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Methexis - The Fall Of Bliss CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.68 | 53 ratings

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4 stars Greek musician Nikitas Kassinas is one crafty fellow, there should be no doubt whatsoever , one of those talented multi-instrumentalists who lovingly prepare a private album and then does his best to distribute it to the prog community, in this case straight to PA reviewers, in order to generate a buzz. Good on you, my Hellenic friend! That kind of chutzpah is rare in the Internet age.

From the outset, it is clear as a pane of glass that this is a personal testament, as befits the opener, 'Eradicated Will', a get-go that surprises, intrigues and at times, bewitches. After an initial squirrely intro, the bass driven central core is garnished by a petulant guitar solo, expertly guided by solid drumming. This is stunning and grandiose, the choir keys adding immense depth to the arrangement, giving it a heavy feel, ominous and menacing. It pools in utter serenity, the air exhaled. An excellent beginning, I find myself very surprised indeed!

Slight change of pace on the melancholic 'Poetic Mirrors Wound Heroes' has a distinct series of flavorings, some Yes interspersed with Canterbury (vocal work), sprinklings of some Gentle Giant, all tagged with a big zombie woof bass. The mood is highly original and ultimately exalting, especially instrumentally, where Nikitas shines on keys, axes, and that darn bass guitar. Pantagruel would be flush with envy!

'Those Howling Wolves' has whispered and accented vocals, a hint of faux-jazz barroom microphone molestation. But the musical intersections are preposterous, short blasts of space synths blaring in the cosmic air. Then back to the spooky vocals like a prog Bauhaus, with some pastoral obsessions for effect, kind of cool and bizarre in some indescribable way! When things get louder, the mood shifts into an anthem 'like subdivision, where some jazzy guitar noodlings confirm the smoky saloon scenario. A frightening electric lead then spurts out of nowhere, cruising madly like some tortured missile from hell. Exalted words put this one to bed. How romantic! Waiter, another bottle of ouzo, para kalo!

'Lines On a Dust' soothingly mesmerizes on voice and piano, very graceful and heartrending, again showing traits that go way beyond the usual norm. Kudos for the effort, a short sweet gem.

'Track the Saviors' rifles off a vulgar bass salvo that devastates everything in its passage, the drums clobber wildly, guitar thrashing and the Gentle Giant vocalizations are back. This almost Queen-like heavy, melodramatic even operatic at times, the analogy quite appropriate. Have to mention drummer Nikos Miras who is deadly efficient. Wow!

'The Aftermath' is my only foible on the set list, a slight too murky for my tastes, slightly askance from all the other material and it does little for me. The occasionally croaked vocals kind of bug me but his softer register is fine. A crackling effect-laden mid-section fails to enlighten the proceedings.

To close off the premiere, a 4 part epic 'The Fall of Bliss' is created to underline the progginess of the work, and as such, does not fail to impress. Birds chirping and acoustic guitars in perfect harmony is how the intro inspires. Part 1 becomes vaporous and foreboding, and it does take long for the rifferama to appear out of the thundering mist, Miras keeping things very tight (a revelation, actually), directing huge choir sways and intense strangeness. 'Twilight Zone' style vibraphone motifs unsettle and confuse. Odd time meters abound, yet the beat is uncomplicated and straightforward.

Nikitas is on the right path with some genuinely original instrumental ideas but his croaky vocals contrast too sharply with his exalted ones. He needs to work more diligently on the microphone or he may turn off a few fans, vocals often being the 'Achilles heel" (yeah, Greek mythology is everywhere!) of progressive rock. . I hence agree with my esteemed colleague lazland , once again he is spot on.

4 Doric columns

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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