Aclaración...

Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).

jueves, 22 de septiembre de 2016

Methexis - Suiciety (2015)


Y seguimos con la avanzada griega con otro discazo moderno, y qué disco! Edificaciones destruidas en medio del basural es el marco para esta moderna tragedia griega llevada al mundo musical: un álbum conceptual acerca de los efectos del mundo sobre el ser humano desde su infancia, la búsqueda interior como instrumento de guía, y la exposición en una sociedad suicida que no escucha las claras advertencias sobre el colapso inevitable. Nosotros lo habíamos presentado en un disco donde él tocaba casi todos los instrumentos, pero ahora se viene con un equipo de lujo y se arma un álbum genial. Entren al post para que lean porqué digo que es la versión actual del "The Wall" de Pink Floyd (aunque tenga pocos puntos en común musicalmente), en un gran trabajo para escuchar con una mente abierta a la diversidad.

Artista: Methexis
Álbum: Suiciety
Año: 2015
Género: Crossover Prog / Progresivo ecléctico
Duración: 46:11
Nacionalidad: Grecia


Lista de Temas:
Chapter IV
01. Under The Ruins
Chapter I – exterior
02. Remember, fear’s a relic
03. The windows’ cracking sound
04. Who can it be?
05. The origin of blame
06. Prey’s Prayer
Chapter II – interior
07. Sunlight
08. The relic
Chapter III
09. Suiciety

Alineación:
- Nikitas Kissonas / Electric, Acoustic and Classical Guitars
- Joe Payne / Lead and Backing Vocals, Language Consultant on Lyrics
- Linus Kåse / Keyboards, Synthesizers & Grand Piano
- Nikos Zades / Sound Design, D&B programming
- Walle Wahlgren / Drums
- Brett d'Anon / Bass Guitar
Brass Quintet:
- Tom Heath / Trumpet 1
- Catriona Christie / Trumpet2
- Nerys Russell / Horn
- James Patrick / Trombone
- Alistair Clements / Tuba
String Quintet:
- Lu Jeffery / Violin 1, Violin 2
- Bernard Kane Jr / Viola
- Juliet McCarthy / Cello
- Ron Phelan / Double Bass




Veamos el grupo que armó el griego: Herren Joe Payne (cantante actual de The Enid), Linus Kåse (Ex-Brighteye Brison, actual Änglagard), Walle Wahlgren (Agents of Mercy, Lalle Larsson Band) y Brett d'Anon (conocido como Dan Britton, ha tocado en Birds and Buildings y Deluge Grander, entre otras bandas), y claro que con Nikitas Kissonas a la cabeza, más un montón de músicos invitados (ojo que con orquestas y sin hacer reparos). Por lo tanto este equipo no estaría muy lejano a lo que llamamos una "superbanda". El griego se vino afiladísimo.
Una obra que se compone de cuatro capítulos, y extrañamente (o no, ya que se relaciona con el desarrollo de la obra: una parábola acerca de la llamada sociedad civilizada moderna y nuestra vida embutidos en ella, desde el nacimiento hasta la muerte) empieza por el último capítulo. Cuando se pongan a escuchar el disco, empezarán por escuchar un sonido atmosférico y ambiental que pronto irá variando hasta abarcar una gran gama de elementos, generando tal simbiosis que resulta difícil catalogar a la obra en un ustilo preciso más allá del consabido "progresivo ecléctico", ya que se emerge como una obra extraña que realmente puede servir a cualquiera de las categorías, los arreglos y composiciones de Kissonas combinan diversos géneros (rock, jazz rock, beat, sinfónico) y lo que podrían ser estados de ánimo opuestos y contradictorios con una facilidad asombrosa.



El álbum comienza desde la oscuridad de una crisis, quizás del euro y de la situación social europea, y con mirar un poco la gráfica que acompaña al disco uno lo podrá relacionar con las ruinas de una sociedad (¿la misma Grecia? seguramente), que sumado al nombre del disco y su lírica se comprenderá facilmente aque aquí se habla de la decadencia de nuestra civilación y moral. "Suiciety", este es un buen juego de palabras que da la idea de la autodestrucción social y todas sus consecuencias fatales para el individuo.


