Released: 2011, Indie
The importance of Nightwish on the evolution of and influence on symphonic, gothic, operatic type Metal cannot be understated. With their explosion of global popularity, this particular sub-genre has been one of, if not the fastest, expanding sub-genres of Metal in recent years. Every month many of these types of bands from around the world enter onto the scene. This month (in honour of International Women’s Day, March 8th) we are going to have a quick look at seven newer bands, all of whom have a female vocalist, and all have released new albums recently. They are Diabolus In Musica (Spain), Evenoire (Italy), Meden Agan (Greece), Scarleth (Ukraine), Silent Opera (Italy), Sin Heresy (Italy), and Xandria (Germany). If you like the neo-classic, symphonic (etc) sub-genre, feel free to read the reviews in this series.
Not wanting to be left out, Greece has produced some very excellent neo-classical, symphonic Metal bands like Nightfall and Septic Flesh and we can add Meden Agan to the list. Founded some years back the band released an indie debut album back in 2007 called ILLUSIONS. A bit of a lineup change and now they have put out their sophomore effort called EREVOS AENAON.
The band name Meden Agan means ‘nothing in excess’ in Greek, which is odd because the band has quite a bit of excess in several areas from vocals, keyboards and more. That is a good quality to have excess because bands like this are supposed to push the sonic envelope by having multiple influences and elements of Metal and classical all blended into a nice whole.
I’d suggest of all the bands in this feature that Meden Agan is the most reliant on keyboards and Apostolos is a very talented player, very fast, very note dense when it comes time for the solos like the solo on ‘Blinded By Faith’. Matching the keyboard melody line much of the time are the stellar pipes of Iliana Tsakiraki. Although relatively new to the scene she has worked with Septic Flesh before in a guest capacity. She has a very classical sounding voice and at times I wish she was a bit louder or higher in the mix. She has a pretty good range, just very slightly deeper in the soprano range but still check out of those notes in the end of the song, ‘Tribute To Life’.
Despite the keyboards and high vocals, EREVOS AENAON doesn’t skimp on the Metal! The guitar tone is good and thick on the whole album and especially on songs like ‘Dissolve Into Grey’. The drums keep things moving quite quickly with some good double-kick spread around here and there. The album is a dozen tracks and 54 minutes long, but that is a bit misleading because the last three songs are extended versions of songs found earlier in the running sequence. Three cuts, ‘From The Ashes Of Life’, ‘Dissolve Into Grey’ and ‘Tribute To Life’ all get doubled in length. Why bother? It’s unlikely the original versions would ever get much airplay, but you never know, with the popularity of Nightwish lately, maybe these type of songs could make the radio. Either way, the ‘radio-friendly’ versions could have been dropped and the band could have emphasized the fuller versions. The short versions could have been tacked on the end.
I really enjoy this style of Metal and would certainly like to hear more from Meden Agan in the future.