introIn my previous Methexis review about the new album “Topos” I already mentioned it’s predecessor. It is an album that was released in the year 2015 and has the intriguing title “Suiciety”. This is the album that got my attention towards the music of Methexis. If you read my review of the “Topos” album you will know that Methexis is a project of multi instrumentalist Nikitas Kissonas. On this album Nikitas is working together with some fine musicians. What to think of Joe Payne (ex The Enid) on lead and backing vocals or Linus Kåse (Änglagård) on keyboards. This are well know names in the progressive scene.
Brass Quintet: Tom Heath (trumpet1), Catriona Christie (trumpet2), Nerys Russell (horn), James Patrick (trombone), Alistair Clements (tuba)
String Quintet: Lu Jeffery (violin1, violin2), Bernard Kane Jr. - viola, Juliet Mc Carthy (cello), Ron Phelan (double bass)
This second Methexis album is a comment on contemporary society and an experiment on collaboration. The album consists out of 4 chapters. Before we can enjoy listening to the the chapters one, two and three, we are being served with “Chapter IV” (“Ruins”). It has an intriguing electronic keyboard opening that flows into a beautiful atmospheric keyboard string part with vocals of Joe Payne. It has a sad and dark atmosphere ... but the music is very beautiful.
“Chapter I” (“exterior”) is divided into the following five parts; “Remember, fear’s a relic”, “The windows’ cracking sound”, “Who can it be?”, “The origin of blame” and “Prey’s prayer”. “Remember fear’s a relic” is an uptempo piece with nice organ and brass sounds with on top a vocal part of Joe who is definitely working out of his comfort zone. He does a wonderful job. I also would like to mention the great drumming of Walle Wahlgren. The piece has a lovely Jazz oriented ending. “The window’s cracking sound” is a short piece with delicate sung vocals. The brass section is opening the next part “Who can it be?” A piece with great diversity. There is an almost whispering Joe Payne, the brass section and classical guitars. This is highly original music with Jazz and Classical influences. In the parts with the synths and trumpet I had to think of a band like Isildurs Bane. Love the ending of this intriguing piece of music. It seamlessly flows into the part “The origin of blame”. Joe is now singing in his musical mode. What a talented guy this is. This part flows into “Prey’s prayer”, a slow instrumental piece with beautiful soaring guitar solos. You can find wonderful melodies in this part which develops into one of my personal favorites of this remarkable album. Then it time for “Chapter II” (“interior”) which is divided into the parts “Sunlight” and “The relic”. In “Sunlight” you can find nice guitar parts, delicate sung vocals by Joe and the String Quintet gives an extra classical touch. The classical and electric guitars provide classical and jazzy atmospheres. A melting pot of atmospheres that are generated by the many instruments, the jazzy and classical piano parts, the real strings of the String Quintet. “The relic” is a homage to the father of Nikitas, George Kissonas (1932-2012). Beautifully sung by Joe who is only accompanied by delicate piano and strings. Later on the music becomes more intense when the other instruments are joining. The tension of the music is working towards a kind of climax. When it abruptly ends the delicate piano, acoustic guitars and the violin melodies are returning. The collaboration with the String Quintet is working great. Love the mixture of Prog and Classical music. “Chapter III” (“Suiciety”) is also a wonderful melting pot of styles. The opening is uptempo and modern with great drumming and the synths gives the opening a somewhat space rock feeling. Then the music becomes darker and threatening. Linus Kåse is doing a great job on this album. Love the mysterious and intriguing keyboard sounds and the full keyboard strings that are combined with the brass section. The ending of this remarkable piece is breathtaking.