El disco transcurre en un incesante balanceo por piezas orquestales clásicas, excursiones jazzísticas, tomas relajados, tracks basados en cantos corales y armonías vocales, electrónica, bronces a veces clásicos, a veces salvaje que dejan la áspera marca de Alamaailman Vasarat en su violencia distorsionada que conviven con emotivos punteos gilmoureanos, pero lo realmente exquisito es que todo esto parece tan natural que uno queda impresionado.
El resultado es un álbum de música con una fuerte expresividad mientras el griego Nikitas Kissonas da una clase de composición magistral donde se sirve de un popurrí de elementos de diferentes estilos para crear un disco muy emocionante, interesante y asombroso.


Sin abrumar al oyente con excentricidades demasiado groseras, el grupo se suma al vuelo creativo imperante aquí estimulados por tanta expresividad, así van armando un disco que tiene una gran tensión, mientras uno puede escuchar elementos de Discipline, Echolyn, Pink Floyd o VDGG, también música clásica y bastante jazz, al tiempo que se suma la orquestación y la música se va haciendo cada vez más y más teatral. La obra casi casi podría tratarse como una verdadera ópera rock, y me resulta difícil no compararlo con el "The Wall" de Pink Floyd. En general, el álbum es más bien tranquilo, y no está para nada basado en la capacidad técnica de sus músicos sino más bien en la creatividad compositiva de este griego que se manda este batacazo. A veces les salta la garra y el disco se descontrola en alguna pequeña vorágine sonora, pero son las menos veces, aquí podrás escuchar un trabajo relajado, pero no por ello menos sorprendente...

Un disco perturbador, soñador, poderoso, inquietante, hermoso, imaginativo, vanguardista... una obra digna de los mejores vuelos y conceptos del rock progresivo. Hammill a través del espacio...


Aquí les dejo algunos comentarios en inglés para el que mi review del disco no le haya convencido.

Methexis is the brainchild of Greek multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger Nikitas Kissonas, a former member of Greek bands Verbal Delirium and Yianneis, and Suiciety is the second album from the project. The debut, entitled Fall Of Bliss was released in 2011 and was largely a solo work, with Nikitas playing almost everything, but on this one he is joined by an international cast of helpers, among whose number is The Enid’s Joe Payne. In actual fact, seeing Joe Payne listed as guest vocalist on this album is what made me pick it out of bottomless pit of releases that come our way. Joining Nikitas we have members of Änglagård, Agents of Mercy, Birds and Buildings, and Mother’n’Son, a veritable who’s-who of modern prog. In addition there are brass and string quintets, and all of that gives the album a vast and grandiose soundstage within which Nikitas acts out his fantastical tale.
Nikitas tells me that the album is very much like a film script, with the “ending” at the beginning followed by the rest of the album playing out the story leading up to Chapter IV. The story loosely follows the struggle and growth of the individual from childhood, along the way attempting to throw off internal constraints – fear, the strictures of following the herd, over-intellectualising – and the external pressures of conformity, in order to truly live. Joe Payne acted as language consultant, helping Nikitas to translate his lyrics into English, and Joe was the only one who recorded his vocal parts with Nikitas present, at The Enid’s studio in Northampton, England. The other parts were zoomed across the internet superhighway from all over Europe.
Suiciety is mostly played in a true classical symphonic style that would indeed suit a film soundtrack, the exception being the charging disco-funk of Remember, fear’s a relic, which has a refrain very like Walk The Dinosaur by Was Not Was! There is a great organ break in this song as it transforms itself into an almost Zappa-like complex construct.
We are treated to abstraction via sweeping classical sections, along the way taking in chamber music and symphonic prog, making this densely packed album as unclassifiable as it gets. I suppose rock-operatic is as close as you could get to a description, within which Joe gets to sing the complex lyrics for the most part in an atypically understated style.
The brass section comes to fore on the glorious Who can it be?, a song that blends heavy guitar and horns to great effect. Elsewhere we have the Jacques Brel-like The origin of blame, where Joe camps it up in fine style, archly enunciating fine couplets like “You know, you can call me fame, and I will call you vain” and “You know, you can call me mate, and I will call you late” like a marionette high-stepping through the scenery. The accompanying music is suitably penny-operatic, and following this is the sweeping instrumental Prey’s Prayer, a soaring piece of cinematic derring-do, which features some great guitar work from Nikitas.
Leaving his cares and woes behind, our hero wakes with new hope and is ready to face the new day on the wistful Sunlight, the simplest and yet most emotive vocal performance from Joe on the record. Cello and piano add a layer of melancholy, but melancholy outshone by hope, the song unfurling like a new flower in the rising sun, a most romantic and effective musical image. The tune commenced with echoed surf guitar of all things, and this is reprised as a bridge to a skipping instrumental section that becomes ever more determined. This is a classy piece of arranging, and as it returns to Joe’s original call of hope it shows that Nikitas knows his way round a music score. Sunlight, as you may have guessed, is the album highlight for me as it all fits together in a most pleasing fashion. Some of the album feels a little disjointed and the first half of the following The relic is a case in point. The second half of this tune is another lovely neo-classical interlude that is completely and utterly filmic, thereby redeeming the whole.
Given the album title the conclusion was never going to be sweetness and light, and the concluding title track with its clattering rhythm and grinding bass is in total contrast to the two previous pieces. The anxious nature of the introduction to this skittering tune fits the later appearance of its grim lyric perfectly: “Oh my brothers, can’t you hear the groan? Can’t you see the mire? Can’t you scent decay? It’s all falling down…”. Ah well, yet another prog dystopian vision should not really surprise me.
Suiciety is an album that works best if listened to whole, and by investing just over three quarters of an hour of your time you will be rewarded with a fine suite of music accompanying a sometimes seemingly impenetrable but ultimately enjoyable and highly cinematic surreal parable. Pass the popcorn...
Roger Trenwith

