We’re really excited around here to see resurgence in Greek progressive metal these days. Early in the last decade we loved the fantastic albums from Fragile Vastness and Wastefall and were hoping that the Greek scene could really explode. Unfortunately both bands disbanded and it didn’t seem like much was happening in that beautiful country “prog-wise” – at least until the last few years. Not a lot of bands, but damn are there some good ones. Playgrounded, Until Rain, Need as well as the reformed Wastefall have all released fantastic albums within the last few years (Until Rain’s Anthem to Creation easily made our top album list for last year) and late last year’s mixed vocal, very melodic progressive rock/metal band Floating Worlds released their second album, Below The Sea Of Light a full six years after their debut. This Athens based band’s sound is a combination of modern progressive hard rock and melodic prog metal with the nice touch of having a female singer/keyboardist to round out their sound.
The album begins with the instrumental intro Garden Of Souls which has a melodic majestic quality to it throughout, especially from the atmospheric keyboards, classical piano and expressive guitar. Shattered is next and it’s a powerful melodic song with an impassioned vocal performance from vocalist Jon Soti. It also amps up the metallic side of the band which works really well in this type of song. Angel is an interesting song and is mostly melodic hard rock but has some great progressive interludes (the beautiful piano/vocal section in the middle is excellent!) Amyrah (at over six minutes is the longest song on the album) and has some excellent, dramatic orchestrations and great use of both the female and male lead singers who play off of each other really along with some simple but very effective guitar solos from Andreas V. The album then switches to a more simpler and accessible style with the hard rocking Thrill the Night, the power ballad Till The End and Soul Saviour which begins with a beautiful harp opening but quickly changes into another hard driving rocker. All are nice songs for that style but I much prefer the more progressive styles from the earlier part of the album. Fortunately the album ends with the instrumental prog metal song Revenge which has some more great keyboard work and a powerful and dramatic melodic heaviness to close out the album.
Below The Sea Of Light is a good album from a band that has its sound firmly planted in modern progressive music styles, both light and moderately heavy. Floating Worlds is decidedly a song oriented band and works in a very accessible way without dumbing down their music. A hard task to accomplish but this band does this very well. I do personally like it when Floating Worlds really stretches themselves into progressive territory more than on their more overt rockers and I’d love to see these guys push themselves compositionally and pull out a suite or perhaps produce some longer, more diverse songs. That said, these Greeks have a lot of talent and I hope to be hearing a lot more from them in the years to come.
Review by Jeff Stevens
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