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George Tsalikis – The Sacrifice

George Tsalikis
The Sacrifice
by Anton Sanatov at 12 January 2017, 10:31 AM

Individuality is a tricky thing. On the one hand, as an independent actor you have an opportunity to walk your own path and play your own tune – which can be both liberating and rewarding – and yet in the palm of you other, more reserved mitten, lie uncertainty, overwhelming responsibility and potential alienation.

Striking out on your own can be tough, and when it comes to solo records there is one commandment that every artist should adhere to, and that is: make it good. Individuality requires complete self-assurance and commitment to one’s cause, thus if the CD that bears your name is lacking those particular qualities, well, then the critics shall pounce on your record like Metal academics on a riffing gazelle. I am not suggesting that GEORGE TSALIKIS’ first solo effort “The Sacrifice” is about to suffer from a similar fate, but it’s dragging pace sure puts it in harms way.

I think some context is in order here. For those are not yet aware (as I was not) George Tsalikis - the man at the helm of this production – is the vocalist of the New York Heavy Metal outfit ZANDELLE; a band that by now has a fair share of releases under its belt.  Thus clearly this record’s star is far from inexperienced within the musical realm – as is also evident by his compositional prowess.

The song structuring and overall musicality of “The Sacrifice” do indeed make it out to look like a rather apt record, with tracks like “World of Darkness”, “The Vixen”, “The Vampire’s Promise” and “Confrontation” possessing some quite stellar 80’s Metal values. Jam-packed with driving riffs, shredding solos and topical mystery, this album should be a candidate for overall praise. Alas, I’m not leading up to nothing here.

For all its ostensible virtue, “The Sacrifice” is unfortunately as bland as they come. The aforementioned riffs, whilst holding the songs together, are stale and predictable, and the songwriting, whilst adequate, is passive and banal. The execution of the entire album simply seems lazy and unenthused. Whilst George’s motivations may be commendably noble and inspired, those sentiments don’t do enough to relieve this record of its tedium. The vocal performance too, whilst fair, lacks life and emotional dedication. In addition to that the production is also too simplistic (and not in a good “raw/stripped” way) and inept, thus making the already flat, uniform arrangements sound cheap and disappointing.

Overall – this one should probably be chalked up as a learning experience. The burden of a solo record is far from a light one – especially when one attempts to handle the majority of the production duties themselves – and requires an undying commitment to the project, an offering of one’s entire being, and despite its title “The Sacrifice” fails to show any of those things.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 3
Memorability: 3
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. World Of Darkness
  2. Of My Dreams
  3. The Vixen
  4. The Vampire's Promise
  5. Taken
  6. Declaration
  7. The Confrontation
  8. Inner Struggle
  9. With Friends Like These
  10. Victimized
  11. The Hero's Lament
Lineup:
George Tsalikis – Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Lyrics, Songwriting
Record Label: Independent
     


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