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Mother of Millions - Artifacts Award winner

Mother of Millions
Artifacts
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 24 January 2019, 5:33 AM

MOTHER OF MILLIONS is a Progressive Rock quintet based in Athens, Greece. The band released its first album "Human" in 2014. In November 2017, they released their second album "Sigma", via Swedish ViciSolum Records, getting the most positive reviews from the audience and the global music press. As part of “Sigma’s” release, the band performed a sold-out headline show in Athens, shows with TEXTURES on their last European tour, support shows with Ruud Jolie’s “For All We Know” in the Netherlands, while the band has shared the stage with artists such as PAIN OF SALVATION, DEVIN TOWSEND, LEPROUS, OCEANS OF SLUMBER, and SEPTICFLESH.

Their third album “Artifacts” tells a story about ideas and sentiments as objects with a ritual value. Artifacts will be released in March 2019. “Amber” leads off the album with acapella harmonic vocals. Then the guitar comes in softly at first, before becoming heavier. Right away you are drawn into those pensive vocals and the way they structure the music. It’s a bit like RIVERSIDE. Light melodies and guitar work in the verses with those harmonic vocals returning again, followed by a more complex sound the second verse around. It’s a sophisticated step up from their last album, which I enjoyed a lot. “Rite” opens with some tender piano and solemn clean guitar notes. The main riff comes in a bit on the heavy side, followed by some dexterous meter manipulation from drummer Bourkaouris. Prokopiou delivers an emotional performance in this song, which has that perfect balance between heaviness and etherealness.

“Soma” presents an opening solemn tone, with a slower grind. There is some definite Progressive elements in the way they toy with the meter, yet it doesn’t overtake this dreamy, alluring sound that they have. I believe I’ve said this in a previous review of “Sigma,” but Prokopiou really has that perfect voice for this kind of music. He can dial it up as he does here. “Cinder” opens slowly and cautiously with the vocals in the lower ranges, and tentative guitar work…allowing for the sound to expand. The bass thumps away while the keys present an ambient sound with the guitars dancing around it. It has a very dark feeling overall, but man is it mesmerizing. Towards the end the darkness really shines as layers of heaviness are added. “Nema” is a shorter instrumental, showcasing Tsamkosoglou’s skill at piano. His notes are solemn and emotional, but quite charming. It’s like standing outside in the rain, letting the drops wash out you sadness until you feel whole again.

“Anchor” opens with a heavier sound. Piano and keys dance above a heavy bottom of guitars and bass while Prokopiou delivers harmonized vocals that are very pretty. It creates a longing that you just can’t shake. Again, the sound picks up as it rolls to completion, with increased heaviness and percussion, culminating in fantastic guitar solo and vocals. The ten minute “Artfact” closes the album. It has a bit of a build-in, to an almost Godly sound, like you are about to open a secret burial chamber of a pharaoh long since forgotten. At the same time, it is sweet, like remembering the touch of a lost partner. Spoke female words lead to incredibly emotional male vocals, calling out to the sky, echoing in the mountains beyond.

This album made me speechless and reduced me to reflect on much. There is so much raw emotion and the vocals pair with the music perfectly. It’s the best and most complete Progressive album I have heard in a while, certainly this year, though it’s early. But I think this will stand up to any and all contenders. Prokopiou has a magical voice…smooth as butter across warm bread, but he can lash out without notice and negotiate the upper ranges with the best of them. The rest of the band is supremely talented at creating the perfect match to how he sings, with dexterity and thoughtfulness. The songs balance simple emotions with complex ones, but will prick you like the pins of goosebumps and wash away everything else around you.
Bow your heads.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Amber
2. Rite
3. Soma
4. Cinder
5. Nema
6. Anchor
7. Artefact
Lineup:
George Prokopiou – Vocals
Kostas Konstantinidis – Guitars
Panos Priftis – Bass
Makis Tsamkosoglou – Keyboards, Samples
George Boukaouris – Drums, Percussion
Record Label: ViciSolum Productions
     


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Edited 15 November 2019
 

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