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Stephen Duros

Aeaea

Review by Gary Hill

This release is dramatic and unusual. It’s also very entertaining. The music works through a variety of styles. Many things are often present in one song. I suppose it’s not a perfect fit, but I can’t see landing this anywhere but under progressive rock. I’d say you should give it a chance.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Chapter I

This powers in quite symphonic. It has a lot of bombast and feels like a soundtrack fanfare. Then it drops to some chorale styled vocals and more ambient sounds take over. It rises up with more rock sounds as it continues. It’s definitely prog rock, with some hints of space. The piece works through a number of shifts and changes. Around the four minute mark it drops to mostly acoustic guitar. The piece builds out as symphonic prog before exploding into some seriously powerful and energized music. From there it shifts out to something more like fusion before getting more like a rocking symphonic sound built into it. The changes continue in fairly fast order before dropping down to particularly mellow music that segues into the next piece.

Chapter II
World music, classical and more seem to merge as this works out into a pretty and rather playful tapestry. The acoustic guitar brings beautiful melodies as it shifts a little more toward rock territory. This is such a powerful and pretty piece of music. It is more constant and much shorter than the opener. A crescendo ends it.
Chapter III
Starting textural and just a little creepy, this is almost like something from a horror movie to me. By around the one minute mark it builds out to more rocking music with a decided world music bent to it. I’d still call it rock, though. The acoustic guitar solos like crazy later and some tribal percussion plays behind it. There are other elements, but those two drive the piece.
Chapter IV
This comes in quite mellow and very pretty. The guitar takes over after a time and weaves some great melody lines. Strings come over the top as it continues bringing symphonic elements to it.
Chapter V
Percussive elements make up the start of this piece. The acoustic guitar and other elements join later, but that percussion (including hand claps and more) really drives this. It’s a rather rocking piece at times. It gets really powerful at the end.
Chapter VI
The sound of waves are heard here. Some drumming joins as the sounds of nature continue. There are some sporadic little bits of melody. Then around the 45 second mark some acoustic guitar rises up to move it forward. Everything drops away as the guitar remains to bring the melodies and magic. That eventually takes it to the next number.
Chapter VII
Coming in quite classical in nature, this feels like a symphonic soundtrack at first. After a flourish the percussion takes control for a while. Symphonic elements return over the top as the piece gains in intensity and tempo. There are definitely world music melodies at play as it builds to a crescendo past the two minute mark. From there it drops back to atmospheric space music. Acoustic guitar comes over the top at times. It builds up to a short rocking movement and then crescendos for another false ending. Mellow motifs take over from there. Acoustic guitar begins spelling out melody lines over the top of this backdrop.
ChapterVIII
This comes in with serious percussion pounding away. The percussion is one of the key factors here. There are definite fast paced melodic movements, as it builds out, too. Symphonic elements come ever the top later in the piece. It works to more melodic progressive rock as it continues. This is a powerful piece of music. The guitar really has some great soloing here..
Chapter IX
Beginning with atmospheric elements, eventually intricate acoustic guitar leads the way into new directions. As this continues building, it’s very much an a melodic, folk meets symphonic soundscape. The acoustic guitar lends a lot to it.
Chapter X
Tribal percussion and world sounds merge on this number. It works out to some killer progressive rock. There are hints of space rock and psychedelia built into this beast.
Chapter XI
There is a lush and powerful growing world music element to this. It builds and works forward in fine fashion. It’s quite dynamic and diverse.
Chapter XII
This is a dramatic and powerful piece of music. Symphonic and progressive rock elements merge here. There are some choral styled vocals at one point. It’s a great way to end this set in style. There are sections that feel like soundtrack music. The whole thing is evocative and quite potent.
 
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