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CICCADA

Eclectic Prog • Greece


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Ciccada biography

CICCADA is a band from Athens, Greece, formed in 2005.

The band is made up of:
- Dimi Spela / vocals
- Evangelia Kozoni / vocals
- Yorgos Mouhos / 6- and 12-string acoustic guitars, electric guitar, vocals
- Nicolas Nikolopoulos / flute, clarinet, tenor and baritone saxophones, recorder, piano, electric piano, organ, Mellotron, synthesizers, harpsichord, Clavinet, glockenspiel, backing vocals
- Marietta Tsakmakli/ soprano, alto and baritone saxophones, backing vocals
- Aggelos Malisovas / fretted and fretless basses
- Yiannis Iliakis / drums, percussion, backing vocals.


The music of CICCADA is heavily rooted in folk music; it's complex, compelling, borrowing influneces from many other spheres of progressive rock or more. If you're intrigued by fusing the most complex moments of GRYPHON and GENTLE GIANT, this band is highly recommended.

They released their debut "A Child In The Mirror" for Fading Records, which is a subdivision of Italian label AltrOck Productions, in June 2010.
The follow-up,"The Finest Of Miracles" came out in February 2015, again by Fading Records, while in April 23rd 2021, Bad Elephant Music released their third output "Harvest".

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CICCADA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.79 | 266 ratings
A Child In The Mirror
2010
3.88 | 286 ratings
The Finest Of Miracles
2015
4.17 | 135 ratings
Harvest
2021

CICCADA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CICCADA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CICCADA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CICCADA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Tales
2016

CICCADA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Harvest by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.17 | 135 ratings

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Harvest
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars There is just no way that this can be the third album from a Greek band, as surely this is a long-lost British act from the early/mid Seventies. I mean, the obvious reference points straight out of the hat are Gryphon and Gentle Giant, they don't get more British than that, with some elements of Renaissance, Tull, Hatfield, but never a whiff of Vangelis or Aphrodite's Child! I just made a quick check over to ProgArchives to see what the most highly rated Greek progressive album of all time is, and I was somewhat surprised to see that it is actually this one! I really thought it would be '666', but rather aptly that is currently at #6 on the list. Ciccada are Dimi Spela (vocals), Evangelia Kozoni (vocals), Yorgos Mouhos (6- and 12- string acoustic guitars, electric guitar, vocals), Nicolas Nikolopoulos (flute, clarinet, tenor & baritone saxophones, recorder, piano, electric piano, organ, Mellotron, synthesisers, harpsichord, Clavinet, glockenspiel, backing vocals), Marietta Tsakmakli (soprano, alto and baritone saxophones, backing vocals), Aggelos Malisovas (fretted and fretless basses), and Yiannis Iliakis (drums, percussion, backing vocals). I guess they either use backing tracks or bring in additional performers when they play live, as there is no way Nikolopoulos can do all that is being asked of him, as this is multi-layered, and he is often providing multiple instruments at the same time.

There is just so much going on here, with complex arrangements, yet at times the music also feels quite gentle with plenty of folk elements also being included. They also mix the vocals, using male when the time is right, which gives a different feeling to the music, yet it is the classic sounds from the keyboards combined with the multiple elements of woodwind and brass which makes this stand out. It really is as if Gryphon have been reincarnated, and part of me really wishes they had brought out the crumhorns. There is a huge depth and breadth to this music, and it reminds me so much of why I started listening to this style of music more than 40 years ago as there is just so much going on, combing musicality with versatility and melody to create something that is both enjoyable and awe inspiring all in one go.

I have always been a huge fan of David Elliott and the work he does with Bad Elephant Records, but to my ears this is his most indispensable release yet.

 Harvest by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.17 | 135 ratings

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Harvest
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by Argentinfonico

3 stars 3.5 stars

The Grecians did a really good job here. With airs of Gryphon and a folk full of soft flutes, Harvest is probably one of the most outstanding albums of 2021. The instrumental work is always delicate and the passages are very sweet and pleasant. The vocals, generally female, don't show anything new but accompany with their beauty as the album requires.

Perhaps my favourite track is "No Man's Land" for its emotional and powerful moments, although "Queen Of Wishes" may please me more in the future.

It's an album to listen to at almost any time for its essence of universal happiness and natural sounds.

Its few small flaws that hinder the album from getting 5 stars consist of gaps, moments of drowsiness, repetition that shouldn't exist, and cringing moments when everything should grow and be at least a little risky.

