Anthem to Creation
Reviewed By Sean Dudley
Quickly becoming one of the better prog/power metal bands going round
From out of Thessaloniki in Greece comes Until Rain, a progressive metal band who is currently making a few waves in the metal scene. Not a new band (not name-wise anyway), Until Rain formed in 2004 however went through a series of name changes before settling on Until Rain in 2009 (Delear, Delirium and Theimeurgia).
After releasing a demo in 2009 under the Theimeurgia name, it wasn’t until the vocalist at the time left enabling the band to continue as Until Rain, also bringing in new vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos. The remainder of the band includes guitarist Teo Amaksopoulos, Drummer Alex Hughes, and keyboardist Lefteris Germenlis. Bassist Orestis Fikos departed the band after their debut release in 2009 ‘The Reign Of Dreams’, and replaced by current bassist Bill Gkagkavouzis. Since the debut, Until Rain released an eight track EP entitled ‘Pandemic’ in 2011 before embarking on their sophomore and latest effort, the matured and well rounded album ‘Anthem to Creation’, which was released in August of 2013 and released through Escape Music, a small label established in England.
With song lyrics covering typical prog metal themes such as life, dreams and allegory, Until Rain’s sound is a mix of many musical elements such as prog, melodic and experimental metal, art rock and electronic music sometimes combined with extreme metal elements. The band fits itself nicely between the melodic progressive metal of Shadow Gallery or Circus Maximus, the prog/power metal of Cloudscape, Kingcrow and Prototype, and the more epic orchestral power of Symphony X or Time Requiem. It’s a great blend of well known facets and a unique take on the progressive metal genre with the inclusion of Greek folklore in both lyrics and melodies.
Previously performing with fellow Greek band Firewind, Until Rain have been touring England and Europe promoting their new CD, opening for Damnation Angels and Andromeda in a triple-threat prog/power metal show. The new release has also been winning over fans, with the disc reaching 3rd place in a poll for the “album of the week” segment for Revolver Magazine. Doing a wonderful job of the producing, mixing and mastering is the well known Jens Bogren, who has worked with a plethora of bands including Symphony X, Soilwork, Rotting Christ, Paradise Lost, Opeth, Kreator, Grand Magus, Dark Tranquillity and Amon Amarth.
‘Anthem To Creation’ is indeed a great album that will appeal to the bands mentioned above. Creatively written, the disc shows great promise and a matured and multi-layered sound of a band that knows what they want to achieve with their unique style of progressive/power metal. And of course with prog metal, bands like Until Rain love the lengthy tracks and on ‘Anthem to Creation’ there are two mammoth songs that travel over 10 minutes. The just shy of 11 minutes “Empty Helmet” is an anti-war song that tells the story of a soldier who no longer wants to be a part of war. The track is quite superb, very emotional and contains many facets of the band’s own unique style. Multiple tempo changes, orchestral and atmospheric elements and the right mix of prog and power with the guitar riffs and melodies, the track is one of the best IMO.
Then we have the gigantic 18 minute title track “Anthem to Creation”, where we see the full potential of this band in terms of song writing, creativeness, maturity and musical prowess. Vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos has a wonderful voice, quite soothing to hear but can also be quite gritty and dark when needed. Almost angelic, Yannis’ power and range is extraordinary; able to reach the high notes with ease. The title track again is multi-layered/tempo, with many instrumental passages within its rather long 18 minute frame, which many progressive metal fans will definitely appreciate.
Aside from those two great tracks, there are plenty of other treasures on this disc, including the ferocious power/prog killer “Living Hell”, the melodic power/prog unofficial single “Think Again” (official lyrical video on Youtube), the crushing and fierce number “The Clang of Shields Part 1” and the catchy and technical opening track “Brain Death”.
Until Rain are definitely a very talented bunch of musicians who are starting to bloom just at the right time, with their exceptional brand of prog/power metal featured on this album. While word of their music is slowly making its way round the globe, Until Rain are making waves in Europe and England and it won’t be long before the rest of the world catches wind. ‘Anthem to Creation’ is one of the better prog/power metal releases I’ve heard in some time and fans of the genre that would also include bands like Kingcrow, Symphony X, Prototype, Cloudscape and Shadow Gallery will positively and thoroughly enjoy the wonderful progress that Until Rain are making right now.