VASS / KATSIONIS – ‘’Cynical Silence
VASS / KATSIONIS – album ‘’Cynical Silence” (7 April 2023, Symmetric Records)
- The End Of Innocence
- Restless Seeker
- Cynical Silence
- Vengeance Is Mine
- Radical Realist
- A Day Without Loss
- Invisible Thread
- My Island Is Home
Vass/Katsionis return in the span of a year with their sophomore work, “Cynical Silence”, to make two things abundantly clear: the ‘90s has probably been the best era of progressive metal and secondly, the intend not only to honor this era, but to develop its sound further to fit the current times.
Their debut work, “Ethical Dilemma”, was a masterfully made work paying homage and reviving as faithfully as possible the ‘90s progressive sound, with ideas inspired by bands like the Queensryche and Fates Warning. Subtle but clear, this approach worked like a charm and the result was an excellent progressive metal work. Now, in the “Cynical Silence”, while they continue from where they left it off, their sophomore work shows movement forward both towards a more modern sound and a sound that is based less on their influences and more on their personal artistic vision.
True and faithful to the progressive metal sound patterns, Vass/Katsionis compose rhythmically complex ideas, with musicality and the distinct progressive metal groove that give a whole another layer of heaviness to the songs. The album opens with the song “The End of Innocence”, which is an on point introduction to the album, with its modern cut sound and its Fates Warning influences. Interestingly, around the 3rd minute, the song shows a more Dream Theater influenced profile that fits perfectly and compliments the whole song.
The “Cynical Silence” goes even further back at points, with many songs having an ‘80s or even a ‘70s vibe in their sound, like the self-titled “Cynical Silence” that blends the progressive and Fates Warning approach with an ‘80s sound, making one of the best songs of the album. Also, the song “Invisible Thread”, which happens to be my personal favorite, apart from the beautiful synth and key work and the punchy, upfront bass line, has a ‘70s progressive rock undertone that although subtle, it plays a key role in the particular track’s development.
And what progressive album composed by Bob Katsionis could this have been, without a song like the “Vengeance Is Mine”. The power metal and specifically the inspired by the European scene power metal comes on the foreground and blends with the progressive basis of the album, into a vibrant and uplifting musical result. It should not go unmentioned that although Billy Vass does an incredible work with the vocal lines, in this particular track absolutely steals the show with his very expressive and captivating vocal performance.
Review by Mr Athens 79
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