UNTIL RAIN – ANTHEM TO CREATION – ESCAPE MUSIC – OUT NOW
Until Rain is a progressive metal band which was formed back in 2004 in Thessaloniki, Greece. In July 2009 Until Rain signed with Steel Gallery Records for their first label release, the debut concept album: “The Reign Of Dreams”. Its concept concerns dreams, but its scenario could be a real and adventurous life story. The band quickly followed up with the EP “Pandemic”, giving a taste of Until Rain’s next full length release. Now these five passionate guys have released their third platter with the new label Escape Music.
Until Rain is:
Yannis Papadopoulos – vocals
Theodore Amaxopoulos – guitars
Lefteris Germenlis – keyboards
Bill Gkagkavouzis – bass
Alex Hughes – drums
ANTHEM TO CREATION
Some voice effects surprisingly open this album. Odd synths take over, followed by some tight riffs. One thing immediately come to mind. This is going to be a joyful ride! When singer Yannis joins my jaw drops. This is prog metal with a capital P. The opener “Brain Death” is packed with tempo changes and unexpected subtle twists. This quintet delivers the goods. I already read that guitarist Theodore is a Dream Theater fan and you can indeed hear some influences now and then. But also bands like Circus Maximus and Symphony X come to mind.
“Think Again” is mainly characterized by that super speedy guitar riff! This song holds some unexpected staccato-style vocals. “Living Hell” tempts us with galloping riffs, repeating short keyboard lines and a truly unchained Yannis! The break displays the true musicianship of this gang! “My Own Blood” gives us the opportunity to taste the more romantic side of this Greek youngsters. Yannis truly demonstrates his vocal expertise here. The song slowly builds up and ends with a true high scream from Yannis. All these goodies convinced me but I wondered if they could hold my attention in a long composition.
They take this test during the more than ten minutes long “Empty Helmet”. The song picks up the gauntlet with some strong riffing. The mighty tonsils from Yannis thunder with authority. Lefteris delivers some great keys here and Theodore tosses out top notch solos. But don’t forget the precise bashing of the skins by Alex Hughes and the string pulling of bass player Bill. Even some cavalry inspired drums can be heard in an instrumental break. After “13-8” which holds some Oriental influences – the guys try to impress me with their second plus ten minutes composition. “The Clang Of Shields” is divided in two parts but actually flow over in each other. A spoken intro is a kind of personal attack against God. Movie lovers will know this for sure. Because it’s the famous speech from ‘the devil’ Al Pacino in the movie ‘The Devil’s Advocate’. The words are backed up by some acoustic guitars and atmospheric keys. A strong guitar dominated instrumental part follows. Keys extravaganza brings me in a great mood. There happens a lot vocal wise on this track. I’m very fond of the layered harmony vocals. But the guitar is truly the one who holds the scepter here.
At the end of part I the piano takes over and takes us smoothly to the second part of the song. This romantic piece is a welcome change from all the previous ‘prog-violence’. Around the two minute mark the guitar shows his head and with the solo the mood switches again. These young dudes even dare to compose a plus 18 minute song. The question rises here of they could hold my undivided attention for that long. A melodic guitar opens this opus and subtle classical piano boosts the sound. A super sensitive Yannis continues this story and is backed up with the earlier mentioned piano. After three minutes the song gets much heavier with staccato riffs and more aggressive vocals. A more atmospheric part follows with a huge pallet of unusual sounds. Slowly the guitar takes the lead. Theodore and Lefteris alternate to demonstrate the real power of their instruments and this part of the song is my favorite! A bit further we get submerged under a bombastic orchestration! The remaining six minutes of the song are packed with surprising tempo changes and they fully fulfilled all of my expectations. This is prog metal in a deluxe edition!
Some peace and quiet is what we get during “Breaking Of The 7 seals”. Emotional vocal lines are being poured on top of slower paced riffs. The piano delivers a special mood! The alternating calm and more aggressive parts create a high tension field. The album closer “Marionettes” kicks in gear with some poppy keys. They get the company of some riffs and a clearly audible bass line. Yannis drops by in a very melodic way. The song slowly builds up to the chorus. All instruments battle for the golden cup here. My melodic ear picks up the happy and fresh sounding keys as the overall winner, but bass, drums and guitars are in hot pursuit! Some narrating dialogue in the break can be heard! Near the end the guitars take control and a minute later the keys join this party!
Escape music first was now as a safe haven for melodic rock and metal but nowadays they also attract other genres! This time they signed a rather unknown prog metal band. But to my big surprise this (for me) unknown band blew me away from the first listen. Sure you can hear some influences from bands like Dream Theater – Symphony X and Circus Maximus! But these guys aren’t clones at all. I easily listen to this eighty minutes long masterpiece in one go without pause! It’s going to end up high in my personal top ten from this year, that’s for sure! The band is booked for an European tour with Andromeda and Desolation Angels! They will visit Belgium as well and this guy won’t be missing that! Cause I’m very curious how they will reproduce these sounds on stage.
Score: 4,5 out of 5
- Brain Death 5:24
- Think Again 4:19
- Living Hell 5:17
- My Own Blood 5:05
- Empty Helmet 10:50
- 13-8 5:02
- The Clang of Shields Pt. I 6:54
- The Clang of Shields Pt. II 3:25
- Anthem To Creation 18:21
- Breaking Of The 7 Seals 4:47
- Marionettes 9:23
Tekst Rik Bauters