Bob Katsionis - aggressive progressive shred - neoclassical fusion guitar - " aka Eclectic Earwig Reviews Music and More for You!"
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Bob Katsionis: Turn of My Century
2002, Lion Music, LMC 2215 2

Bob Katsionis comes blaring out of the speakers from the get go with his unique, aggressive style of progressive, neoclassical fusion on his debut release Turn of My Century. The musical style, though distinctively unique, has some resemblance to some towering giants of modern progressive and neoclassical music, such as George Bellas, Theodore Ziras, and a wide spectrum of other major progressive talents. Katsionis fuses a combination of catchy musical themes with blistering fretwork and keyboards, driving progressions and rhythms, and a phenomenal musical vision that binds it all together. The compositions have an impressive depth that is made more impressive by the overall accessibility of the complex arrangements that Katsionis has assembled. Fans of aggressive progressive and neoclassical should take note, because Katsionis is a serious new talent of world class caliber that they should check out! Katsionis not only has the chops, the speed, and the drive down pat, but he can put it all together in solid compositions of his own invention that add another distinctive voice to the annals of modern progressive music. His compositional talent for creativity in themes and arrangements is in itself a notable accomplishment of impressive proportions that all composers understand how difficult it is to achieve... (or will once they have listened to this CD!)

If the first few tracks are not enough to disarm the staunchest critics, fear not because Katsionis does not leave anything to chance with his seventeen track onslaught of progressive aggression that leaves no stone unturned. Katsionis shreds it up with the aggressive, crystalline speed of the likes of Bellas, explores outside tonality reminiscent of Jens Johansson and Derek Sherinian, and pieces together monumental compositions of the caliber of Vitalij Kuprij, Theodore Ziras, and Vinnie Moore. Katsionis has a superb balance between his fluid, blazing sections and the catchy themes that are interwoven to keep the dynamics in proportion, though the scales tip conspicuously on the side of speed, without any objections from me! Katsionis conveys a general feel that consists of a dichotomy that is half positive and half consternation that is articulated with the intensive development sections. The positive side consists of inspiring motifs and themes that uplift the listener into a state of frenzied joy, only to be cut down by the intensive conflict that is conveyed by the contrasting development. The complementary aspects of the compositions create a conflicting struggle of epic proportions that draw the listener into Katsionis' amazing vision of musical fantasy.

Of the many CDs that I am sent to review, there are few that I receive, and even fewer of these are from new artists, that achieve this level of sophistication and this caliber of musicality, proficiency, and compositional depth. Bob Katsionis has set the standards high on this debut and it will be difficult for him to follow this release up with a second that will surpass it. We can only hope that this is only the beginning of a long legacy of superb music from this new virtuoso. It is very exciting to see a new talent of this caliber to burst onto the scene with this profound debut. Katsionis not only has a frightening grasp on progressive and neoclassical music, but he has an remarkable capability to put it together and pull it off without a hitch. And, Turn of My Century is absolutely, unbelievably solid from beginning to end!

Katsionis has got his work cut out for him to follow up this album with a second release to surpass it with equally inventive musical ideas without repeating himself... The challenge has now been issued! We can all only hope that Katsionis is up to the challenge the second time around... ;)

This CD is highly recommended. This is one of the best CDs I have heard this year. Thanks Bob! It is exactly this type of music that makes writing reviews worthwhile! Good job!!! Superb!!!!!

Guitar, Keyboards Bob Katsionis
Bass Jimmy B.
1) Turn of My Century
2) Planeterium
3) Cosmic
4) Omega
5) Windows to the World
6) My Strange Girl
7) Forbidden Erotica
8) Song of the East
9) Exploration
10) Enhanced Fear
11) Automatic World Science
12) Face the Undead
13) Sapphire
14) Enemy's Adagio
15) Flight of the Pink Dragon
16) Cold Pale Skin
17) Scary Groovie

~ Christopher Ruel ~ ~ ~ Chris Ruel's Monthly Spotlight





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