Greece


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Soundgeist biography
Greek band SOUNDGEIST was formed in May 2004, with Emmanuel Zografakis (guitars) and Antreas Anastopoulos (bass) as the founding member. Panagiotis Mavrakis (drums) soon hooked up, and the trio started rehearsing and writing material shortly after. Towards the end of the year they got the chance to perform live, and as they needed a second guitarist to make that happen this lead to the short term addition of Emmanuel Fazos (guitars) to their ranks.

Early in 2005 Soundgeist decided that keyboards rather than a second guitar would suit their exploits better, so rather than finding a permanent second guitarist Eleni Almpantaki (keyboards) joined the band, although she was soon after replaced by Stelios Kanitsakis (keyboards). A few months later Dimitris Skourtis (vocals) hooked up too, and with that last line-up alteration Soundgeist could move forward to evolve their choisen style.

Towards the end of 2006 they decided to start recording an album, and in 2007 their initial effort "The Fine Line Between" was finished. Later on they were signed by Italian label MP & P Records, who officially released the album in early 2009. Sometime after this bassist Anastopoulos left the band, replaced by Yannis Vardalachakis. Soundgeist' second album, "More Than Just a Word", appeared in 2013. This time self released by the band.

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SOUNDGEIST top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 3 ratings
The Fine Line Between
2009
3.50 | 2 ratings
More Than Just a Word
2013

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SOUNDGEIST Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 More Than Just a Word by SOUNDGEIST album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.50 | 2 ratings

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More Than Just a Word
Soundgeist Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Greek band SOUNDGEIST was formed back in 2004, in their first few years operating under the moniker Devil's Interval but opting to change to Soundgeist from 2007 and onwards. Their debut album "The Fine Line Between" was issued through Italian label Musiche Particolari & Records in 2009, and was a charming effort to my ears at least. Four years later and following quite a few line-up alterations they return with their second production "More Than Just a Word", self released in the summer of 2013.

Soundgeist as of 2013 is an intriguing band, seeing as how they incorporate a handful or so of fairly different sounds and moods into their compositions. And while I recall their first disc as one with a foundation in progressive metal, this sophomore effort expands their canvas considerably.

Bass driven, spirited constructions, fairly often with keyboard supplements or synth textures added to the proceedings is one approach that appears fairly frequently, and in a blend that does come with associations towards the likes of Porcupine Tree. At times with harder edged, compact riffs that are also found in other passages, this particular element when surfacing adding a touch of Rush to the proceedings as a standalone or supplemental feature.

There are also gentler moments to be found aplenty, plucked careful guitar motifs, dreamladen guitar soloing and more often than not with a smooth keyboards texture on top, these elements combined giving those arrangements a touch or three of later day Pink Floyd. Starkly in contrast to these moments of a more careful sound we have the occasional majestic, fairly typical dark guitar riffs and keyboards themes too, one that at their most intense does recall Dream Theater, but fairly often these parts will just as shy away towards more of a Porcupine Tree or a Rush-tinged sound. Occasional forays into staccato, dramatic riff driven constructions indicates that Soundgeist is a band aware of metal also on more on the border to progressive rock.

Soundgeist explore within the borders of this foursome, using details with a possible origin from them and blending them together in a fairly wide variety of manners, from almost purebred journeys through one of those universes to the more common journeys where elements from all four have been added to the brew. And not all that uncommonly with a jazz-oriented instrument detail or two thrown in for good measure, most often by way of the guitar.

The end result, at best, are compelling material. Easy to like, with enough careful details and hard edges to maintain tension quite nicely. Control arguably the best of the lot, the subtly Eastern sounding vibes incorporated into this composition elevating it a tad above the others at least as far as I'm concerned. I'll also note that lead singer Skourtis has a fairly special voice that probably won't be to everybody's taste. By and large his voice is a nice fit to the music in my opinion, but there are occasions where his specific delivery just doesn't make a good fit.

As far as recommendations go, I have a hunch that fans of Porcupine Tree and OSI might be something of a target crowd for this production. While there are a bit more to this CD than what those two have done, there are some rather particular moods and atmospheres that I think will have it's strongest appeal towards that crowd, much more so than the others mentioned.

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 More Than Just a Word by SOUNDGEIST album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.50 | 2 ratings

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More Than Just a Word
Soundgeist Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars 12 words, but clearly more than just that contains the second album from Greek progressive metal outfit Soundgeist. As confirmed by the band, this is a concept album and the themes seem to deal quite a lot with nostalgia, personal choices, life and death, and lyrically it is indeed very strong.

The sound is not exactly the typical progressive metal that you would expect, although there are patterns that resemble the 90's scene. Their "spirit of sound" is (deliberately or not) a wide spectrum of musical influences, ranging from Pink Floyd (listen to the opening delay on the guitar on 'Time'), to Ayreon ('Innocence'), mixing styles that reminded me of Led Zeppelin and Fusion Orchestra ('Religion') and go even as far as combining alternative metal in the vein of Alice in Chains and heavy rock/prog - call me Sabbath and Atomic Rooster - in the same song ('Shelter').

''More Than Just a Word'' is generally 'rough around the edges', with a production that is not finely polished (especially on the distortion) and vocals that display pure passion but show some room for improvement both in tonality and accent (not so evident a problem here when compared to a lot of Greek bands in the scene). Pivotal in the style of the band is the diversity on the guitars by Zografakis, keeping the album flowing from mellow to heavy and from a classic rock riffology to modern prog metal tendencies, also blinking an eye to the likes of Rush and Porcupine Tree, with psychedelia making selective appearances here and there.

The tendency to experiment pays out as the band includes three instrumental tracks ('Death', standing out, only contains some spoken lyrics) and the weaker moments ('Mother', 'Soundgeist') do not spoil the listening experience as a whole. 'Serenity' nicely sums up the album with references to the opening track and 'Innocence' and leaves a sweet taste.

3+ stars for this very promising album; with little more attention and work, I am expecting Soundgeist to produce something even better. An album that will spin a few times on my decks.

Best moments: Time, Innocence, Religion

www.soundgeist.gr

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 The Fine Line Between by SOUNDGEIST album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.05 | 3 ratings

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The Fine Line Between
Soundgeist Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A charming debut by this Greek outfit, with their easily digestible and highly atmospheric blend of space-tinged hard rock and progressive metal.

From the opening numbers Ozric Dream Theater Tentacles antics to the repetition of this effort ending this disc - now with 4 minutes of fusion-tinged soloing added in - slow to midpaced tracks with the distinct vocals of Dimitris dominate the proceedings. Charming is a keyword though, and everyone will not be swayed by the mix of peculiar, throaty lead vocals and swirling mood-filled instrument passages in relatively simplistic compositions.

Most of the tracks sound a bit like Dream Theater blended with late 70's Pink Floyd, with an emphasis on atmospheric passages but a foundation closer to prog metal than prog rock. Mix and production is a tad on the primitive side, slightly unbalanced and rough, and those fond of instrumental virtuosity may not find this effort too enticing. Those who fancy mood-filled instrumental themes and manage to get accustomed to the lead vocals should find this album to be an enjoyable experience.

A strong album, but most likely for a limited audience.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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