Nikitas Kissonas has recently decided to pursue a semi-solo effort, backing himself with members of modern prog bigwigs such as Birds and Buildings, and in this album of his he's struck on some fascinating sounds. Starting from a place of calm,dour, ambient-esque sounds, he not just adds symph, heavy, and electronic leanings, but also at times soul and flamenco stylings. The result is some breathtakingly unique and nice music. The whole structure and flow of the record is great as well, and his particular placement of the closing "chapter" first is here a good choice. All of this belies a simple and interesting concept of human development on personal and societal levels, with a dark omen for those who dwell in ignorance. An interesting and enjoyable listen from a veritable supergroup of modern prog, this is more than worth a try.
Kelvin W.

A concept album following the life cycle of a human being, childhood to citizen adult, the lyrics (and music) are replete with references to all of the odd destructive and self-destructive patterns our 'civilized' race has attached itself to. Brainchild of Athenian Nikitas Kissonas, Methexis' music is never predictable and always unexpected. Begin with The Enid's Joe Payne's amazing and enigmatic voice. (Please excuse my previous error in that I mistakenly thought it was Nikitas singing.) It seems that Joe can sound like anyone he chooses. Then focus on Nikitas' eclectic and stunningly diverse guitar soundings and stylings. Then try to pinpoint his influences, the styles he is drawing from in order to make his eminently creative and original songs. It is nearly impossible. This is music that draws from so many diverse and unusual styles and ideas. This is music that tests the capabilities, the combinations and permutations, that are possible within the realms of human expression using sound and music.
1. "Chapter IV - Ruins" (4:49) starts the album with 'the end'! The fourth and final suite in the album's song-cycle, entitled "ruins," is what Nikitas chooses to begin his album with. I love it! It is an atmospheric 'post-apocalyptic' song much in the vein of Mariuz Duda's LUNATIC SOUL or even Norway's ULVER.
2. "Chapter 1 - Exterior - Remember, Fear's a Relic" (6:11) opens with the energetic force of a great blues-based jazz-rock song--complete with Hammond organ, sassy horn section, and bluesy GINO VANELLI-like vocal. A surprise as this was quite unexpected but I have to admit: it is quite refreshing and enjoyable. The falsetto chorus is also quite unusual, but then, everything Nikitas creates is quite unusual and unexpected. Quite fun. (9/10)
3. "Chapter 1 - Exterior - The Windows' Cracking Sound" (1:46) (9/10) is another unusual song for its surprising mix/engineering: the entire time a heavily treated electric guitar is slowly strumming the accompaniment to Joe Paynes' delicate, untreated voice, a drummer is jamming away at a very fast pace in the background. Once, at the end, the drums are brought up to front and center before being faded back to deep background for the horn opening of the next song, 4. "Chapter I - Exterior - Who Can It Be" (6:34) is a song performed by a horn ensemble with occasional whispered vocal and mid-song classical guitar interlude (including a brief slightly angular/diminished replication of Beethoven's "Ode to joy"). The post-guitar interlude shifts into PETER HAMMILL territory with some odd jazz instrumentation for accompaniment and the PH vocal. When thing amp back up--first via return of the horns and then full TOBY DRIVER-like band to spacey end. So odd! So outstanding! (10/10)
