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Naxatras - III

Naxatras
III
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 April 2018, 11:23 AM

NAXATRAS is a hard psychedelic rock band from Thessaloniki, Greece. I was not able to gather much information on the band from the web, but am assuming that their new album here “III” is their third. The album contains seven extended tracks, with a total running length of over 60 minutes.

“You won’t be Left Alone” leads off the album; an eleven-minute opus. It has a simple lyrical message…“and on your way home, you won’t be left alone.” Tender opening guitar lead to the main riff. The hypnotic sound and pacing remind you of being in the desert, tripping on peyote and seeing images and colors that nature did not intend. There is at one point an extended bass guitar passage that veers a bit but still keeps that mesmerizing sound. Vagenas is soon joined by Delias on lead guitar. Have I just been visited by aliens? “On the Silver Line” is faster moving song with a lot of trippy effects. Think OZRIC TENTACLES visiting us on modern day. Once again the combinations from bass and guitar really work against each other. The drums hold a steady and accurate presence. At the five minute mark, it takes a 180. The sound retreats for a while and then fuzzy guitars come and go, echoing as they transition. The road to completion is a final surge of energy and will.

“Land of Infinite Time” could not be a more fitting song title for this epic twelve-minute, consciousness expanding exercise. Time is a construct if you consider how it is applied in your everyday life. But outside of the rising and falling of the sun each day, does it really matter if you had no job to report to…no car to drive…no responsibilities? Would you want to live somewhere where time was not a construct? Think about that as you take in the song here. Relax, close your eyes, and become immersed in the sound. Sonically I haven’t much to compare it with, except to say that its soothing waves keep out your worries. “Machine” is just under eleven minutes. It has the swing of old school late 60’s/early70’s rhythm, like a toned down LED ZEPPELIN. While the bass guitar thuds away leisurely, the guitar notes climb over top with plenty of soul, dripping with a blues based approach. Following an instrumental section of bizarre proportions, an early RUSH sound takes the song to completion.

“Prophet” is a bit shorter in length. Some short vocals appear in this song, high with reverb. He croons sterilely, “Empty and broken boned…feel like my mind is gone. Walking through the streets at night…look around and see, where’s the dawn? The night is long.” This melancholy track aims at the recesses of your consciousness, digging deep into feral territory. “White Morning” has the opposite effect. The tones are warm and inviting, and Vagenas talks about “Riding the sea, searching the sky, touching the sun, being in love.” Delias has a really strong feeling for the guitar, crafting progressions that remind me of Jimi Hendrix. His leads here are not complicated…just connected so well with the melodies. “Spring Song” closes the album on a positive note. The closing message is “I’ll carry the sun, and I’ll carry the light, for you.” The benevolent sound is genial and sympathetic.

The journey that NAXATRAS takes you on in “III” is something of a personal experience, and leaves the door open for your interpretation of the music and the messages. What is conjures for me at first is the idea of being lost, in a world that you have never been in before, leaving you with no experience to try to re-group. But in keeping resolve with yourself, you allow fate to take over and guide you through the storm knowing that there will be light on the other side, and there ultimately is.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. You won’t be Left Alone
2. On the Silver Line
3. Land of Infinite Time
4. Machine
5. Prophet
6. White Morning
7. Spring Song
Lineup:
John Delias - Guitar
Kostas Harizanis - Drums
John Vagenas - Bass & Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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