Still, I think it's a beautiful album.

 Harvest by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.17 | 135 ratings

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Harvest
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars An amazing band, Prog Folk or not!

Another long span of time passes since the band's sophomore album (which was released five years after their 2010 debut), yet here they are, with a sound and maturity (and comfort or ease) and intimate sound better than ever!

1. "Eniania (Keepers of the Midnight Harvest)" (7:25) folk electric guitar with Mellotron flute--which is so interesting knowing what a FINE flute player they have in Nicolas Nikolopoulos). I love the whole-band choral entrance over the guitar--it sounds so pagan! Gorgeous! The band then flips on the instrumental switch in between the first two choral passages. At 3:15 the guitarist doubles the speed of his arpeggiated lines as a jazzy support ensemble kick into a sax and flute-led section. A minute later the lead instruments switch to jazz electric guitar, organ, and synth, then they trade back to the flute and saxes for the sixth minute before turning quite cinematic. The whole-band weave over the final two minutes is nothing less than astonishing--so much to listen to--all so idiosyncratic and worthy of individual attention. The final minute sees the main choral theme carried forward by recorders and organ over a militaristic style distant snare drumming. Wow! What an opener! We have really missed you, Ciccada! (13.75/15)

2. "Open Wings" (5:28) pure Ciccada Prog Folk in the JTull tradition. The lead vocals are much smoother, less operatic (Dimi's work?) and the production a little more modern (a little tighter, more intimate to the listener). Awesome guitar work--on many instruments--by Yorgos Mouhos. A wonderfully engineered, many-layered and intricately-woven construct. (9/10)

3. "The Old Man and the Butterfly" (7:52) a little heavier prog here, still folkie, but with Yorgos taking the lead vocal! Perhaps more reminiscent of early Prog Folk rockers like SPIROGYRA or even Samla Mammas Manna (in sound, not humor and quirk)--and even some of the more flower-power happy Canterbury artists (like KHAN or today's MAGIC BUS). A non-instrumental song by Ciccada that is not led by Evangelia's voice: something I never imagined! But it's great! A top three song, to be sure!(14/15)

4. "No Man's Land" (8:40) a return to the more-British school of Prog Folk--a little JTull, a little STRAWBS, even a little Pink Floyd and Renaissance--before Evangelia enters with her immaculate, uncorrupt voice. Again, I wish to point out the incredible detail and compositional skill that this band puts into each and every instrumental line of their very complex weaves; it's like watching the Bruges masters of tapestry at work! No line is rote or lame, all functioning to give more life to the whole. And a totally fresh sound and style for Ciccada to explore--and they do it so well! A top three song for me. (18.75/20)

5. "Who's to Decide?" (4:40) more jazz-tinged (though definitely still very much shaped by their regional and, probably, local influences), this song has a lot of similarities to some of the more dark, psychedelic musics of the RPI masterpieces from the early 1970s. As well-performed and composed as the previous songs but just not my cup of tea (as BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, OSANNA, MUSEO ROSENBACH, and even some LE ORME and BANCO are not to my tastes). (8.5/10)

6. "Queen of Wishes" (12:39) This one seems to have more foundations in classically-influence folk traditions, with lots of hard lines in transitions despite the exploration of some wonderfully diverse and dynamic range. This is a song that I grew to love more with my third and fourth listens. Such an unique and eclectic expression of old prog styles: I hear tinges of Anthony Phillips, Gryphon, England, Genesis, Renaissance, Mike Oldfield, early Gentle Giant, Goblin, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, and yet it's all fresh, all perfect. The only place it might have some minor deficiencies is in the melody department. My final top three song. (24/25)

Total Time 46:44

A/five stars; a certifiable masterpiece of sophisticated Prog Folk and definitely an album that keeps giving every time you listen to it--and will, I'm sure, keep giving for years to come. Methinks we are very privileged to be able to hear their work--and to have it preserved for all-time in these recorded albums.

 Harvest by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.17 | 135 ratings

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Harvest
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by omphaloskepsis

5 stars Hailing from Greece like a comet, Ciccada's third album streaks across the prog sky. Traditional folk instrumentation washes my skull in complex waves reminiscent of a mellow Gentle Giant. Marietta Tsakmakle and Nicolas Nicolopoulos share their diverse woodwind collection, clarinets, recorders, as soprano saxes evoke memories of Tull's "A Passion Play". Ubiquitous 6 and 12 string Greek guitars pluck mystic satyr chord progressions.