5. "Chapter I - Exterior - The Origin of Blame" (3:27) starts out as a piano-accompanied cabaret-like vocal much in the MATTHEW PARMENTER style. The cacophonous 'chorus' is equally 'out there'--but so creative and idiosyncratic! This is such an amazing mind that can successfully weave such odd and unusual sounds and styles into the flow of this, a concept album. I call it genius! (10/10)
6. "Chapter I - Exterior - Prey's Prayer" (6:07) is an instrumental support/setup for an amazing guitar solo. The guitar play reminds me of JEFF BECK, ROY BUCHANAN, HIRAM BULLOCK, or RAY GOMEZ! Great horn support. This is not a song to be missed! Guitar this sublime is too seldom recorded! (10/10)
7. "Chapter II - Interior - Sunlight" (8:20) opens with some more adventurous guitar sounds before shifting into a sensitive acoustic guitar supported ballad--not unlike the recent work of JOHANNES LULEY including the voice (though on this song Joe's voice is more similar to that of RITUAL lead vocalist, Patrik Lundström). Quite unusual song structure and sound combinations. So like our enigmatic chameleon Nikiitas! Excellent song. The final section sounds like recent ECHOLYN before the solo voice closes in Peter Hammill fashion! (10/10)
8. "Chapter II - Interior - The Relic" (8:28) opens with a minute of purposefully picked chords on acoustic guitar which are eventually joined by Joe Payne's equally composed yet emotional vocal. By the end of the second minute piano and then full band have joined in to support a multi-voiced chorus. In the instrumental fifth minute the music builds in layers and intensity before crescendoing and crashing into silence with a brilliantly placed audible sigh to restore the gentle yet plaintive sounds and structures of the opening. Piano and violin--and later cello--perform some nice soli to accompany the synth orchestral sounds. Nice Post Rock song. (9/10)
9. "Chapter - Suiciety" (6:40) opens with a fast-paced, hard-driving PORCUPINE TREE-like sound of drums, odd spacey synth sounds and ominous keyboard bass chords until 1:37 when the drumming cuts the pace in half while the pile of ominous incidentals and washes mounts higher and higher. Then at 2:20 everything drops away to leave the slowly picked notes of a solo classical guitar. Cymbol play accompanies the addition of orchestral participation (I especially like the horns sections' contributions). This is then followed by a creative section in which the drummer creatively fills orchestra-supported 'space' with his cymbol and kit play. A return to full force in the ominous chord progressions crescendoes and decays while Joe Payne's treated voice alone fills the album's sad finale. (9/10)
This is an awesome album of eclectic music! Being a concept album with songs integrated to express this elevates it a notch above Methexis' previous 2011 effort, The Fall of Bliss (which I also love). A brilliant masterpiece of modern progressive rock music--one that gets me so excited to come back to it and hear it again. Special shout out to Linus KÃ¥se and Nikos Zades, the keyboard player and sound design/D&B programmer, respectively. Amazing contributions! And Walle! Awesome play on the batterie! Check this one out, people!
5/5 stars, definitely essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.
Drew Fisher

