PERSONA NON GRATA - CONFIRM YOUR HUMANITY
(Steel Gallery Records)
Review by Stefan
Mastered and mixed by legendary producer Chris Tsangarides, Athens-Hellas' Progressive Metal act Persona Non Grata have unleashed its third album “Confirm Your Humanity” on March 10th. 2016 through Greek label Steel Gallery Records. Formed back in 2003 by keyboardist John Ioannidis and guitarist Chris Gatsos, I wasn't familiar with this band but already had heard some good critical acclaim in relation to their previous albums “Shade In The Light” and “Quantum Leap”. The only way to assess PNG is to give their new effort “Confirm Your Humanity” a couple of spins myself as I did for several times until now. And I can tell you right on that I'm quite impressed with this way final result... This is something really good !
Throughout a duration of more than 52 minutes you will be presented with Progressive Metal to the extreme. With regards to this type of music, most of the songs are made with all sort of musical movements. Progressive Metal allows a band to run wild his own imagination that, mostly, results in pleasant, sophisticated compositions. In the case of Persona Non Grata, well they are able to let come the term 'progressive' even more to its own. I would like to label them as one of the most impressive/oddball bands of the moment as they offer an impressive blend of Progressive Rock and Metal to the masses.
Vasilis Axiotis, the lead singer takes me by the throat right from the start. He has a fantastic timbre and delivers a stunning falsetto which he can send in all directions, hassle free. Vasilis can immediately apply to big bands like Queensryche, Heir Apparent, Fates Warning, Lethal among others. Absolutely great frontman! Chris Gatsos is the only one guitarist within the PNG ranks, somewhat unexpected but I can guarantee you all that there are no deficiencies relating to the guitar works, both riffs and leads are manufactured with a serious knowledge of detailed, technical perfection ...absolutely like to hear this way of guitar actions. 99 % of all progressive acts have a keyboardist on board, not my favorite instrument but okay, it belongs to the overall package and John Ioannidis delivers the goods. Bass lines by Chris Colias are performed on a well-prepared and qualified way, his musical background seems more than successful. Last but not least we have Akis Gavalas, 'session' drummer for PNG's new effort titled “Confirm Your Humanity”, a person who let me enjoy of his musical abilities reaching a high status.
There are eight songs in the queue and many moments of progressive intensity will not escape your ears. All purebred intelligent works with a lot of emotional, somewhat melancholic and dark minded character traits. Persona Non Grata manages to stand out from the typical contemporary ProgMetal scene and that's a good point to me. Don't expect a 'Tour De Force' type of album, just insert the silver disc and listen attentively to a masterful performance offered with a rehearsed passion for a quite unusual type of Progressive Metal, alternating with fusion-esque elements as well.
Persona Non Grata's third, new album “Confirm Your Humanity” is a not everyday/ variable-to-the-bone pearl that gives the world of Progressive Metal a somehow different dimension. A very well done performance by natural born musicians who have found their vocation in making ultra Progressive Metal definitely. All things considered, this jewel box package masterpiece should be ordered by each adherent of the progressive genre right away ! Fans of early Shadow Gallery/Dream Theater, Evergrey, Pain Of Salvation, ... purchase on the double right HERE. Additional band info at: http://personanongrata.info/index.html / https://www.facebook.com/PersonaNonGrataband/
My rating: 89 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish