Progressive metal torrent
Third release from Greek progressive metallers UNTIL RAIN shows the new benchmark for the local scene - and that can only be the international stage.
With a monstrous, powerful sound, duly taken care of from the experienced Jens Bogren (OPETH, DEVIN TOWNSEND, KREATOR, PARADISE LOST etc.), UNTIL RAIN have managed to properly expose the qualities of the band through an amazingly tight album. Execution of the highest calibre and the only question is: Is the 79 minutes worth it?
"Anthem to Creation" is above all a metal album with the tags power/progressive following it. The band uses both short killer heavy power tracks and longer compositions to get the message across and that works equally impressively, with strong influences from DREAM THEATER and SYMPHONY X, the latter possibly (and justifiably nowadays) more prominent. Several references to European acts such as VANDEN PLAS and newcomers such as MYRATH ('Brain Death', '13-8') blend with the fundamental power/prog sound nicely; especially, the eastern influences are bread and butter for the mood that UNTIL RAIN convey; the same applies to the thematic direction of the album - creation, death, honour, war.
Listening in a haste, I had initially missed the excellent (and strategically positioned) vocals from Vicky Psarakis (EQUATIONS VANQUISH EQUALITY, E.V.E.) that gives some extra grandeur in the refrain sections. The second half "clicks" with me a bit better, showing a little bit more deviation from the norm and more guitar work in the vein of FATES WARNING and glimpses of more key-driven passages (see AYREON). The high-pitched vocal performance is (big sigh of relief!) top-class and the whole approach of the band is professional to the core, with the smallest detail being looked after.
Big tick: 79 minutes left me wanting more, without noticing weak moments.
Highlights: My Own Blood, The Clang of Shields.
Biggest improvement potential: Personality and character - to reach the 'groundbreaking' status, I would like to see more innovation and less reliance on already-tested riffs and ideas.
A very strong release that will appeal to (progressive-minded) metal fans.