A couple of years ago I came to know the Greek band Until Rain. They had released their second album Anthem To Creation and were touring Europe. After the show I ended up talking to both main composers; guitarist Theodore Amaxopoulos and keyboard player Lef Germenlis and found out they were amazing people to talk to and hang with and a friendly bond was made there. After this album, Until Rain underwent some line-up changes and during the Prog Power Europe festival a brand new setting was introduced. New drummer Matthew Vella had to learn the songs within two weeks and nailed the PPE show completely. But the most significant change was the replacement in vocalists, both lead vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos as well as background vocalist Vicky Psarakis; (now lead vocalist for The Agonist) saw themselves replaced by Cons Marg and Donna Zed respectively. The position of the band's bass player is a special one, for Bill Gkagkavouzis remains their bass player, but due to other commitments Linus Abrahamson of Andromeda fame took the job for the Inure album. The live shows however saw Denis Efimenko handling the bass guitar duties. Basically leaving Until Rain as a three bass players band!.
The addition of vocalist Cons Marg, who also was present at the Ayreon Theatre Equation shows as an Epic Choir member, does give the band an extra boost. Not only does he handle the clear and melodic vocals, but he also handles the occasional harsh parts, that are delicately dosed on the album. Like you can hear on the album's opener Progressus In Idem; a solid progressive metal track that instrumentally sees some Dream Theater riffs and melodies, but on the other hand has a much more retro feel on the keyboard department. A combination that brilliantly works for Until Rain. The (background) vocals of Donna Zed add a gentle, sweet touch to the music and combines great with Cons' voice. A little more moderate is the next track; New World Fiction. Where the previous focussed more on the instrumentalists, here the vocals absolutely take the lead. This strong keyboard based composition holds a beautiful guitar solo, but the catchy vocals are the real treat on this track. Because Something Might Happen is a darker tune, where on one side the guitar riffs dominate, the other side shows an almost jazzy keyboard laden element. Both segments are beautifully connected by very melodic vocal parts, the outcome holds delicate hunches of Pain Of Salvation's best compositions. Emotions and despair are the key elements of This Fear; a smoother track that is keyboard based with a fine string arrangement, backing up the strong vocal lines. Where the emotional aspect started on This Fear, Tearful Farewell takes it further as a well-played ballad style song, creating a moment of rest on the album. Matthew's drums shine on the heavy track This Solitude, like during the openings track, Cons' gets to use his harsh vocal parts to give the regular vocals some extra spice. Linus Abrahams bass lays the perfect base for both guitar as well as keyboards to add their creative solo's. Slightly different, but equally great as the other compositions is Butterfly Invasion, soundscape elements are added to double bass drums and powerful riffs, Lef's keyboards and piano form the contrasting parts to the heaviness of the track. Broken Wing is a slower and very accessible track, which comes the closest to AOR as Until Rain could go to. The piano and guitar parts remind me a bit of Toto at certain points. Inure is both the title track as well the final thirteen minute epic of the album. What I really like is the relative simple piano melody that keeps continuing, holding the song together. The contrasting heavy guitars sound amazing and both vocalists add the icing on this tremendous cake. This final track is the perfect one to finish the album with, all elements that have passed in the previous songs connect on this majestic epic track.
Where I was pretty impressed by Until Rain's previous record, the line-up changes could have taken the band to a totally different direction. But the remaining members; both composers and lyricists have created an album that goes beyond Anthem To Creation. Every contribution of the ”new” members is spot on and favours the compositions. The outcome is an album that is quite unique.
***** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Dave Smith)
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