Possibly indicative of the album title, Greek progressives Persona Non Grata hoped to 'up their game' with their sophomore release, Quantum Leap. Released in December, this fine work of progressive metal could easily be added to the best of 2011, right along side their peers Symphony X and Dream Theater.
Above, Persona Non Grata: what are the four dudes in the back looking for?
Quantum Leap, generally a heavy album, effortlessly blends classic heavy metal, notable in the melodies and traditional guitar work, with enough technical elements to offer progressive intrigue. By example, Redemption of Sins is indicative of this pattern, with it's notable rock/metal fusion finish. Alternatively, a song like Diversity remains heavy throughout, only to be brightened by synths and guitar. While not the best piece here, if you like your prog erring on the side of heaviness, it satisfies.
Yet, more traditional melodic prog metal can be found from the start in Imaginative Mind and Lend Me a Hand. PnG stretches this motif and their skills on the longer 9 AM News. Captive and Grief, two of the finest songs here, push the somber subtlety of piano with vocals only erupt in soaring progressive power metal. Any doubts about the skills of new vocalist Aris Pirris are dispelled on these two numbers, also.
Yet, after the fine arrangements, the singular most stunning characteristic of Quantum Leap is the bass work of new player, Chris Vogiatzis. Honestly, he nearly steals the show. His work is so fundamental and inspiring as to lift the entire PnG crew to greater heights. I would recommend buying the album for this alone.
Fundamentally, however, Persona Non Grata's Quantum Leap is simply entertaining and intriguing progressive metal. Certainly, something you'll want to listen to several times over. Strongly recommended.
Persona Non Grata's Quantum Leap is simply entertaining and intriguing progressive metal. Certainly, something you'll want to listen to several times over.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]