CD REVIEW: Euripides Sideras - Come & Gone
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"Brilliant in scope"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST -
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative, Progressive, Psychedelic, Experimental, Industrial Rock
Sounds Like: Depeche Mode, NIN.
Technical Grade: 9/10
The Mix, Winded Songs, Drums (Tonality, Performances)
Euripides Sideras is a composer/singer/songwriter who is originally from the island of Cyprus & has studied Sound Engineering at Berkley College of Music. His latest release Blessed But Troubled Times was released in early 2011.
The CD kicks things off with “Silence Comes My Way” a foreboding intro piece that delivers melancholy piano accents, against driving rock rhythms, & rich melodic foundation that peaks & valleys its way through to emotional fruition. Track 2 “Sailors of Truth” shifts gears a bit with mesmerizing vocal intro, eventually lending itself to progressive rock crescendo delivering full tilt rhythm grooves, sizzling guitar, & thought provoking lyrical content ES. Track 3 “Homeless” delivers yet another impressive track with its slow moving solitary intro, eventually lending itself into an impressive heart felt ballad. The CD makes a good first impression delivering 3 compelling tracks in a row. This music is rather hard to pigeonhole. I would classify this music as Experimental, Alternative, Progressive, Rock with brief splashes on Psychedelic Industrial ambience. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical influences reminiscent of classic acts like NIN, Depece Mode, even The Cure & Dead Can Dance. Despite some of the influences it's quite amazing how refined ES sound is. I especially like the theatrical element of this production - very dynamic, progressive, & unpredictable. Note for note, song for song it will definitely keep you guessing. The CD flows extremely well well song to song & note for note There are also lush layers of melodic instrumentation & sonic touches sprinkled everywhere. This is the strong suit of this production & it's obvious ES put allot of time crafting these songs. Indeed ES is a capable & extremely creative composer – as clearly shown here. ES vocals fit this style of music perfectly – murky, mysterious, hard to define. From mesmerizing “Poets Never Die” to dynamic “You’re the Truth & “I’m just here to see” to striking “Phony Messages” & “2012” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Blessed But Troubled Times” – the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
The weakest thing about this production is - the mix. I noticed ES mixed the production & I give ham an A for effort. However I would highly recommend on his next production ES hire a professional mixer not so close to the project to mix it down. Having another professional’s perspective on the overall sound can greatly add to the production value. On just a few songs the drums (tonality, & performances) sound a bit amateurish. Most rhythms sound murky & clear as mud – thus making it challenging for the listener to find the groove. Giving how dynamic some of the music is – makes it all the more challenging. If ES can’t get this right, he should strongly consider hiring a professional drum composer for his next effort. The drums also lack serious low end punch. This goes back to mixing. I also wish ES displayed more raw vocal emotion especially during some of the finale moments. Some of the tracks are a bit winded with extended intros & outros. All tracks over 4 1/2 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Perhaps 10% of the catalogue needs to be trimmed off. If the aforementioned issues were fixed this CD would not only receive a 10 star rating it would also get a CD of the Year Nomination. If this review seems lopsided it merely reflects the extremes presented on Blessed But Troubled Times.
From start to finish Blessed But Troubled Times by Euripides Sideras is one of the craziest musical rides I’ve been on this year. The music is highly original & creative, extremely melodic, & like the aforementioned packed to the hilt with sonic entertainment. You will have no idea what waiting for you around the next corner – that’s the best part of this musical experience. The writing creativity of ES are in a class all by itself. The concept & writing is in a league of it's own & is clearly brilliant in scope. If ES can fix some of the above issues I would be very interested in hearing his next CD.