Bob Katsionis seems quite active lately; after his new work on melodic progressive with Billy Vass, and a new melodic metal/AOR project called WONDERS, he now collaborates with singer Artur Almeida (ATTIK DEMONS), Gus Macricostas on bass and Thanos Pappas on drums, and gives us the debut album Storm the Walls of STRAY GODS, his new classic heavy metal endeavour.
The album is clearly based on IRON MAIDEN in all terms; music, vocals, and feeling. “I didn’t try to make a cheap IRON MAIDEN mimicking album, instead, I started writing music the way that those British Gods of Metal taught me since 1988 when I first encountered their music”, as Bob Katsionis stated, and this is actually the philosophy of the album. Perhaps Storm the Walls is all about how a huge fan of IRON MAIDEN sees and comprehends the bands’ music and history, being a musician himself.
One fact about the album is that the songs seem to run across the 82-84 period and then the 2000s era of the British band. This means that some songs might start with a melody that resembles “Number of the Beast” or “2 Minutes to Midnight“, but they evolve into the version of IRON MAIDEN we see in albums such as Brave New World or Dance of Death – not the Somewhere in Time/Seventh Son… or Fear of the Dark period for example.
On the other hand, the approach of Bob Katsionis is straight-forward, catchy heavy metal, with a style that mixes the early 80s IRON MAIDEN with the early 00s. Actually, the whole album is like a mixture of Number of the Beast with Brave New World if we could put it simply. Moreover, the vocals of Artur Almeida bring an extra Accident of Birth flavor, as they are very close to the late 90s Bruce Dickinson.
The album has some very good songs, such as “Naked in The Fire”, “Storm the Walls”, or “Love in The Dark”, which are addressed to all classic heavy fans and not just the ones of IRON MAIDEN. But in general, we could say that this an album that will be highly appreciated mostly by IRON MAIDEN fans, especially those who prefer Brave New World or the albums afterwards.
Bob Katsionis has created an image and some musical ideas about IRON MAIDEN all these years, that are now depicted on the Storm the Walls album. An album which unites two different eras of IRON MAIDEN, with emphasis on the 00s period. STRAY GODS with this debut show nothing but respect for the legendary British band and how big of an influence IRON MAIDEN is for the Greek musician.
You can check the discussion about the band in our forum pages.