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NO BRAIN CELL

Heavy Prog • Greece


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No Brain Cell biography
The band is from Greece formed in 2009 by Thomas PETRΟU (composer, keyboardist) and Nikos EFTHIMIADIS (bass). Later on, Ilias PAPADOPOULOS (guitar) was added to the group. The last member is Dimitris SKOURAS (drums). The band is influenced by a variety of different genres that you can hear in the different layers that composed their songs. The interplay between the soft and heavier passages in a dense and emotional atmosphere will surely seduce the progressive rock listener. In their first EP, the band cover 2 PORCUPINE TREE?s songs, which tell a lot about their biggest influence.


written by rdtprog

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3.00 | 1 ratings
No Brain Cell
2013
3.92 | 5 ratings
Monuments
2014

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NO BRAIN CELL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 No Brain Cell by NO BRAIN CELL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
No Brain Cell
No Brain Cell Heavy Prog

Review by Pastmaster

— First review of this album —
3 stars No Brain Cell-No Brain Cell

'No Brain Cell' is the debut studio album by progressive metal band No Brain Cell. Now I'm usually against 'clone' bands, and you could very easily call No Brain Cell a Porcupine Tree clone. One thing I must say though, they don't try to hide it. They opened up for Porcupine Tree during their 'The Incident' tour, and this album has two covers of Porcupine Tree songs.

I really feel like a hypocrite when saying I do really like some of these songs. I dislike Haken's 'The Mountain', so I feel like I should dislike this too. Maybe it's because this isn't hailed as a masterpiece, maybe it's because Porcupine Tree is on hiatus and haven't released anything new since 2009, who knows, all I know is that this album has some pretty good stuff. The music here is very similar to Porcupine Tree's 2002 album 'In Absentia', which has some of my favorite songs like 'Strip the Soul' on it. I also hear a bit of Dream Theater in here too. The album opens up softly, with the acoustic 'Open Field Part I'. It reminds me a bit of an Opeth song off of their 'Damnation' album. It goes into 'Open Field Part II', which brings in the heavy guitar at the end. It's a decent pair of acoustic songs, but nothing special.

Probably the song that screams Porcupine Tree the most is 'Trapped in the Black'. It begins with some bass grooves that would not sound out of place on a PT song. The vocalist sounds pretty much exactly like Steven Wilson, having that some cold menacing tone. Soon heavy guitar blasts come in, and later some driving riffs appear. I really like the guitar blasts's transitions into the driving segments in this song. 'Endless Game' has some great driving riffs too, but here what screams PT are the crushing guitar riffs combined with choir sound effects. 'Illusions' has more crushing guitar riffs combined with choir. However, this song stands out on it's own a bit. I could see PT making a song like this, but some of the drum/bass interplay works very well and really stands out on it's own. The chorus is also pretty catchy. The covers of PT songs are good, but they sound almost exactly like the originals, so it just makes me rather listen to the amazing originals.

Overall, I really feel like I'm just listening to a new Porcupine Tree album when hearing this. This album's pro is it's con. I do enjoy the music, but it would also be nice to see the band be their own band. I can't really recommend it or not recommend it, but I suggest for fans of PT to check it out. The music is well played, but it's pretty much anything but unique.

3.5 rounded down to 3.

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 Monuments by NO BRAIN CELL album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.92 | 5 ratings

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Monuments
No Brain Cell Heavy Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars I'm not sure if their self-titled album, released in 2013, should be seen as a promotional item ... at least it shows a clear preference on a Porcupine Tree oriented sound, which evidently manifests in two included covers. And NO BRAIN CELL earned the honour to be the opening act for Steven Wilson & Co during a Greece tour in 2010. So, being able to preview their capabilities quite well, this production attracted my attention already. However, let me speculate that 'Monuments' is the first regular album delivered by this interesting band from Thessaloniki.

Just dealing with the obvious first - the cover art referrs to a sculpture manufactored by Swiss-born artist Hermann Obrist. Moreover the band name gives us a lot to contemplate ... well, you should take into consideration that Greece is a country whose people are heavilly suffering from the rigorous European economy. By checking the booklet, they define NO BRAIN CELL as referring to a sociopolitical sarcastic comment. So probably this is somewhat provoking by design, adressed to those who are not able or not willing to realize what is currently happening to that society?

Anyway, apart from that, musically seen this album is a promising affair for sure. While not leaving the path taken in general, 'Monuments' marks a leap forward. All tracks are composed and arranged by Thomas Petrou (vocals, keyboards), who, alongside with guitarist Ilias Papadopolous, represents the band's core since 2009. There are three components at least which make their recepture working fine - it's the heavy progressive rock style, akin to bands like Porcupine Tree, Riverside or Dream Theater, plus melodic and multi-faceted compositions which are really worthwhile - and finally they could bring a bunch of prolific musicians together with the objective to record a strong album.

Starting with the lead vocals - Thomas shares the task with Alessio Kontodimos, a comfortable benefit overall - as for that matter especially let me highlight the irresistible Intermission. The second part of the title track for instance, or the following Man Of Silence are symptomatic for variation approach, for a lot of twists and turns which are worked in. Furthermore - quite genre typical - it occurs that ballads and rocking parts are alternating. Melodies and harmonies are simply enchanting. The particular songs are enriched with folklore elements, jazzy piano excursions, slicing guitar riffs aso. In short - when listening to this album there's no brain cell nor any minute wasted.

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