Forbidden Myth -
Zantea Chronicles : The Dream Dominator

(2CD 2023, 45:22/ 58:10, Hydraulis Records)

The tracks:
CD 1
  1- Overture Of Loss(7:28)
  2- Light's Predominance(4:24)
  3- Ruler Of Peace(4:21)
  4- The Luminescent Girl(3:44)
  5- The Puppeteer(4:25)
  6- Rotting King(4:11)
  7- The Prophecy(4:32)
  8- The Spell Of Fakeness(4:29)
  9- The Exiled(3:39)
10- City Of Decay(4:09)
CD 2
  1- The Clairvoyant(6:25)
  2- A Ring Between Her Eyes(5:46)
  3- Dreams' Prisoner(5:22)
  4- The Revelation of Truth(4:47)
  5- Remember Again(5:19)
  6- The Spell Of Freedom(5:08)
  7- Sirin Ablaze(6:37)
  8- A Force Above All(4:03)
  9- King Of The World / The Eyes Of A Stranger(6:39)
10- Epilogue Of Forgiveness(8:04)

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I am very pleased with the current Greek prog bands: after Methexis, Verbal Delirium, Naxatras and Residuos Mentales, here's Forbidden Myth, another interesting formation, with an epic rock project by Greek songwriter and keyboardist Antonis Adelfidis. The story of their 2-CD debut album is entitled Zantea Chronicles : The Dream Dominator, based upon the fantasy world created by Myrto Gregoriadi. The music features 8 vocalists who take up the roles of the protagonists, and is dominated by keyboards, without guitars. The album contains 2 CD's with both 10 tracks, between 3 and 9 minutes.

The musical climates in the 20 tastefully arranged tracks shift between dreamy and slow rhythms to mid-tempo beats and sumptuous outbursts, and range from bombastic symphonic rock to catchy melodic rock and Heavy Prog, but the sound is more bombastic than heavy, due to the omnipresent powerful vintage keyboards layers, and the absence of guitars. The colouring with a variety of vintage keyboards delights me, from Morish sounding in Sirin Ablaze (Vintage Keyboard Heaven) to omnipresent Mellotrons (lots of choirs, along the violin and flute section)) and spectacular Minimoog flights (with strong Rick Wakeman hints in The Exlied), pretty overwhelming, wow! But also the Wurlitzer piano, Vox Continental organ (The Doors flavour in Rotting King), and even the distinctive sounds of a Theremin (exciting blend of synthesizers, Theremin and Mellotron choirs in the final part of Epilogue Of Forgiveness) and the beautiful sound of the vibraphone on in The Revelation Of Truth. He is fuelled by The Swede and his drum beats, often powerful and dynamic.

Although there is no guitar play on this album in some tracks I hear guitar riffs, I asked Antonis about that, he answered "I have no guitars in the record. I played the rhythm parts with a Hammond through Marshall and Leslie amps." Interesting! And: "The most beautiful parts of the record (pianos, vibrandoneon, Theremin, Minimoog and combo organ solos) are played by my friend and teacher, George Katsanos. He is a classically trained pianist and he graduated from Berklee college of music. He is one of the best multi-instrumentalists out there and he plays in the new album too!"

The 8 singers of the Forbidden Myth project sound at least decent but in a few tracks some male singers lack a bit expression, while the female singers are good to very good. But to me this doesn't sound disturbing, mainly due to prime mover Antonis Adelfidis his writing skills and overwhelming keyboard work, together with George Katsanos, what masters, from majestic Mellotron choirs and tender Grand piano to sensational Minimoog flights with pitchbend or a swinging electric piano solo, really impressive. A strong debut, what's next?

Highly recommended for vintage keyboards freaks!

***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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