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Last year I came across the debut album by Jargon, ‘The Fading Thought’, which featured among the musicians Nikitas Kissonas on guitar. Like John 'Jargon' Kosmidis, Kissonas has also been with Verbal Delirium but for me he was Methexis, whose debut album ‘The Fall of Bliss’ I had reviewed some years earlier. That led me to contacting him after a period of some years and discovering that he had released two more albums under that banner since then. ‘Suiciety’ was released in 2015 and saw a dramatic change for Nikitas in that he brought in other musicians, and while he arranged everything, he actually only played guitars. The most obvious difference was the introduction of John Payne on vocals, who at the time was with The Enid. Apparently Nikitas was hugely impressed with the vocals on ‘Invicta’, which is why he got John involved. The other musicians were Linus Kase (keyboards, Brighteye Brison, Anglagard), Walle Wahlgren (drums), and Brett d’Anon (bass), while there were also string and brass sections. This never sounds like a project, but rather like a full band, and it is only by reading the small print in the digipak that one realizes that the musicians all recorded separately in their own studios, and never actually played together. The production is excellent, and one of the reasons it works so well is that everyone is given the opportunity to shine, yet nothing ever becomes ever too self-indulgent. It is a fresh album, one where the songs all have a purpose and direction, no meaningless meandering here. The guitar lines are fresh and clean, but the same can be said for all the musical elements, which are allowed to breathe and thrive. Nikitas describes this concept album as “a comment on contemporary society and as an experiment on collaboration”, and one can say that in both areas it works very well indeed. It is not always a happy go lucky album, with some dissonance and minor keys which act on the emotions, yet it is also uplifting and declinate. There is an inner strength and power here, with “Prey’s Prayer” being probably the best example of all elements coming together, with brass, guitars and keyboards all having their part to play while the warm bass is often the founding force. King Crimson is an obvious influence at times, but like Fripp himself, that covers a multitude of styles from ballad-style rock to those where fractured guitar and effects take centre stage. The delicacy on “Sunlight”, with its acoustic guitar and beautiful vocals, is simply sublime but it does not commence like that at all. This is complex multi-layered progressive rock which is an absolute delight from beginning to end and certainly worthy of close investigation by those who want their prog to not be too experimental, yet also different from the rest of the scene, with plenty of powerful moments contained within.
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