Dimi Spela and Evangelia Kozoni share lead vocals. The vocals never overwhelm the filigree lattice arrangements. The band periodically adds wood sprite chants that would fit in perfectly with 1974's pagan horror film, "The Wicker Man". Ciccada's magic music will calm, entertain, and transport you to a Arcadian yet fertile feral harvest. Highly recommended for hedonists drunk on the heady harvest of Gryphon, Gentile Giant, Renaissance, Advent and Jethro Tull.

Progressive folk masterpiece!

 Harvest by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.17 | 135 ratings

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Harvest
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars This band is hailing from Greece, known for delivering a sophisticated blend of folk, psychedelia and art rock since some time. Their albums all were released with a lapse of five years approximately. That means space enough to accurately prepare the ground in every case. 'Harvest' appears as their third one, this time distributed through the acclaimed Bad Elephant Music label. It is quite usual, a rather extensive staff is listed in the liner notes, where the band constants right from the beginning are Yorgos Mouhos (guitars) and multi-instrumentalist Nicolas Nikolopoulos. Both are also responsible for the compositions and arrangements. And not to forget Evangelia Kozoni of course. She is providing her mellow folk tinged singing (and reciting) voice with bravura again. On this occasion within a duo quasi, also having second female lead vocalist Dimi Spela on her side.

According to the album title, the cover image so much the more, one can say they have successfully reaped and sorted the products of their recent recording sessions. Well, the result is tasty, versatile and definitely healthy. Balm for the soul. Besides the well-appointed vocals, what also strikes everywhere throughout is the great organ and guitar interplay. Eh, do I hear a flute or the mighty Mellotron actually? They are opting for a very nice and warm entry into the album, immediately offering a typical trademark. Folk, Jazz and Art rock elements perfectly blended together, based on charming melodies all over. Where the very present flute arrangements sometimes are sounding like a well thought out duet of British (Tull) and native Greek inspiration. Terrific!

The Old Man And The Butterfly partially resembles US psych folk bands from the 1970s, let's say 'Jefferson Airplane' or 'It's A Beautiful Day' for example. This way more tricky, multi-varianted though. Swirling instruments, especially flute, saxophone respectively clarinet, Who's To Decide sounds like joy of living set into music, just imagine people dancing all around with feeling of happiness. Queen Of Wishes comes last, the definite album highlight. Mellow and heavy rocking sections are flowing in peaceful coexistence. The more perfect the arrangements, the more there is to harvest, simple as that. A pleasant listen in its entirety. I am very delighted with CICCADA's new piece of work.

 A Child In The Mirror by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.79 | 266 ratings

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A Child In The Mirror
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Summer in Greece

What's not to like here? Brightness and darkness alternating to create a bright, yet sometimes stormy canvas. A recipe well written by Anglagard, Gryphon and Gentle Giant and Ciccada took good notes. A fresh, pastoral and estival blend of 3 of my favorite bands of all time; a delicious banquet of folk-rock that should interest those liking medieval/renaissance moods.

It's way (like WAY) above your average stuff, especially for a first delivery. The amount of skills needed to play something that remotely resembles Gryphon is very high. That alone is a feat in itself, I swear we hear seasoned, old bearded proggers of another era. Tasty flute, crytalline singing, wise use of piano and mellotron (meaning just the right dose), Rickenbacker bass and skillful acoustic guitar-a-plenty. At the risk of repeating myself: light, darkness, petals and storms. Impressive.

Damn, feels like vacation in Thassos!

 The Finest Of Miracles by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.88 | 286 ratings

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The Finest Of Miracles
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by Muskrat

4 stars CICCADA is a Greek band that offers an exceptional mix. This formation has achieved two feats. The first is to prove that producing great progressive rock is possible in a country with no tradition in this style. The second is to revive the golden period of Italian (Quella Vecchia Loccanda) and South American (Baccamarte) progressive rock, while marrying it with the English folk-prog heritage of the seventies (Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, Gryphon). A complex music with rich instrumentation (Rock, Brass, Wood, strings, traditional), brilliantly interpreted and perfectly recorded. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys mixing progressive rock with folk music. No doubt, "The finest of miracles" is a great addition to any prog rock music collection. I do not put five stars because I expect a lot from their next album. I would be really annoyed if it is even better!
 A Child In The Mirror by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.79 | 266 ratings

