Band: Stephen Duros
CD Title: Aeaea
Label: Luminescent Records (2015)
Rating: Satisfying 3/5
The music on Aeaea, pronounced ee-EE-a, is a well-crafted mix of World-Beat rhythms, New Age ambience and nylon-string Flamenco styled guitar all wrapped up with a symphonic intentionality. Mixing long songs of over ten-minutes with shorter pieces of one and half minutes, these twelve instrumental compositions convey a strong sense of rhythmic flow which fits extremely well with the album’s stated concept of a journey, or at least the start of one. The album’s title comes from one of the island names in the Greek poem The Odyssey. As such each of these pieces attempts to convey some aspect of a musical journey. The obvious question that some of you may have, given the umbrella description above is – yeah but is it prog? – and the answer is sort of. The album is actually one continuous piece of instrumental music made up of twelve chapters. The opener, “Chapter I” [10:13] perhaps comes closest to being a full on prog piece, while others neatly fit into categories such as cinematic orchestrations. So with that in mind I think there is much here that fans of symphonic prog or World-Beat influenced music will enjoy. The music is dramatic and panoramic in scope. There’s no way this would fall neatly into the New Age bins, simply because there is too much going on performance wise, there’s too much musicality. Plus it’s ever changing. That goes without saying in the longer pieces, but even in the shorter ones their brevity allows for them to provide some unique musical transitions. So perhaps while not for everyone, if you like the sound of intricate nylon guitar picking a la Steve Hackett the music of Stephen Duros should be right up your alley. Check it out.