I was kindly asked by Nikitas Kissonas to listen to this album and to write a review about it. He is the composer and guitarist in this album from the project called METHEXIS (I mean, it is not really a band, but it is more a solo project by Nikitas Kissonas, with collaborations from other musicians). This is the second album from the METHEXIS project. The first album, titled "The Fall of Bliss" from 2011 (for which I also wrote a review about it some years ago), has Kissonas playing all the instruments (and also doing all the vocals), except the drums (which were played by a drummer). In this second album, Kissonas has other very good musicians playing with him, and it seems that this album was even a more ambitious task.
This "Suiciety" album is a concept album which has as central ideas the influences of the outside world (from society, that is, family, friends, school, institutions, etc.) against the inside world and psychological resources of the individual persons. Kissonas`s opinion (as long as I could understand it from reading the lyrics and the explanation of the concept of the album in his Bandcamp web page) is that the influences of the "modern civilized world" are really against the healthy psychological development of the individuals. While I agree with him in some of these ideas, I really think that the individual person has to have some optimism to live in this world against the possible bad influences from society. The concept of this album is, in my opinion, somewhat influenced by the concepts of Roger Waters`s for PINK FLOYD`s "The Wall" album (not one of my favourites) and film (a very good film...but not one that I could want to watch again) . But, at least Kissonas really composed very good music in most parts for this album. The lyrical concept could seem pessimistic in some places, but the music acts as a contrast against that pessimism in some places. In fact, the best songs in this album for my taste are the optimistic "Prey`s Prayer" (an instrumental piece of music with very good guitars by Kissonas and very good keyboard parts by Linus Kåse) and "Sunlight" (with lyrics about having some faith in life). I really don`t think that all the influences from society are "suIcidal" or "bad" for all the persons. Life is hard, yes, but not totally "bad" or "tragic", in my opinion. Anyway, it is valid to express in words and music all the ideas that the artists have...even if the reviewers don`t think in the same way.
The recording and mixing of this album is very good. There are some very good production ideas, and I think that the making of this album was really a hard work. I think that having several other musicians really helped Kissonas to develop the musical ideas better (he credits the other musicians for additional musical arrangements). The singer Joe Payne really sang very well, sometimes singing in a "dramatic" way, but his voice sounds very well in general.
As a whole this album musically is very good... even if I don`t agree very much with the concept.
Guillermo Vázquez Malagamba

Such an improvement from the 2011 debut The Fall of Bliss, which was performed almost completely by the Greek Nikitas Kissonas. A gifted multi-instrumentalist and composer-producer he is, but especially as a vocalist he wasn't the best possible. Joe Payne - I know nothing about him - does a perfect vocal job on this conceptual album that has a lot of passion and drama. Keyboards are played by Linus Kåse (ÄNGLAGÅRD), bass by Brett d'Anon and drums by Walle Wahlgren. Nikos Zades, another Greek, is credited for sound design and D&B programming. The recordings were made in four countries: Greece, Sweden, UK and USA. Kissonas himself plays only guitars this time. The improvement is huge not only in performance but also in writing. The music here is ambitious, grandiose, colourful, impassionate, unpredictable and very original. Eclectic Prog more than Crossover Prog for sure.
The concept (the cleverly titled album being "a comment on contemporary society") is quite demanding to follow, the songs not being very narrative or cinematic. Something about the painful dilemma of the society versus the individual is all I need to understand straight away, and if the picture gets clearer as the album gets more familiar, that's fine. Guillermo's review refers to The Wall, and I could add MARILLION's Brave as some sort of spiritual relation (in my mind anyway), perhaps the latest one by STEVEN WILSON too. But I'll concentrate on music now, which wisely avoids becoming very dark and depressing.
Curiously the album starts with the last of the four "Chapters", IV. Its only part, rather minimalistic and melancholic 'Ruins' has orchestral-sounding synths and emotionally strong vocals. 5-part Chapter I stands for "Exterior". 'Remember, Fear's a Relic' is a lively number that has both ZAPPA-like jazz-rock flavour and GENTLE GIANT-ish funkiness. The introvert and delicate 'The Window's Cracking Sound' serves as a brief interlude before the majestic brass arrangement opens 'Who Can It Be?' which is a mindblowing eclectic piece. The acoustic guitar solo brings classical nuances, and the vocals go to wild PETER HAMMILL-ish territories. 'The Origin of Blame' centers around loonie, creepy (and frankly quite irritating) vocals backed mostly by a simple piano staccato before the more relaxed end section reminding me of TODD RUNDGREN. The track is seamlessly followed by a beautiful instrumental 'Prey's Prayer' - which is very enjoyable if you like the melodic and atmospheric stuff of PINK FLOYD and CAMEL. Wow...!
Chapter II ("Interior") has two 8½ minute pieces, both among the highlights. The mood is a bit more intimate than on Chapter I. One can concentrate on the amazing and many-sided soundscape on 'Sunlight'. 'The production of this album is really superb. The Relic' centers first on tender vocals, acoustic guitar and piano; the arrangement grows bigger and reaches orchestral power, returning occasionally to the acoustic delicacy. A string quartet is involved.
Chapter III, or 'Suiciety', gets funkier and more hectic again. The brief vocal section in the end is the darkest one on the whole album, which therefor ends on a depressing note. The aftertaste is somewhat confused, as Kissonas has probably meant it to be, but I would have preferred a more uplifting ending (compare 'Made Again' on Brave) on this extraordinary concept album. 4 1/2 stars rounded down. The cover is quite ugly really...
Matti

