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Heliopolis - Epic At The Majestic - Live at RoSFest CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.91 | 3 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars I first heard from Kerry Chicoine (bass) after I reviewed the live album of his former band, Mars Hollow, and now here I am reviewing the live album of the band formed by him and fellow Mars Hollow alumni drummer Jerry Beller, along with keyboardist Matt Brown, guitarist Michael Matier, and vocalist Scott Jones. Musically Heliopolis have taken the influences of classic Yes, and then moved into the modern era without losing the progginess. Kerry has a dominant bass sound, but tends to play lower on the scale than Chris Squire, so while he is influenced he is not a copyist. Matt uses a lot of different sounds with his playing, with plenty of Mellotrons, but his style is quite different to that of many, not staying within one style but moving quickly from symphonic into more aggressive, working hard with Michael to provide the melodic counterpunch. Michael himself approached his prog from a more melodic Starcastle style, with many hard rock elements, which provides a different flavour. Then on top of that we have the vocals of Scott Jones, who seems to be an amalgam of Jon Anderson, Geddy Lee and Steve Perry. He has a strong clear voice, cutting through the layers of sound that are happening around him, and together these five combine to bring to life something very special indeed.

This music just flows, taking the listener and the audience along with it: there is little in the way of tension, as the guys blend and shift what they are doing, interweaving the melodies, almost as if it is coming out of their pores. This isn't musicians playing notes, it is all about bringing to life something that is already there in the air, providing a form to something that is incredibly natural. I have still to hear their debut album, something I will rectify, and have only just come across this, which was released last year, but hopefully there will soon be more music coming from Heliopolis. I have been fortunate enough to hear some incredible albums this year, and this is another of them. If you enjoy progressive rock that is regressive yet also forward looking, easy to listen to yet complex and layered, then this is for you.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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