EP: Setting the Stage

Genre: Instrumental Progmetal

Release Date: January 22nd 2021

Country: USA

Label: Self-Released


Having been active in the metal community for years in multiple ascpects, multi-instrumentalist JEFF PENNACHIO recently released his first solo EP, “Setting The Stage” (January 22nd 2021). Finding inspiration in bands such as Dream Theater, Plini and Trans Siberian Orchestra, he presents three amazing tracks, which showcase his great abilities as song-writer and musician, as he recorded all instruments himself. 

What stands out on “Setting the Stage” is the virtuoso guitar playing. With the orchestration building up beautiful soundscapes, the guitar can develop the melodies over it. They fly in slowly and grow like waves to carry the listener away. The songs are all different in mood and expression: while "Wilson Theater" has a certain melancholy, "Interposition" is brighter and joyful. "The Voyager" is the darkest and heaviest track here. Thanks to the crystal-clear production, all details can be heard. JEFF PENNACHIO’s solo debut is recommended ffo instrumental progmetal in style of the earlier mentioned artists, and here’s high hope that this EP is setting the stage for more great music to come. 


EP: Autumne

Genre: Instrumental Progrock

Release Date: February 19th 2021

Country: Greece

Label: Self-Released


Let’s head over to Athens, which is the home of Greek composer and guitarist KOSTAS SAMPANIS, who just released his debut “Autumne”. It includes five instrumental tracks, and Kostas invites us to join him on his very own journey by musically visiting the places where he grew up. This nostalgia is also reflected in the cover artwork (by Bewild Brother), which is a statement about the things that belong to the past. A concern for days to come.  

The guitar tells this story in a melodic and mesmerizing way: The warm tone is something that resonates very well with me, also in combination with the beautiful piano background and solo parts. The songs are all different, but in an amazing flow, wander between slow acoustic parts and faster, more progressive pieces. My favorites are “A Heartbeat Away”, "Birth" and “Until We Meet Again” because of their great dynamic, but in the end, "Autumne" is best enjoyed completely, and in a peaceful surrounding. It's a short, but beautiful listen - Music to drift away for a moment... And as this is KOSTAS SAMPANIS' debut, I’m looking forward to hear, what other stories he might have to tell in the future.  


EP: Spark

Genre: (Mainly) Instrumental Progmetal

Release Date: March 5th 2021

Country: Italy

Label: Self-Released


From Greece, it's not too far to Italy, where the third guitarist in this round-up comes from. I'm talking about FILIPPO ROSATI, who released his (mainly) instrumental EP „Spark“ on March 5th 2021. FILIPPO is a musician and composer from Rome, and guitarist of progmetal band OMEGA ZERO. According to the Bandcamp description, ”Spark” “celebrates the spirit of sharing that binds artists in every part of the world”, which is also confirmed by the illustrious guests that contribute a part, as you can hear Richard Henshall (Haken, Nova Collective), Simon Sandnes (Arkentype), and Rohan Sharma among others. 

The music is best described as contemporary progmetal and comes up with a great dynamic thanks to the varied rhythmic and song-writing. Most of the tracks are instrumental, with the focus on the great guitar playing, only “Entangled” got some vocal parts. Each song is different, tells its own story in an amazing way, including impressive solo parts by the guest musicians. To sum it up: It only takes 20 minutes to listen to these five songs, but prog-lovers will find a lot for their listening pleasure here, so just dive in.