"Shade in the Light" (Sensory; 2009)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

Persona Non Grata hail from Greece and formed back in 2003. Once they solidified their line-up they began concentrating on writing and recording. They play a traditional brand of progressive metal. Once the keyboards and soaring vocals emerged I was quickly reminded of "Awake"-era Dream Theater.

Although vocalist Bill Axiotis sounds like a cross between Queensryche's Geoff Tate and Fates Warning's Ray Alder, he surges forward with a voice that's high yet powerful plus really helps to control the pace. What appeals to me most about this band is that they rely more on building solid structures instead of trying pour out an endless array of flashy bits and pieces. I am sure they have the talent to put on more of a show, but they use restraint and focus on maintaining a powerful foundation. I think this allows them to realize a degree of depth to their music and pull a lot out of all that they are doing.

If I have any complaint about this CD it's that the songs that make up almost the whole first half of the album all start in about the same manner. They all begin rather slow and reserved and I was hoping and expecting them to open up and change the pace a bit. By the second half of the disc, the band seems to have awakened a bit and be more daring. So maybe it's just a matter of song placement rather than style.

I certainly can't say that Persona Non Grata do enough to make me want to hear them all the time, but I do like most of the material here and I am sure that fans of Dream Theater will likely eat it up.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 15:32:20 -0400.