Released: 2002, Lion Music
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
Keyboardist Bob Katsionis, hailing from Greece, scores a solid hit with his full-length debut solo album, TURN OF MY CENTURY, released on the progressive Finnish Lion Music label. This album is a fine demonstration of keyboard-driven (not keyboard-drenched!) progressive/power metal in the neoclassical style, and is completely instrumental.
WHAT? Keyboard-driven? Neoclassical? I know with that last statement, I lost more than a few of my readers, but for those of you who follow, let me continue.
Bob Katsionis is a talented musician. His primary study is classical organ, and he holds a degree in Church Organ Studies. While his background study lies in organ music, one cannot determine that from his music. TURN OF MY CENTURY is speedy prog, arguably metal, but undeniably good. Mr. Katsionis can shred on both keyboard and guitar, and his classical training makes this a very technical release as well. Though he is only 25 years old, he is no stranger to the metal realm, having played in various bands ranging in style from traditional metal to death metal, including the Greek bands Skyward, Fatal Morgana, Acid Death, and Imaginary, as well asplaying Wacken 2001.
Because this CD is completely instrumental, Bob’s focus is entirely on the music, and his songwriting is such that one does not need lyrics or vocals to capture the mood of this album. The songs range from fast-paced shred tracks like “Omega,” and the title track to slower, soulful, and almost spacey tracks like “My Strange Girl,” one of my favourites from this disc due to its epic, sweeping keyboard atmosphere. Another great track is “Song Of The East,” which opens with an odd beat, almost techno-ish, and an Arabesque wail, before slowing down to a Middle-eastern flair, then continuing into high-speed shredding. As Bob Katsionis says, “Speed Kills - Warp-Speed Rules!” The other track that really stands out to me is “Enhanced Fear,” which among the shred guitar also features a classical organ bit, more Middle-Eastern influences, and something that reminds me of a folk dance piece, all combined to make a very cool song.
The liner notes are also worthy of comment as in the booklet, Bob Katsionis has written some comments about each song on the album. Here, he lists not only his intent and inspiration for the tracks, but also a bit about the technique and recording process, which I think will be quite interesting to the musicians who pick up this album. As for myself, I am content to sit back and enjoy the variety of music on this album. Bob Katsionis is a talented musician, and has written a very cool piece with this album. I really got a fair amount of enjoyment from this album, and I recommend that prog, shred, neoclassical, and instrumental fans pick this one up.
Visit Lion Music Label at: http://www.lionmusic.com
Contact Bob Katsionis: firstname.lastname@example.org