It took four years to Greek musician and composer Nikitas Kissonas to record and release his second album - lot of time in the world where myriads of Genesis copycats release new album every few months. But what an improvement!
I was skeptical before listening to his debut in 2011 since it was mostly recorded by himself and as rule use of one artist's multilayer-technology can kill life even in best material. Fortunately it didn't happen on "The Fall of Bliss" even if one can hear some expectable limitations there. Biggest (and one of the greatest) surprises here on "Suiciety" is Methexis isn't one-man-band anymore! If it wouldn't be enough, Kissonas (who plays only guitars here) has string and brass sections on some songs besides of keyboardist,bassist,drummer and vocalist. Real luxury!
From very first seconds one can hear full-bodied band playing - and all music sounds more lively and impressive. And music itself is quite different here. For sure,it still same eclectic mix of half a century progressive rock legacy, but all album is more mature, better balanced less screaming (for good) and demonstrates more attention to composition and all details.
From the first look on cover art I wasn't surprised at all - European politics and economics is one of my areas of interest and perfectly knowing what happens in Greece during last few years I almost expected something like that. Nothing in lyrics or music on this album is directly related with nowadays realities but as any artist's living in epicenter of huge political and economical troubles Nikitas' music is directly on indirectly influenced by them. Being conceptual,this album recalls parallels with Pink Floyd's "The Wall" more than once (by similar theme and some musical influences), but at the same time it's really different. Instead of rainy and cloudy English sky one can hear here on "Suiciety" all history of classic music, from Orffian (or Magma's) dark dramatic sounds passages to operatic vocals timbres. I was really pleasantly surprised by regular changes of rhythms and structures - Nikitas uses them all album long what makes music more variable and less predictable,but even a single moment nothing sounds as chaos here. And - there are some places where arrangements sound jazzy,almost groovy.What a delight!
I really like album's title and cover art - them both are well connected between each other and works perfectly in some contrast with musical contain (one most probably needs to expect new The Ramones album judging from cover art and album's title). I really hate all these dragons and giants on modern albums of any kind, seventies has gone already, didn't you notice? Prog has a chance to survive if it will become modern instead of trying to copy again and again "these great times that will never come back..." It's great and most probably a must to remember the roots and use all that legacy, but lets innovate, not imitate.
Year 2015 looks like another wave of popularity of prog-roots sound, Steven Wilson with his new release just tried to play Genesis,Gabriel-era. To be honest, in this case I prefer original. Methexis' second album paying full respect to decades of progressive rock sub-culture, trying to go their own way. And they sound modern - it's probably the best prog album I heard this year up to now. Very strong 4/5 stars.
Slava Gliozeris

This is the second album from Greek musician Nikitas Kissonas and a major improvement over the debut album from 2011. While The Fall Of Bliss was merely good this follow-up is great. Basically Nikitas was a one-man-band on the debut but here he is backed by other musicians, only playing guitar himself. Joining him here is members of The Enid, Anglagard, Birds And Buildings, Agents Of Mercy and Mother 'n Son. In addition there is a string quintet and a brass quintet which are utilized to great effect. Compared to the debut the music here is more varied and confident sounding.
According to the liner notes this album is a "comment on contemporary society" and for whatever reason begins with Chapter IV (the album is divided into chapters but there are nine actual tracks). Called "Ruins" this opener is a moody symphonic piece with whispered vocals which turn into half-spoken/half-sung vocals. "Remember, Fear's a Relic" is some funky prog with some nice organ. Falsetto vocals are used for the lyrics where a female is talking. "Who Can It Be?" opens with majestic brass. It goes into a part with vocals and guitar (along with brass) sounding like a mix of prog folk and chamber rock.
The vocal part comes back with drumming and backup vocals. Later a very symph prog sounding part followed by more of a heavier rocking and synth-heavy section. A highlight for sure. "The Origin Of Blame" is another highlight. This song reminds me of both Supertramp and 10cc. Very upbeat and poppy for the most part. Almost an old school R&B vibe to this track. "Prey's Prayer" is an instrumental that sounds like a cross between Floyd and Camel. "Sunlight" opens with what sounds like tremoloed and Leslied electric guitar before going into an acoustic ballad.
Halfway drums arrive and everything turns more jazzy. The earlier ballad part is reprised with drums now. "The Relic" starts out as another acoustic ballad with more melodic vocals and some synth backing. A riff on electric guitar appears and piano mimics it. Then strings soar over top. The music comes to a stop and the ballad part is reprised, but now it's instrumental and the strings build towards a crescendo. The title track is possibly the standout piece. The best comes at the end of this album.
Starting out as some kind of mix of industrial and fusion with some spacey synths for good measure. Love that synth bass. Then it turns into symphonic techno rock. Then a straight symphonic piece with acoustic guitar (and that all is just within first 4 minutes!) After that we get some moody orchestral jazz. This is followed by some slow paced symph prog. Ends with vocals and lyrics similar to Chapter IV at the beginning. Overall this is a better written, better performed and better sounding album than The Fall Of Bliss. It's one of those albums where you're not sure what to make of it when you first listen to it, but repeated listenings are rewarding. 4/5 stars.
Darryl

