Sedate Illusion
What Remains

Progressive, now there’s a word that gets a lot of use in the metal vernacular, maybe just under “brutal” and “cult”, or “kvlt”, depending how true (troo?) you are. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m not a progressive type of guy. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about progression in songwriting or within a band’s discography. In that definition, progression is the bee’s knees, if you will. For example, seeing Death grow from Scream Bloody Gore to The Sound of Perseverance, or watching Opeth morph from their majestic black/death beginnings, to whatever the hell those guys are doing now. No, I’m talking about the progressive genre itself, and without a doubt, Sedate Illusion, and their 2014 album, What Remains, clearly falls into the progressive metal category.

From what I understand, the band has a new album slated for release later this year. I am assuming that the reason they are sending out an album, released a year and a half ago, to be reviewed, is to help drum up any possible interest in the band and their forthcoming album. I can respect that, though I feel that this might not play out in favor for the Greece based group.

What Remains isn’t actually a bad album by any means, its musicians clearly know how to play, and put in an above average performance. The production is good, all instruments are present and accounted for, and the vocals of founder/vocalist/keyboardist, Vangelis Kakarougas, though a tad weak, are still comfortably adequate. No, What Remains isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just painfully boring.

Most of the album’s eight tracks, three of which are instrumentals, just sort of meander along, with no definitive beginning, middle or end, which leads to a void of the dynamics and overall hooks that help drive this type of material. They’re overdrawn and feel as if they were all built around the keyboard as opposed to the guitar. Unfortunately, this results in most of the tracks lacking the goods in the “heavy” department. Basically, the material is unfocused, and well, like I said, boring…though I will say that I did enjoy the instrumental track, “Elephant Creeper”.

It’s too bad really, because while I hear many different influences, ranging from Moonspell to Bon Jovi, I would say Sedate Illusion and What Remains sounds most like Dream Theater, with some dashes of Opeth, just not anywhere near as righteously awesome as that description implies.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
September 9th, 2015

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