Album: Multiple Personalities
Genre: Instrumental Progrock
Release Date: April 9th 2021
Before we start here, please take a moment to dive into the cover artwork below… What a stunning, visual introduction of LA-based progrock fusion trio COEVALITY, which are Jon Reicher (guitars / composition), Derrick Elliot (bass / arrangements) and drummer Andy Prado Jr. After having worked on their debut album for ten years, they now released “Multiple Personalities” on April 9th, 2021. The concept behind the seven songs reflects the different personalities we go through during our life while it progresses. But, as life itself, their music works best as a unit and can be seen as one long track.
“Multiple Personalities” is an instrumental release, that leans into different directions stylistically, using the wide range between prog, metal, and jazz, as well as symphonic elements. From the first second, you can hear that these guys know exactly what they do: all three are excellent musicians, and bring in impressive technical skills on their respective instruments. The song-writing is on a consistent high level, always interesting and varied without losing the flow, the performance incredibly smooth. Even though the rhythmic and song structures are very complex, the music is accessible and comes with a certain easiness.
Listening to COEVALITY's first effort works a bit like a film-score for me, as it brings up different scenes in front of the inner eye, and I highly recommend to go on this amazing ride.
Genre: Instrumental Progmetal
Release Date: May 28th, 2021
Next up we head over to Athens, which is the home of Greek guitarist and composer FOTIS DELINIKOLAS. After having earned a lot of experience by performing with bands of different genres over the years as a professional musician, he now released his first solo album “Alma” on May 28th, 2021. Even though this project was mainly created during quarantine times, there are also older compositions on it, but with all nine songs reflecting a wide range of styles and emotions. My first impression of Fotis' work was the playthrough video for “Seasons”, which was published three weeks in advance and left me with high anticipation to hear more of his music.
The album opens with "Brainwash", which builds up pressure by using different kind of themes and their variations. But considering what is yet to come, it feels a bit like a warm-up to clear the mind from well-known paths, as with the following title track and beyond, Fotis spreads his wings - like the moth on the cover artwork – developing the music with his mind blowing, yet mesmerizing guitar playing and song-writing. "Chimera" starts with a nice, twinkling melody, just to transform into a beast due to the challenging rhythmic as well as his outstanding shredding. “Dualism” is incredibly groovy with a good pinch of heaviness, the alternating guitar and keyboard runs are a real listening pleasure. A change of pace comes with "Raindrop", that brings in a beautiful lightness. The last four songs remain on the same high level, with fantastic musicianship and rhythms.
By blending a wide range of musical influences and styles, FOTIS DELINIKOLAS created a real gem for lovers of sophisticated, virtuoso guitar playing. Give it a spin!
Album: The Last Three Seconds
Genre: Instrumental Progrock
Release Date: May 7th, 2021
Label: Small Pond Recordings
The third debut in this round-up comes from UK-based proggers VORONOI, who released their album “The Last Three Seconds” on May 7th, 2021 via Small Pond Recordings. The band formed off the back of contemporary jazz outfit Zeitgeist, with Aleks Podraza on Keyboards, bassist Sam Quintana and Tom Higham on drums, and they bring together their passion for science fiction with complex elements of classical or experimental music. Even though there are (nearly) no guitars on this album (besides a short guest appearance on track No8), the music has a certain heaviness.
Opening with different electronical sounds and rhythms, the trio draws the listener in from the beginning. Since the fascination with cosmology as a whole is a theme that runs through the veins of most of the songs, "Gamma Signals" sets the interstellar mood. "The Nauseator" develops more into the jazz direction, with great piano harmonies and an incredible rhythmic, and is one of my favorites here. Over the next songs, they continuously mix musical elements that are not necessarily used together, but they do it in an amazing way, from jazz to metal, and from classic to modern synth sounds. Another highlight for me is "The Outside and the Priest", where they bring the above mentioned to the top, just to end the album with the beautiful "Home Could Be Lightyears Away".
"The Last Three Seconds" is indeed experimental, and maybe not for everyone. But if you're into jazz or prog, VORONOI's excellent debut offers a lot for your listening pleasure.