Achilleas Diamantis aka Confusion - Greek fusion guitar rock - " aka Eclectic Earwig Reviews Music and More for You!"
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Achilleas Diamantis: Confusion
1999, Legend Recordings

I first listened to this CD nearly a year ago when I first received it. But, my first impressions involved some mixed reactions that were not resolved so I decided to put this CD aside and come back to it later. There were aspects of the album that I did not originally come to terms with due to its sometimes abstract inclination and unusual harmonization that sometimes seemed to border on the fringe and incoherent. But, some time to put it in perspective paid off when I later returned to the CD again. The second time around, I latched onto the vision a little better and arrived at the conclusion that Confusion delivers the promise contained in its title. And, in the end I decided that I liked this album pretty well because of the balance of savvy chordal arrangements, jazzy melody lines, cohesive improvisation and sometimes risky harmonization.

The combination of snazzy percussionry, wandering, rhythmic bass lines, and inventive guitar work gives this album its signature sound. Diamantis follows some challenging progressions with precision in his soloing that offers some striking resolution over the complex harmonies set down by the chordal underpinnings. He deploys a wide range of voicings that range from smooth jazz to aggressive, distorted fusion. The phrasings are carefully thought out to match rackets with the underlying progressions and other instrumental ideas. These phrasings also draw from a unique vocabulary that Diamantis has built that should offer a pleasant change of scenery for fusion efficienados.

The track "Old Story" struck my fancy with its deeply-fealt sax melodies that send the listener into a divergent dimension different in character from the rest of the album. This track exemplifies Diamantis capabilities for arrangement with the tactful chordal arrangements characterized by subtle tones and gratifying tonality. Though the track my border on commercial in sound, the contrast it presents the listener relative to the other tracks on the CD is pleasing because not only is it accessible, but it demonstrates a wide range of style.

Maybe my initial impressions were misguided due to the environment I first took in the CD. The album is probably not driving music, but instead can best be appreciated in a quiet, home environment where the subtleties can be fully absorbed and appreciated. I guess I will save the shred fusion for the rush hour drive and keep this one at home for the weekend! ....................... ~o~==^~o~

Guitar Achilleas Diamantis
Keyboards, Computer Programming Stratos Diamantis
Bass Makis Boukalis, Nikos Vardis
Drums Seraphim Bellos
Keyboards Alekos, Orfanos
Sax Takis Paterelis
1) Open Mind
2) Funk You
3) Mystic Samba
4) Blues 40
5) Old Story
6) Alone
7) Marko's Song
8) Dark Hip
9) Pray for Love

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

Achilleas Diamantis & Confusion: Genesis
2001, Confusion

Achilleas Diamantis returns from his debut with a new group named "Confusion" that takes its name for Diamantis first album and that takes his brand of intensive fusion to the next level. The opening track comes straight at the listener with some aggressive, fusionish guitar work that is reminiscent of Sir Holdsworth with its speed and outside harmonization. The increase in aggression is a marked departure from Diamantis first effort and distinguishes this CD from its predecessor. But, like the debut, this album exemplifies Diamantis' painstaking efforts to compose impressive compositions with paradoxically complex yet fluid arrangements that demonstrate a lot of thought and insight. The guitar work that is characterized by more aggression, grit, and speed than the first effort is sure to raise the brows of agressive fusion fans that may have been lulled into complacency by the first album (though I liked this album too). The balance of unusual melody lines, speedy, chaotic runs, and ever-changing soundscapes should fit the bill for listeners who can't stand to sit still.

The composition and soloing on Genesis are attention-keeping throughout. The caliber of musicianship is consistently good throughout, as well. And, the production quality captures the complex instrumental work with crystal clarity.

The seventh track, "Escaped Soul", is built around balladic melodies reminiscent of the great fusion pioneer Jeff Beck, though played with a Diamantis spin. This track adds a new angle to the album with its return to a smoother, more refined form of jazz that again demonstrates Diamantis' wide scope, as well as good taste. "Escaped Soul" revisits the types of voicings and carefully placed phrasings that characterized Diamantis' first album.

Diamantis and company have produced a fine fusion effort on Genesis. Confusion has carved a niche for themselves with their unique brand of complex yet cohesive composition that is centered around aggressive fusion. If you like outside harmonization that strikes some balance with palatability, and if you like continually changing arrangements, then you might want to try this one on for size. Some of the ideas lean more towards the abstract end of the spectrum rather than accessible, but overall the content is pretty well-rounded. Give it a shot!

Guitar Achilleas Diamantis
Bass Panagiotis Haramis
Drums Takis Intas
Keyboards Stratos Diamantis
Vocals Kristieanne Travers
1) Intro
2) Where R U?
3) 7 To 4
4) Traveler in Time
5) Sick
6) The Fool
7) Escaped Soul
8) Occupational Hazard
9) Spunky
10) Ending

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





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