Metal Mind 2018
Respectable Polish progger expands his limitless expertise to embrace the wonders of modern jazz.
As a founding member of SBB, Apostolis Anthimos is mostly known for his forays in the art-rock field yet, given the veteran’s versatility, the axeman’s fans should not be astounded by any diversion he’s up to. Still, this album doesn’t fail to surprise – if not with the rare appearance of six strings, then with music per se: deliciously unpredictable as two parts of “Story” – whose spiritual jive opens and closes the record – suggest. Here’s a trip to alternative reality and back again, the trip that’s well worth taking.
It’s almost impossible to tell what side of here and now the band explore at the moment, and not for nothing the percussive bossa promise of “Pinnochio’s Dream” seems deceptive as it dissipates into abstractness – only to get solidified into a tune which is weaving a vigorously adventurous vibe, with ivories and brass at the fore. The sax may pass elegy to keyboards in “Back To The North” but the piece’s playfulness must unfold along a slow-to-fast logic to form a wild ride before exotic vocals help piano drive “Goris” to unhurried ecstasy where guitar licks get engaged in a quiet rage. The exhilarating improv exchange of “Bar Wah Wah” is quite trade, though, as is sweet fatigue of “Mussaka In Evening” – so unlike the dirty blues smeared all over the title track that’s also stricken with pentatonic strum to let the West and the East meet.
Yet if “Sunrise” has electric fire in its heart, Latinesque elegance oozes out of acoustic swirl in “Manhattan Circus,” while “In The Big City, which is high on scat and bass slap, is exciting in a different way, with long notes from synthesizer reaching for Bach and Corea at the same time. Further down the line, reeds shenanigans in “McCoi” will liberate Tyner-styled ripples to unleash a blistering assault on the listener’s eardrums – thanks to Apostolis’ own drums – to make the dynamic attack of “Tata” much more nuanced. It’s an album to grow in status with every new spin, so yes, there’s astonishment in there.