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Persona Grata biography
PERSONA GRATA is a progressive rock group formed in Bratislava, Slovakia. Influenced by groups such as YES, DREAM THEATER and contemporary MUSE, the band has developed a sound focused on melody and complex rhythms, which has evolved from the above inspirations.

The band was formed in 1999 when the keyboardist Adam KURUC and the solo guitarist Martin HUBA joined and the band and since that time PERSONA GRATA went through various stages; members were changing, technology was changing and most of all the musical taste of band members was evolving in different directions.

PERSONA GRATA started to work on the debut album ''Reaching Places High Above'' in 2011, which was officially released in August 2013. The band went through major changes with the band's keyboard player and solo guitarist following different paths. Matej MIKLOs (keyboards) and Peter LUHA (guitars) were the replacements. PERSONA GRATA immediately started to work on the following album - as a first thing finished up the new single ''Forevermore'' as a showcase of the new formation and band's new sound. The line-up complete Martin STAVROVSKY (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jan STENO (drums and percussion) and Timo STRIES (bass).

Bio provided by the band - edited by aapatsos

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PERSONA GRATA discography

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4.21 | 33 ratings
Reaching Places High Above

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 Reaching Places High Above by PERSONA GRATA album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.21 | 33 ratings

Reaching Places High Above
Persona Grata Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Slovakian band PERSONA GRATA can trace their history back to 1999, and has been around for a good number of years without releasing any material officially. "Reaching Places High Above" is their first official full length production, and was self released in 2013.

Fairly intricate and quirky music, at least from a structural point of view, defines Persona Grata's debut album "Reaching Places High Above". In terms of style the band tends to navigate between vintage inspired progressive rock and progressive metal, exploring both of these expressions as well as combining them, but with a stylistic identity arguably closest to the UK band Muse and their brand of alternative rock-oriented progressive rock. And I suspect those with a soft spot for this latter band are a likely key audience for this production.

 Reaching Places High Above by PERSONA GRATA album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.21 | 33 ratings

Reaching Places High Above
Persona Grata Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars Persona Grata are from Bratislava, Slovakia, not an area really known as a hotbed of progressive rock bands, but perhaps it is all about quality as opposed to quantity, because take it from me this is a debut album that is just going to blow you away. Back in 1999 keyboardist Adam Kuruc and lead guitarist Martin Huba started working together, and in time this band came together, heavily influenced by Yes, Dream Theater, Muse, and others. This is complex prog metal with a focus on melody and allowing all of the musicians plenty of room to shine and be heard. The full line-up is Martin Stavrovskỳ (vocals, guitar), 
Jana VargovŠ (flute, vocals), Martin Huba (lead guitar), Adam Kuruc (keyboards), 
Timo Strie? (bass) and JŠn ?teňo (drums ? who says that he is personally heavily influenced by Mike Portnoy, and it shows).

What makes this band so interesting is the way that they move and thrust in so many different musical directions and time signatures, and whatever they are doing makes complete musical sense as does the transition from one section to another which often is quite diverse from what has been going on before. In many ways this is quite a tiring album to listen to, as it is amazingly intense and demands a lot from the listener just because it has to be listened to, as it downright refuses to be accepted as background music. Here is a band that are going to hammer it into your ears and face until you accept that they are the masters and that you will listen all the way through to the end.

For me the over-riding questions have to be such as "why aren't these guys signed to a major label?" or "I wonder if they will ever come to NZ for a gig?". While the latter is unlikely in the extreme, I am convinced that the former must be close at hand. These guys reached out to reviewers and asked if we wanted to hear the album, have provided press kits and have a professional website yet are doing this all on their own. It certainly isn't what one expects from a band with a self-released debut.

Powerful, intense, compelling, complex, brash and full of confidence, this is a band to be reckoned with. On wonders how they are going to follow this up, especially as both Adam and Martin have left the band since the album was recorded, but replacements are already on board and the guys are convinced that they are ready to take it to the next level. Based on this, I believe them. Superb. For more details visit

Thanks to tuzvihar for the artist addition. and to aapatsos for the last updates

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