Released: 2009, Sensory Records
Reviewer: Mr. Rock
A LIGHT IN THE SHADE is the Greek progressive metallers Persona Non Grata. The beautifully packaged disc is chalk full of solid performance and good, well constructed writing. There is a lot of heart put into the writing, and it shows.
Vocalist Bill Axiotis, at times, sounds like Kamelot’s Khan. Not all the time, but there are certain times when I wondered if Khan was making a guest appearance. Guitarist Chris Gatsos never really indulges in the solos/riffing the way that a lot of prog metal guitarists do. His playing is solid and competent, never too much.
The disc starts off nicely with the edgy “Before The Reason”. “Dual Unity” is nicely paced, starting off slow then picking up, before going into the instrumental “Single Unity”. The ballad-y title track shows some real good songwriting. The album ends on a high note with “Stillness”, a very cool tune.
All of the songs here work, however the problem that Persona Non Grata may face is that there is really nothing here that makes them stand out in the progressive field. While all the performances are good, and the writing is good, they are missing that one element that can push them past the others in the genre. When you have bands like Dream Theater, Pagan’s Mind, Fate’s Warning, and so many other very talented bands in the same genre, you really need that something extra that will make the fans stand up and take notice. As the band is still relatively young (they were formed in ’03), they do have some growing room. As it stands now, they are on the right path.