Nikitas Kissonas is back! This talented Greek blessed us back in 2011 with his debut "The Fall Of Bliss" which really impressed me, it was really a one man show with Nikitas taking care of almost everything but the drumming where thankfully he didn't use a drum machine but brought in a real drummer. This time it's much different with many musicians helping out including a brass quintet, a string quintet and guests from bands such as THE ENID, ANGLAGARD, AGENTS OF MERCY, BIRDS & BUILDINGS and more. I will say I actually enjoy Nikitas' voice more than Joe Payne's but that's just me. This is a concept album, sort of a commentary on today's society with the clever title of "Suiciety".
"Ruins" opens with 2 minutes of atmosphere with spacey sounds before the music turns even more spacey with whispered words. Spoken words follow then he's almost singing. What a great way to start. "Remember Fear's A Relic" opens with strummed guitar before bass and a full sound take over. The organ really stands out and we get horns as well. Passionate vocals join in and they become high pitched before 3 minutes reminding me of 3RD DEGREE. Catchy stuff. It turns surprisingly jazzy before 5 minutes followed by some killer organ. It sounds like they are having a party on this one. "The Windows' Cracking Sound" is a short piece with almost spoken vocals and sparse sounds before the drums kick in late and dominate. It ends as it began. "Who Can It Be?" starts with horns sounding medieval as almost spoken vocals arrive around a minute. The horns take over once again as these two themes are contrasted. A jazzy vibe before 4 minutes then drums and horns lead 5 minutes in before it turns surprisingly heavy. Nice. "The Origin Of Blame" opens with pulsating piano and vocals before the organ arrives 1 1/2 minutes in with a fuller sound. Back to the piano and vocals quickly though. Some theatrical vocals here then it kicks back into gear before 3 minutes and they seem to be having lots of fun.
"Prey's Prayer" is a PINK FLOYD-like tune with those lazy guitar melodies. Horns arrive around 5 minutes to the end replacing the guitar. "Sunlight" opens with guitar expressions then strummed guitar after a minute as reserved vocals join in as well. Strings 2 1/2 minutes in then it turns fuller 4 minutes in followed by a heavier sound. The song ends in such a good way as an earlier theme with vocals is repeated. "The Relic" starts with acoustic guitar as vocals and strings join in. This is beautiful and when the vocals stop briefly and the bass and piano come in it continues to be gorgeous and really emotional for me. A heavier instrumental section kicks in with electric guitar before 3 1/2 minutes before stopping suddenly before 5 minutes and you here someone exhale. The opening theme is back to end it. What a song! "Suiciety" has lots of beats to start and it turns fuller just before we get a calm. Heavy percussion, strings and more kick in then another calm before 4 minutes then it builds to a powerful soundscape. Vocal melodies come in over the final minute.
I listened to the debut today just for a fresh comparison and to my ears these two albums are very comparable with this new one being slightly better. Both are well worth tracking down, thanks Nikitas!
John Davie

