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TRACK LIST: 1. Ruins 4:49 2. Remember, Fear's a Relic 6:11 3. The Windows' Cracking Sound 1:46 4. Who Can It Be? 6:34 5. The Origin of Blame 3:27 6. Prey's Prayer 6:07 7. Sunlight 8:20 8. The Relic 8:28 9. Suiciety 6:40 LINEUP: Nikitas Kissonas – guitars Walle Wahlgren – drums Brett d'Anon – basses Joe Payne – vocals Linus Kaase – keyboards Nikos Zades – programming With: A classic violin quartet &: A little brass section
Prolusion. The Greek venture METHEXIS is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Nikitas Kissonas. He appeared back in 2011 with the first album released under this name, at that point a strict one-man project. The second album "Suiciety" has been created with additional musicians involved on all levels, and was self-released in 2015.
Analysis. In its guise as of 2015 Methexis appears as a venture that firmly resides in the more demanding and challenging parts of the progressive rock universe. It's also created revolving around a loose theme of sorts, the story divided into four chapters, each with its own musical identity, and while I rarely pay much attention to the lyrics as such when reviewing an album, the vocals for me usually being regarded as one more instrument, the impression I get is that the chapters are divided into one of external observation, one of internal observation, one observation or possibly analysis of society and the end result of described developments in the themes chronicled in the fourth and final chapter. That is an impression rather than an observation however, and I rather suspect it will only be the composer that can truly summarize the theme or possibly themes explored on the album. The CD opens with the final part, the track Ruins, an aptly named affair revolving around eerie sounds and dramatic orchestral surges, possibly the ruins and remnants of the music explored in the earlier chapters. We're then transported back to the opening chapter, one that musically has jazz-oriented escapades as something of a common denominator. From bubbling jazz rock on top of a blues rock base to elegant funky interludes, free form tinged sequences and even an instance or two of the arrangement breaking down into more chaotic dissonant movements. A harder edged sequence closer to progressive metal is also a part of the proceedings here, and occasionally psychedelic oriented details are added in here and there to create a stark, otherworldly atmosphere. One part of this chapter revolves a bit around more of a theatrical cabaret style excursion, and then the chapter closes on an altogether more progressive rock oriented mode with a touch of the symphonic or perhaps neo-progressive as well, with an ongoing atmospheric guitar solo of the kind that reminds me of Camel, but with a more chaotic breakdown section at the end. The second chapter opens with one more instance of jazz and jazz rock-oriented progressive rock, flavored with orchestral details. The latter stays on for the second part of this chapter, which otherwise shies away from the jazz tendencies to a much greater extent, but rather hones in on a gentler and almost pastoral setting with orchestration details coming and going, rising to a dramatic orchestral eruption towards the end and then concluding on the dying echoes of sounds much darker in overall mood and atmosphere.The third chapter consists of one song, the title track Suiciety, which opens in something of an industrial manner, then segues over to both jazz-oriented sequences and orchestral-flavored ones, developing into a majestic and ominous orchestral explosion and concluding on an altogether gentler and more mournful note that would serve as an effective intermission back to the dark moods and sounds of opening track Ruins. As such one might say that this production has a circular quality to it, that you could play it on repeat and have a constantly flowing cycle of music – if you could tolerate the mostly dark, demanding and ominous landscapes that characterize the album throughout. The name of the CD, "Suiciety", a combination of the words “suicide” and “society”, pretty much sums up the general mood of this production after all.
Conclusion. If you have a tendency to enjoy conceptual albums with a stark, dark and bleak character to the landscapes explored, and that the music is a fairly demanding variety of progressive rock with liberal amounts of jazz-oriented as well as orchestral details used to enhance the almost harrowing sound pictures painted, then this second album by Methexis is one that most likely warrants an inspection. Progressive rock fueled doom-laden gloom with plenty of dramatic and theatrical moments, and a liberal amount of bleak despair as something of a key character trait.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: March 5, 2017
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