To tell you truth I was not surprised enough noticing that Harry Loisios returns in action under a new project. I have been following the talented Greek guitarist since his “Mountain Of The Gods” days, the solo album that he have released back in 2010. Lots of neoclassical love in there, and a wide melodic Power Metal touch. Well I have to inform you that things sound quite similar in the new band he created: HESPERIAN OPUS. Ok lets take a closer look on the band’s line up: we shall meet some familiar faces.
Harry Loisios – Guitars, Tassos Krokodilos – Vocals (Spitfire), Christ Stergiannidis – Bass (Darklon, Paladine) and Dimitris Karageorgos – Drums. All these gentlemen have joined forces under the HESPERIAN OPUS moniker and the result is the “Chasing The Light” debut that will be out, February 28th, on Steel Gallery Records.
HESPERIAN OPUS are delivering an exciting combination of Scandinavian oriented Melodic Power Metal, with tons of Neoclassical touches. However I must point that the album is not an actual proof of guitar shredding as you may expect from similar releases. No, “Chasing The Light” is a crystal clear example of excellent songwriting and if I have to point one feature as the main one on this album, this feature will indeed be the songwriting.
Loisios is paying much attention to the riffing. Yes the riffing, so he provides all the healthy song space for Krokodilos to develop some of the most inspired vocal melodies that I have heard lately into this particular genre: Vocal melodies that will help the album’s songs to basically stick in your mind. And do not get me wrong in here, this was, is and will be the main point of a good Melodic Power Metal album. Right? Right.
Verses that matter and memorable choruses full of melody, but there is much more to be discovered in the album. Well yes, here comes the neoclassical part of the game and I got to assure you that on the lead guitar parts of the album -yeap both on lead guitar melodies and solos- Loisios delivers some heavenly stuff. And you know what? A good neoclassical inspired solo matters a lot more when added to a real song (and not a bunch of basic patterns combined together waiting jut for a guitar solo). And here we got real songs dude.
Another feature that I enjoyed very much on this album is the fact that in many cases the songs are based on mid tempos. So the ultra speeds that have established in the European Power Metal genre, are not a case in this album. There are fast parts on the songs but we mainly got mid tempo, riff based compositions that are letting the melody of the vocals and the guitar to flow.
Influences? I would for sure point all the Swedish goodies in here -focusing on the Markus Sigfridsson universe, thanks to the songwriting-: HARMONY, DARKWATER, ALL THINGS FALLEN. I would for sure add some KAMELOT -from the “Siége Perilous” era and beyond- and I would add some neoclassical stuff as well: RING OF FIRE, ARK STORM, having to point that in many times those mid tempo parts brought into the foreground this CONCERTO MOON sweetness that I so much love.
Well I have not anything more to add: “Chasing the Light” is an excellent album. You will enjoy it from start to finish. Especially if you are searching for some high class songwriting on your Neoclassical Power Metal quest.
You can get the CD from here.