Mask of Prospero - Hiraeth
MASK OF PROSPERO
Genre: Modern Progmetal
Release Date: January 27th, 2023
Label: Vicisolum Records
Band Links: WEBSITE / BANDCAMP / INSTAGRAM / FACEBOOK
Greek modern progmetal band MASK OF PROSPERO formed in 2014. After an EP and a highly acclaimed debut album, the quintet is now set to release their second full-length, which is called “Hiraeth” and will be out on January 27th, 2023 via Vicisolum Records. While the band’s name was inspired by Edgar Allen Poe, the album’s title has its origins in Welsh and means "the longing for a “home” that doesn’t exist anymore". The lyrical concept deals with human nature and experiences that scar us, until we fight them and achieve our personal "Horeeya" ("freedom" in Arabic). This is also visualized in the expressive cover artwork and videos.
A scream takes us into the opening track “Divided”, followed by a brutal riff with djent-driven rhythmic, before they calm down to build up the song again with a melancholic, melodic part leading towards an emotional breakdown. They further develop the song in waves, growing and descending with accessible melodies and harsh vocals, perfectly accompanied by a varied, pressureful instrumental performance. “Hourglass” and "Exile" work with the same ingredients, alternating between hard-hitting and more thoughtful moments.
Throughout the whole album, the vocals are incredibly diverse with a fantastic range. Drums and bass offer highly complex, yet playful rythm-patterns and lines, the guitars switch between heavy playing, amazing solo parts and atmospheric soundscapes. Together, they keep the music varied, interesting, and very expressive.
"Lethe" delivers one of the catchiest melody lines here, and comes up with some goosebumps moments. The following "Amal" is about a mother's love for her child, mesmerizing represented by Sophia Sarri behind the mic. “Kyma” deals with the loss of a beloved person, and features the marvelous voices of George Prokopiou (Poem, MoM) and Yannis Vogiatzis (Need). While the beautiful piano part reminds of Mother of Millions, the song also got a huge synth arrangement towards the end. MASK OF PROSPERO close the album on a more positive note with “Horeeya”, bringing once more their wonderful creativity, musicianship, and power to the table.
What starts like - hmm... - just another metalcore record, quickly evolves into an expressive, highly emotional roller coaster, and one of the first musical highlights of this still pretty young year. The whole album comes along powerful yet atmospheric, wandering in the wide fields between soft synth-pop and pushing, djent-driven progmetal, with many nuances in between. The sound is mighty yet detailed, making each instrument clearly audible, without the band losing their strong unity. Thanks to the nearly flawless, varied compositions and the skill- as well as playful performance of all musicians, “Hiraeth” is an incredible listen, and should bring MASK OF PROSPERO on the radar of hopefully many prog-lovers. Highly recommended to check them out!
Written by Katha
Chris Kontoulis - Vocals
Aggelos Malisovas Bass
Panos Kottaras - Guitars
Nick Letsios - Guitars
Andreas Kalogeras - Drums
3. In Exile
The Observatory - 2018
Hiraeth - 2023