Having very much enjoyed “The Fall of Bliss,” I welcomed the opportunity to hear the follow up. That does not necessarily mean the expectation of another good album was a given. Sophomore releases tend to be either an improvement or a disappointment. “Suiciety” is not only an improvement on an impressive debut, it is a truly great album!
Nikitas Kissonas deserves a lot of credit for playing all the instruments on the first outing. He pulled it of without the lack of a band being obvious. Bringing in an actual band this time around seems to have unleashed previously untapped potential. And what a line up it is, including members of Änglagård and Birds and Buildings, a horn section and strings. The ability of the musicians to play off of one another brings an energy and groove that wasn’t present before.
The compositions may be a bit stronger as well. Whether that has anything to do with the instrumental resources available or not, I don’t know. What I do know is that the tracks on “Suiciety” are all captivating. There is never a time when the mind is allowed to wander. Each idea flows seamlessly into the next and never overstays its welcome. The darkness found on “The Fall of Bliss” is still present but they are light moments often brought out in rousing jams. The softer moments play counterpoint and move the concept forward.
All the musicians are in top form but I have to single out Joe Payne for his vocals. He brings passion and strength to lyrics, knowing when to rock and when subtlety is best. There all also times when I swear he is channeling Matthew Parmenter, especially on “The Origin of Pain.” The influence was there on the debut as well which leads me to believe Nikitas is a pretty big Discipline fan. Another influence on the vocals could be The Divine Baze Orchestra. Many times it would be hard to discern Joe from Oliver Eek, at least stylistically.
Methexis may be listed in Crossover but Modern Symphonic would be more appropriate. “Suiciety” bears this out even more than “The Fall of Bliss.” The statement is not made just because of the strings, horns and the tracks being broken down into movements. Those facts however should not be ignored. The only track that does not obviously exhibit symphonic structure is “Chapter I (exterior) – Remember, Fear’s A Relic.” There, yes, but somewhat obscured by the hot jam. But I digress.
No matter how you break it down “Suiciety” is great album with a modern feel that has appeal across fans of many different genres (and sub-genres). Methexis is a project that deserves attention and could very well be of the forces bringing prog into the future.
Nikitas Kissonas – Electric, Acoustic and Classical Guitars
Joe Payne – Lead and Backing Vocals, Language Consultant on Lyrics
Linus Kåse – Keyboards, Synthesizers & Grand Piano
Nikos Zades – Sound Design, D&B programming
Walle Wahlgren – Drums
Brett d’Anon – Bass Guitar
Tom Heath – Trumpet, Catriona Christie – Trumpet, Nerys Russell – Horn, James Patrick – Trombone, Alistair Clements – Tuba
Lu Jeffery – Violin, Bernard Kane Jr. – Viola, Juliet McCarthy – Cello, Ron Phelan – Double Bass