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A Child In The Mirror
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars With no releases since 2016 and no reviews since 2015, eclectic Greek outfit CICCADA certainly deserves a bump up, and even more so because apparently a long overdue new album is imminent. I first heard them several years back on a prog rock internet station, where the same track seemed to be on fairly steady rotation,; I think it may have been the title cut to this, their first release. Over the last few years I have returned to CICCADA with enthusiasm and some trepidation, hoping almost desperately that eventually they would "click". While I can't say that has happened, I can still heartily recommend this to most fans who enjoy a relatively complex fusion of genres, these being folk, classical, jazz, and even occasional heaviness just for variety.

Characterized by the measured and elegant Evangelia Kozoni on vocals and the multi instrumentalist Nikolas Nikolopoulos who shines on keys and flute, the album is fleshed out by a full band complement and an abounding guest list mostly on strings and winds. Kozoni sings more in the manner of the classically trained, and I can't really compare her to any better known female vocalists, as much because of this unusual quality as because she really doesn't sound like anyone I can think of. Most tunes are sung in English but grant substantial latitude for instrumental interplay. Simplicity and complexity are well balanced, and the band does favour challenging time shifts and abrupt mood changes. Too often these serve to steer me on the wayward path of the addled attention deprived. It has been noted that, apart from valid comparisons to JETHRO TULL and GENTLE GIANT, "A Child in the Mirror" calls to mind GRYPHON's acclaimed "Red Queen to Gryphon 3", but is thankfully much less clinical.

While I mostly enjoy most of the pieces here, I'm hard pressed to underscore even one number that is truly outstanding not just from a creative or arrangement standpoint but for beginning to end appeal. Still, I get paid to name names, so I choose the delicate title track, the instrumental "Storyteller's Dream" for its recorder and organ flourishes, and the pastoral "Epirus". If you listen you will probably have your own favourites that might not intersect with mine at all. That is a good quality in a recording...to a point.

As much as it is a magnificently accomplished debut, "A Child in the Mirror" suggests I have some growing up to do in musical appreciation. I hope all my teachers will be this stimulating.

 The Finest Of Miracles by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.88 | 286 ratings

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The Finest Of Miracles
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Greek band CICCADA was formed back in 2005, with an initial core line-up consisting of Nicolas Nikolopoulos, Evangelia Kozoni and Giorgos Mouchos, supplemented by the skills of Omiros Komninos, who joined in 2009. With the aid of numerous guest musicians they recorded their debut album "A Child in the Mirror", a production that was picked up by the Italian label Altrock and released by it in 2010. "The Finest of Miracles" is their second studio recording, released through the same label in 2015.

Diversity is something of a central characteristic to be given Ciccada's second album. The foundation of their style is progressive folk rock, but with details and excursions from jazz, traditional folk music and symphonic progressive rock incorporated into the totality, alongside elements that one might describe as *chamber rock to boot (not to be confused with RIO*). A well made album on all levels, and while not as challenging as it may sound from description, the overall production merits that description due to the sheer diversity of the material. As the band cites bands such as Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant and Gryphon as sources of inspiration, those with an affection for those bands appear to be a likely key audience for this CD, and I'd suggest that those with a general affection for bands with a diverse and varied sound, style and expression to give this one a spin as well.

 The Finest Of Miracles by CICCADA album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.88 | 286 ratings

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The Finest Of Miracles
Ciccada Eclectic Prog

Review by GKR

5 stars I take time to listen to new music. Quite a long time. In fact, excepting the recent releases of old bands (the albums of Ian Anderson, Osanna, Martin Barre ... etc) and small exceptions (The Worm Ouroboros and Steven Wilson), I hardly hear anything from the 90s onwards.

Looking to catch up, and discover new sensations: BANG, Ciccada.

The first album not necessarily moved me, but the second is of a sweeping quality. The songs are exceptional, good alignment in the parts the "guests" instruments come along (like the violin and the basoon, for example), several mini epics are placed in each track - at times reminding me the best of Gryphon. Special attention, in my view, for "Eternal" and "Wandering". In the latter, where in fact the band wanders through various musical styles, sounding like King Crimson and some of Ian Anderson moments.

5 stars would be exagerated? I dont know ... I think true classics take time to actually establish themselves as classics. Achieved maturation. Like wine.

But, damn, this Greek wine is tasty!

Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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