Today the Music Safari lands in Greece – Thessalonki, in particular, where we meet – Yannis Papadopoulos, Theodore Amaxopoulos, Lefteris Germenlis, Bill Gkagkavouzis and Alex Hughes, who collectively form the extremely good and young progressive metal band Until Rain. Actually, the current band differs slightly from the onethat was formed in 2004 by then 14-year old schoolmates, Orestis FIKOS (Bass), Lefteris GERMENLIS (Keyboards) and Alex HUGHES (Drums).The change came between their debut album “The Reign of Dreams” released in 2009 and the follow-up album Anthem to Creation released in 2013 (which by the way was released on my wedding anniversary August 23rd). The changes were two-fold first Yannis Papadopoulos replaced Damianos Roussos on vocals, and secondly Bill Gkagkavouzis replaced Fikos on bass, Time out!! Before we go any further, it’s time for a geography lesson. For all of you haters or those who could care less, you can skip the next part from Wikipedia!
Thessaloniki (Greek: Θεσσαλονίκη [θesaloˈnici] ( listen)), is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of thegeographic region of Macedonia, the administrative region of Central Macedonia and the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace. Its honorific title is Συμπρωτεύουσα (Symprotévousa), literally “co-capital”, and stands as a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα (Symvasilévousa) or “co-reigning” city of theEastern Roman Empire, alongside Constantinople. According to the preliminary results of the 2011 census, the municipality of Thessaloniki today has a population of 322,240, while the Thessaloniki Urban Area (the contiguous built up area forming the “City of Thessaloniki”) has a population of 790,824; making it the fifth largest and most populated city in the Balkans and the second most populated city that is not a capital, after Istanbul. Furthermore, the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area extends over an area of 1,455.62 km2 (562.02 sq mi) and its population in 2011 reached a total of 1,104,460 inhabitants.
Ok, so now that we know a little about the hometown of this band, we can learn a little more about their terrific music! The album Anthem to Creation has received a lot of positive reviews that you can read at their website. At the ProgArchives,the album received an overall rating of 4.25 with 40% of the fifteen reviewers labeling the album as: Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music!!. In his review at ProgArchives kev rowland – COLLABORATOR Crossover Team writes this about Until Rain….
Here is a band that is bringing together elements of prog metal, melodic and experimental metal, art rock, electronic music with some AOR sensibilities, so that they come across as Threshold mixed with Dream Theater, Dragonforce and Symphony X, with bits of King Crimson thrown in for good measure. Yannis Papadopoulos is an incredible singer, with great range and control, and behind him is a band with every skill one could wish for. Lefteris Germenlis has a deft touch on the keys, sometimes being over the top and at others adding just little nuances, while bassist Bill Gkagkavouzis is happy to play in and around the beat adding his own melodies, or just to tack it down while drummer Alex Hughes is monstrous. Then last, and certainly not least, we have Theo Amaxopoulos, who is a shredder par excellence.
That last part about Theo can be confirmed by listening to the beginning of the second track “Think Again”!! Overall I agree this is one fantastic album in my novice and humble opinion and I can’t wait to use it as the soundtrack for a run!!! I only hope that the high-speed playing of the band doesn’t leave me on the side of the road gasping for breath, waiting for a slower song to come on!!!
Sources and Links
- Band website: http://www.untilrain.com, Reviews
- Wikipedia – Thessaloniki
- ProgArchives – Until Rain – Anthem to creation with reviews – kev Rowland review
- Facebook – Until Rain
- MySpace: – Until Rain
- MOG: Anthem to Creation
My Own Blood (Official Lyric Video)