Having very much enjoyed "The Fall of Bliss," I welcomed the opportunity to hear the follow up. That does not necessarily mean the expectation of another good album was a given. Sophomore releases tend to be either an improvement or a disappointment. "Suiciety" is not only an improvement on an impressive debut, it is a truly great album!
Nikitas Kissonas deserves a lot of credit for playing all the instruments on the first outing. He pulled it of without the lack of a band being obvious. Bringing in an actual band this time around seems to have unleashed previously untapped potential. And what a line up it is, including members of Änglagård and Birds and Buildings, a horn section and strings. The ability of the musicians to play off of one another brings an energy and groove that wasn't present before.
The compositions may be a bit stronger as well. Whether that has anything to do with the instrumental resources available or not, I don't know. What I do know is that the tracks on "Suiciety" are all captivating. There is never a time when the mind is allowed to wander. Each idea flows seamlessly into the next and never overstays its welcome. The darkness found on "The Fall of Bliss" is still present but they are light moments often brought out in rousing jams. The softer moments play counterpoint and move the concept forward.
All the musicians are in top form but I have to single out Joe Payne for his vocals. He brings passion and strength to lyrics, knowing when to rock and when subtlety is best. There all also times when I swear he is channeling Matthew Parmenter, especially on "The Origin of Pain." The influence was there on the debut as well which leads me to believe Nikitas is a pretty big Discipline fan. Another influence on the vocals could be The Divine Baze Orchestra. Many times it would be hard to discern Joe from Oliver Eek, at least stylistically.
Methexis may be listed in Crossover but Modern Symphonic would be more appropriate. "Suiciety" bears this out even more than "The Fall of Bliss." The statement is not made just because of the strings, horns and the tracks being broken down into movements. Those facts however should not be ignored. The only track that does not obviously exhibit symphonic structure is "Chapter I (exterior) - Remember, Fear's A Relic." There, yes, but somewhat obscured by the hot jam. But I digress.
No matter how you break it down 'Suiciety' is great album with a modern feel that has appeal across fans of many different genres (and sub-genres). Methexis is a project that deserves attention and could very well be of the forces bringing prog into the future.
H.T. Riekels

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!
4/5 group kool aids
Thomas Szirmay

Music is the art of thinking with sounds, it is philosophy…..
Every chord, every word tells a story. If you listen, you will know its meaning…..”
Kamanda Ndama

Take a minute to read that quote and let it sink in, understand its very meaning. Even some of the music that is on popular radio and in the charts has a narrative at its heart, it is not all bubblegum pop (well, the majority of it is to be fair).
In the musical world that I inhabit the writers of the songs are musical bards, they tell stories of love and happiness and of loss and sadness and these affect the listener deep to their core. It is a skill that few have but it can take over your world and move you to a different place where all that matters is the song.
It isn’t just the words either, the music itself can take on a life of its own and affect you in just the same manner. The beauty inherent in an amazing piece of music can make you laugh, smile or cry in much the same way that a well written novel or piece of prose can.
I have oft written about how a new piece of music can come from out of nowhere and really move me. I think that those that are least expected are quite often the best surprises and, like misfortunes, they seldom come alone…
It was due to my friendship with ‎Linus Kåse of Swedish progressive giants Änglagård that I first heard about Methexis, the progressive rock project of Greek musician Nikitas Kissonas and discovered the two albums that have so far been released by this talented and eclectic musician. Who is he? I hear you ask well, let’s find out...
Nikitas Kissonas was born in 1980 and he is a graduated guitarist and composer. He works as a music teacher and has collaborated with many groups and in many and diverse performances. As well as the Methexisproject, in which he expresses his agony in the rock genre, he also composes contemporary acoustic music and he is hoping to succeed in marrying the two into something truly progressive.
The Methexis project was created by Nikitas in 2011 following his need to record material he had gathered throughout the years while being a member of alternative Greek bands such as Verbal Delirium andYianneis.
The debut album “The Fall Of Bliss” was released at the same year and Nikitas played most of the instruments except for the drums (Nikos Miras) and the piano on ‘Lines On A Bust’ (Jargon).
February 2015 saw the release of ‘Suiciety’, A concept album about the exterior influences a human gets from his childhood, the interior research for a guiding instrument, the exposition on a suicidal society that doesn’t listen to the clear warnings and the unavoidable collapse.
The album features members of The Enid, Änglagård, Birds & Buildings, Agents of Mercy and Yianneis.
ProgRadar


Desde aquí pueden escuchar y comprar el disco, otro que viene a engrosar la lista de maravillas sonoras de nuestra Biblioteca Sonora.
Que lo disfruten... mientras tanto, esperaremos nuevos trabajos de este griego que se las trae...




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