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Thanos - Unholy

by Mike McMahan at 15 April 2021, 10:22 AM

I am fascinated with vampires. Ask most who know me well enough, and they will point that out in a hurry. I have read books and seen movies from the time I was a teenager; from Stoker’s original vision of “Dracula”, to Anne Rice’s more modernized update “The Vampire Chronicles”, I have sunk tooth (pun probably intended) into anything I could find on the subject. So, imagine my thought process, going into a review of a Metal concept album written around the premise of one of these undead beings who wants badly to become…human. To say I was a little excited about the premise of THANOS’ first solo album, “Unholy”, would indeed be quite the understatement.

Thanasis Bertsatos, in and of himself, is a fairly impressive multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and writer. He has worked professionally, in various band formats, since 1987. He also has now penned the music for a staged theatrical production, titled “The Beast”, which will soon make its debut in various theaters around Athens, Greece. This debut solo album certainly has a theatrical feel to it, as well; and the story told would make for an incredible production. The music runs a shallow border between Electronic and full-on Metal shred, and is a tad repetitive in spots, which is somewhat indicative of a lot of conceptual works.

The weedy and rather thin keyboard line that opens the instrumental first offering from “Unholy” soon gives way to overdriven guitar in the song “At Dusk”. A fitting prelude to what is to come, as you can almost see the creature stirring and going into “night mode”. This tune changes timbre again for a piano laced ending that is really quite beautiful, possibly building the sense of dread the vampire feels at the deeds necessary to his survival. The title cut follows, with some nice guitar work and THANOS’ deep and effective baritone on display. The song possesses a very Progressive feel, with some great instrumental interludes from both guitar and keyboard. It also sets the stage nicely for the story to really begin to break through.

“The Priest” is based around the vampire and a victim’s death at his hand. More strong musicianship with this song, and although the accent on the vocal is a bit distracting, the cut is very effective. Moving forward slightly to what might be my favorite track on this release, “Bloodlust” is a multi-leveled production which features some Death Metal-like vocals giving way to a Progressive and Fusion inspired instrumental ending.

I understand that I am biased in the storyline, but I truly liked this record. It has imperfections; but is, for the most part, well written and well executed. The keyboard work can be a little distracting at times, as can the vocals, but the story held me. Nice work.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. At Dusk
2. Unholy
3. The Priest
4. Darkness Within
5. Bloodlust
6. Temple Of Truth
7. Road To Madness
8. Piece Of Me
9. At Dawn
Thanasis Bertsatos – All
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 28 January 2023

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