Methexis: The Fall of Bliss

Dark middle-European musings for Opeth fans.

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Maybe there’s something in the retsina, but in the shape of Methexis, aka Nikitas Kissonas, continental Europe continues its tradition of nurturing dark and ambitious symphonic prog. His aim pitched somewhere between The Flower Kings and later Opeth, Kissonas has created an album of surprising power and subtlety.

Truth is, it’s not always clear what the Greek artists’ ambitious lyrics add up to, but who cares? They’re delivered with passion and are set in lush arrangements and fabulous guitar wigouts.

The three-part suite The Fall Of Bliss is the centrepiece and includes pretty much every chop a heavy prog fan could want – dissonant organ and guitar interplay, wailing lyrics from Hades and plenty of old-fashioned widdly bits. Okay, it’s not in the class of Mikael Åkerfeldt or Ihsahn (who is?), but this is still a major individual achievement and worthy of a raised-horn salute.

Other highlights include the spooky opener Eradicated Will and the unexpectedly restrained piano-workout Lines On A Bust. The Fall Of Bliss is over the top, but even if Methexis occasionally step over the line from menace to burlesque, this album still deserves a spin.