Persona Non Grata - Shade In The Light (Music CD)

Release Date: 09 March 2009
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Greece isn't the first country that comes to mind when one thinks of metal (at least as of early 2009), but in fact, a variety of metal bands came out of Greece in the 1990s and 2000s -- some offering power metal, some offering goth metal, some offering death metal or black metal. Persona Non Grata, meanwhile, are a Greek band that focuses on progressive metal, which is not to say that Shade in the Light is prog metal of the Dream Theater variety. Many prog metal bands have identified with the flashiness of power metal, but this 51-minute CD is seldom flashy. Actually, the material tends to be quite moody; although Shade in the Light rocks aggressively, moodiness is a major part of melodic tracks such as "Collision Course," "Empty Shadows," "Before the Reason," and "Single Unity." The members of Persona Non Grata aren't without chops -- no one can accuse guitarist Chris Gatsos, bassist Chris Vogiatzis, keyboardist John Ioannidis, or drummer Akis Gavalas of not being able to play their instruments -- but they don't go out of their way to beat listeners over the head with their virtuosity or technical prowess. And Persona Non Grata have a definite sense of songcraft; the songs aren't groundbreaking or strikingly original, but they are well-crafted. Also noteworthy are the vocals of lead singer Bill Axiotis, who has clearly been influenced by Ray Alder of Fates Warning fame and knows how to hit the high notes. Shade in the Light won't go down in history as an album that pointed the Greek metal scene in any new directions, but it's a decent example of what prog metal has to offer in a country that is better known for Manos Hadjidakis gems and bouzouki music than it is for headbangers. ~ Alex Henderson
Release Date: 09 March 2009

1. Before the Reason
2. Dual Unity
3. Single Unity
4. Collision Course
5. Fives
6. Shade In the Light
7. Longing
8. Empty Shadows
9. Personal Gratitude
10. Stillness


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Catalogue No: SR3046CD