September Code - III album review

Theatrical yet heavy prog from Greece's September Code.

September Code - III album artwork

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You might not be familiar with the name September Code, but the Greek band have actually just released album number three of their richly textured prog, and they’re an intriguing prospect.

It’s difficult to condense the band’s sound into a concise description. Their music flits from heavy to melodic in an instant, adding in a mishmash of musical styles including keyboard-led theatrics, acoustic widdles, headbang-worthy riffs and technical guitar licks. The vocals are also wildly varied; new-ish frontman Dim Koskinas joined the band in 2009, and has an especially theatrical and almost operatic voice. He often sounds like he’s fronting a musical rather than a band, going from soft melodic whispers to gruff grunts intermittently – it certainly adds an air of drama to the already atmospheric music.

Though they have a penchant for experimentation, September Code also display a knack for songwriting; some of the songs’ earworm choruses could be radio-friendly in their catchiness. But at 12 songs, and with September Code’s tendency to throw in everything but the kitchen sink sound-wise, the album drags on just that bit too much.

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Hannah May Kilroy

Hannah May Kilroy has been writing about music professionally for over a decade, covering everything from extreme metal to country. She was deputy editor at Prog magazine for over five years, and previously worked on the editorial teams at Terrorizer and Kerrang!. She currently works as the production editor for The Art Newspaper, and also writes for the Guardian, Classic Rock and Metal Hammer.