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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Reviews: Mother Of Millions, Supersoul, Major Denial, Silked & Stained

Mother Of Millions: Sigma (Vicisolum Productions)

Mother Of Millions are a Greek progressive/alternative rock, their second album is 46 minutes of epic compositions and a masterclass in album tracking. From the discordant spoken word/instrumental of Emerge it hooks you with its moody atmosphere, the sound of one keening guitar gives way to minor piano chords as choral sense of dread builds with an industrial thump. This is washed away by the technical staccato riffage, down tuned bass and flaring drums of Shine which plays well with the quiet/loud dynamic as Kostas Konstantinidis guitar relentlessly plays a clean fluid lead in the background as the rhythm section of builds to the chorus which repeats the opening djent riff. The tracks are multi layered pieces that require your undivided attention, it's not a record to play in the car, best enjoyed alone through headphones only then can you hear every minute aspect to the bands brilliance.

I mentioned about the sequencing earlier and MoM have it nailed every track is used to flow seamlessly into the next and as Shine takes you into the 7 minute Silence you hear another side to their sound with the bass of Panos Priftis prominently featured against the jazz percussion of George Boukaouris. Later as the record progresses the heavy Rome transitions into Their Passage, The Light with Eastern themes and traditional Greek instrumentation, the drama of Collision is brought by the synths and samples of Makis Tsamkosoglou.

The music is so cutting edge it'll trim your hedges for you but with such impressive instrumentation the vocals need to be something and George Prokopiou voice is something special he has a voice unique to many of those in this kind of music angst ridden, soaring, defiant, gruff and empowering he takes many forms throughout this record and on every track he commands you to listen. Cinematic music for intelligent minds Mother Of Millions (who are named after a plant that is near indestructible and reproduces at an alarming rate) have followed up their debut with an album that is simply fantastic, it's everything a progressive rock fan could want with an ear to the mainstream. Buy this record now! Is it too late to change my Top albums of 2017? 10/10

Supersoul: Faith Bender (Self Released)

Athenian band Supersoul are dead ringers for the modern blues sound of The Royal Blood adding some fuzzy desert rock of QOTSA and the jangling indie or Arctic Monkeys (Jacob Williams) throughout the 14 tracks on this record you get no hint that the band are Greek, even the spoken asides in the thundering Gold have a cockney accent to them. If you didn't know better you'd swear the band have crawled out of the Hipster central Shoreditch.

The trio lock into grooves throughout, the bass and drum riffs strut like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, the guitar is fuzzy and explodes with flashes of solo brilliance Blackhorse. They aren't averse to widening their horizons taking the modern street blues of Beck on the slinky Divine, or the classic soul rock of The Black Keys on Wrong Side Of Suicide (just listen to the bass on it and try not to bang your head). As the album nears it's conclusion the woozy Down By The River leads into the title track. It's a great album if you like modern garage blues get it on and get rocking. 8/10

Major Denial: Duchess Of Sufferings (Self Released)

Greek progressive metal act Major Denial release their sophomore album Duchess Of Sufferings 2 years after their debut EP and they have once again, made a record that effortlessly merges tough power metal with the intelligent prog metal of bands such as Queensryche or Nevermore. Soaring vocals are backed by complex riffs as a touch of drama cuts through the record with tracks such as Rise With The Dawn having the progressive nature whereas others are a s straight as a die.

It's a dark record there isn't much happiness in the lyrical content and the music too is darker than most but it means when vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos (Beast In Black) songs in the higher reaches he counteracts the heaviness of the rhythms Nektarios Ntagkas (guitar) and Panagiotis Haramis (bass) as do the solos of Achilleas Diamantis (lead guitar). The album doesn't set the world alight but it's a competent record that sticks to a sound and for any fans of this style it'll satisfy. 7/10

Silked & Stained: Love On The Road (Lions Pride Records)

First of all it's a terrible name, when I first heard it it made me think of our local curry house which is simultaneously silked and stained. However much like the Tandoori Mahal this record is has the odd tasty morsel (Bombshell), some guilty pleasures but unlike Indian cuisine Love On The Road is served with a massive stinking wedge of cheese, gorgonzola to be precise. The ballads such as Hold My Hand sickly and the rockers strive so much to be on the radio I'm sure the Devil is inking his pen.

When AOR is good it can be really entertaining but when it's as mediocre as this it makes for hard going. The vocals are not particularly good, almost sub Graham Bonnet, I'll say the guitar playing is pretty good but that's about it, the record just had too many mid-paced pop rockers to really get the heart racing. 5/10

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