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Methexis - Suiciety CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.93 | 83 ratings

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4 stars Stylish Greek prog musician Nikitas Kissonas is back with a voluptuous second effort that surpasses his impressive debut (2011's The Fall of Bliss) by a rather large margin. That initial introduction showed off the technical prowess of a multi-instrumentalist who also had a firm grasp on composing material that would not in a way shame the progressive market. For this sophomore effort, Nikitas spared no expense in bringing in some exemplary musicians to adorn his craftsmanship and really let him concentrate on the material and his electric guitar and let the others carry the load. Bringing in Linus Kase (of Anglagard and Brighteye Bison fame) on keyboards was a bright decision, inviting a startling vocalist like Joe Payne (the Enid) was an even bolder move as Nikitas was not really consistent on the microphone and finally, hooking up with slick drummer Walle Wahlgren (Agents of Mercy, Lalle Larsson) really gave the needed pulse to forge forward.

A glooming critique of the current 21st century malaise which has hit Greece harder than any other European country, the overall mood is therefore not flower-power pastoral but doomsday apocalyptic. The opening salvo 'Ruins' is eerily atmospheric, as if a soundtrack for some sombre occasion.

Shock to the system is the rollicking and jazzy urgency of 'Remember, Fear is a Relic', totally unexpected party-like fare, where the musicians seem to be enjoying themselves amid the doom and gloom, the vocal is oddly bizarre as Joe Payne has one of the most versatile and powerfully diverse voices in prog, here doing some Gino Vannelli meets Manhattan Transfer stylings that are out of this worldly. Psychedelic, jazzy, oddball and original, this piece really is an ear opener. Linus unleashes some Hammond drizzle, bassist Brett D'Anon and Wahlgren really muscle forward with sterling control.

There is an obvious sense of insanity, as on the very Legendary Pink Dots-like intermezzo 'The Windows cracking'' as well as the follow up 'Who Can it Be?' a peculiar blend of horns, dissonance, almost RIO-like movements and ungraspable orchestrations that defy logic. Suddenly, a Spanish guitar solo spot usurps the spotlight, only to veer into a nearly Canterbury mood, totally unexpected and infectious. Shrieking guitars, insane synth noodling, collapsing percussion and brass support cavalry make this quite an unusual suspect. This segues into the irony laden (Pain meaning Payne) 'The Origins of Blame', a short track that while humorous and quirky, is something that leaves me confused. Not really symphonic but certainly highly eccentric and theatrical.

Things finally start providing goose bumps when Nikitas picks up his electric guitar and shows his considerable mettle. 'Prey's Prayer' is a highlight track, of that there is little doubt. He lights up the proceedings with an instrumental showcase that is classic prog, at times bluesy, almost Floydian and then revving it up considerably a la Jeff Beck. The horns come in to add some sheen and sunshine to it all. Bravo!

Two 8 minute + pieces enter the fray, securing the foundation for this strange recording, 'Sunlight' warms the heart with acoustic guitar, piano, string section and a pleading vocal. The sound is at first pastoral and serene, eliciting gentle reverie and morphs into a more complex workout that darkens the horizons with expert playing and shifting rhythmic excursions, the piano in particular searching out free jazz soloing. Payne has quite a dramatic voice on him, scouring the outer limits of modulation, hitting impossible notes that will make your head spin. The second piece is 'The Relic', also starting off with dreamy beginnings, a highly vulnerable delivery that exudes deep introspection, both lyrically as well as instrumentally. Hesitant and pained (sorry Joe, can't help myself), the vocals set out to impress deeply by its genuineness and afterglow, kept aligned by strong rhythmic sustenance from Mr. Wahlgren, sweeping synthesizers and a whole orchestrated wall of sound. Return to the pastoral theme for another round, this time the bass guitar leading the way ahead, slick beats and piano escorts, serenaded by sultry violins that scream out beauty.

The title track finishes off this sophomore opus, a fine companion to the debut. Nervy, edgy, brooding and a tad morose, the bellicose drums unleash a torrent of energetic angst amid the synthesized stew, the expressed themes are foreboding and scary. No nice Hollywood ending here, progfans. Halfway through, the feel veers towards King Crimson-like oddness, with plenty of percussive dalliances and whopping symphonics. The distant voice bids a final farewell'' On the right track, Nikitas!

4 group kool aids

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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