Thanos "ProgCaliph" Patsos
"What Remains" is the third release from Sedate Illusion, the project of Vangelis Kakarougkas, hailing from the beautiful island of Phaeacians. This album causes mixed feelings, with the balance tilting towards the positive side...
"What Remains" is largely based on spacey-keyboard-driven experimental/progressive metal. For the atmospheres and the guitar style the listener could bring to mind OSI as the closest reference but the overall melancholy/total-melodic approach may remind you of the mellower moments of Riverside and Pain of Salvation. The album also generates a dreamy/sci-fi feeling, particularly obvious in the highlight instrumental 'Elephant Sleeper', which is by far the most complete and polished composition here, with exciting, adventurous keyboard work and continuous variation.
The guest female vocals of Lia Kolita and Charitini Anastasiadou are highlights of their own where present ('The Truth' and 'What Remains' respectively), in compositions which otherwise fail to grasp the attention of the listener from start to finish. Main drawbacks in this work are the rough and unpolished male vocals, the (decent but) not-so-weighty production, the tendency for repetition and the use of filler tracks ('Evaluation', 'The Lie'). On the other hand, the keyboard work is at times exceptional - a bit of Ayreon magic thrown in there - and it's a shame that the longer compositions don't stand up to the challenge. I found myself enjoying the whole package, but with definite ups and downs on interest levels, even within the same song. For fans of OSI/Kevin Moore and more atmospheric experimental metal ''What Remains'' may strike some chords.
Highlights: "Reflection", "Elephant Creeper"