"A concept album following the life cycle of a human being, childhood to citizen adult, the lyrics (and music) are replete with references to all of the odd destructive and self-destructive patterns our 'civilized' race has attached itself to. Brainchild of Athenian Nikitas Kissonas, Methexis' music is never predictable and always unexpected. Begin with The Enid's Joe Payne's amazing and enigmatic voice. (Please excuse my previous error in that I mistakenly thought it was Nikitas singing.) It seems that Joe can sound like anyone he chooses. Then focus on Nikitas' eclectic and stunningly diverse guitar soundings and stylings. Then try to pinpoint his influences, the styles he is drawing from in order to make his eminently creative and original songs. It is nearly impossible. This is music that draws from so many diverse and unusual styles and ideas. This is music that tests the capabilities, the combinations and permutations, that are possible within the realms of human expression using sound and music.
1. "Chapter IV - Ruins" (4:49) starts the album with 'the end'! The fourth and final suite in the album's song-cycle, entitled "ruins," is what Nikitas chooses to begin his album with. I love it! It is an atmospheric 'post-apocalyptic' song much in the vein of Mariuz Duda's LUNATIC SOUL or even Norway's ULVER.
2. "Chapter 1 - Exterior - Remember, Fear's a Relic" (6:11) opens with the energetic force of a great blues-based jazz-rock song--complete with Hammond organ, sassy horn section, and bluesy GINO VANELLI-like vocal. A surprise as this was quite unexpected but I have to admit: it is quite refreshing and enjoyable. The falsetto chorus is also quite unusual, but then, everything Nikitas creates is quite unusual and unexpected. Quite fun. (9/10)
3. "Chapter 1 - Exterior - The Windows' Cracking Sound" (1:46) (9/10) is another unusual song for its surprising mix/engineering: the entire time a heavily treated electric guitar is slowly strumming the accompaniment to Joe Paynes' delicate, untreated voice, a drummer is jamming away at a very fast pace in the background. Once, at the end, the drums are brought up to front and center before being faded back to deep background for the horn opening of the next song, 4. "Chapter I - Exterior - Who Can It Be" (6:34) is a song performed by a horn ensemble with occasional whispered vocal and mid-song classical guitar interlude (including a brief slightly angular/diminished replication of Beethoven's "Ode to joy"). The post-guitar interlude shifts into PETER HAMMILL territory with some odd jazz instrumentation for accompaniment and the PH vocal. When thing amp back up--first via return of the horns and then full TOBY DRIVER-like band to spacey end. So odd! So outstanding! (10/10)
5. "Chapter I - Exterior - The Origin of Blame" (3:27) starts out as a piano-accompanied cabaret-like vocal much in the MATTHEW PARMENTER style. The cacophonous 'chorus' is equally 'out there'--but so creative and idiosyncratic! This is such an amazing mind that can successfully weave such odd and unusual sounds and styles into the flow of this, a concept album. I call it genius! (10/10)
6. "Chapter I - Exterior - Prey's Prayer" (6:07) is an instrumental support/setup for an amazing guitar solo. The guitar play reminds me of JEFF BECK, ROY BUCHANAN, HIRAM BULLOCK, or RAY GOMEZ! Great horn support. This is not a song to be missed! Guitar this sublime is too seldom recorded! (10/10)
7. "Chapter II - Interior - Sunlight" (8:20) opens with some more adventurous guitar sounds before shifting into a sensitive acoustic guitar supported ballad--not unlike the recent work of JOHANNES LULEY including the voice (though on this song Joe's voice is more similar to that of RITUAL lead vocalist, Patrik Lundström). Quite unusual song structure and sound combinations. So like our enigmatic chameleon Nikiitas! Excellent song. The final section sounds like recent ECHOLYN before the solo voice closes in Peter Hammill fashion! (10/10)
8. "Chapter II - Interior - The Relic" (8:28) opens with a minute of purposefully picked chords on acoustic guitar which are eventually joined by Joe Payne's equally composed yet emotional vocal. By the end of the second minute piano and then full band have joined in to support a multi-voiced chorus. In the instrumental fifth minute the music builds in layers and intensity before crescendoing and crashing into silence with a brilliantly placed audible sigh to restore the gentle yet plaintive sounds and structures of the opening. Piano and violin--and later cello--perform some nice soli to accompany the synth orchestral sounds. Nice Post Rock song. (9/10)
9. "Chapter - Suiciety" (6:40) opens with a fast-paced, hard-driving PORCUPINE TREE-like sound of drums, odd spacey synth sounds and ominous keyboard bass chords until 1:37 when the drumming cuts the pace in half while the pile of ominous incidentals and washes mounts higher and higher. Then at 2:20 everything drops away to leave the slowly picked notes of a solo classical guitar. Cymbol play accompanies the addition of orchestral participation (I especially like the horns sections' contributions). This is then followed by a creative section in which the drummer creatively fills orchestra-supported 'space' with his cymbol and kit play. A return to full force in the ominous chord progressions crescendoes and decays while Joe Payne's treated voice alone fills the album's sad finale. (9/10)
This is an awesome album of eclectic music! Being a concept album with songs integrated to express this elevates it a notch above Methexis' previous 2011 effort, The Fall of Bliss (which I also love). A brilliant masterpiece of modern progressive rock music--one that gets me so excited to come back to it and hear it again. Special shout out to Linus KÃ¥se and Nikos Zades, the keyboard player and sound design/D&B programmer, respectively. Amazing contributions! And Walle! Awesome play on the batterie! Check this one out, people!
5 stars, definitely essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music." - ProgArchives