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Review: Persona Non Grata - Shade In The Light
Persona Non Grata
Shade In The Light

Label: Sensory Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 51:13
Tracks: 10
Genre: Progressive Metal

Rating: 2.5/5

Review online: April 7, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Shade In The Light

Rated 3/5 (60%) (3 Votes)

Well, this isn't bad. I'm fairly picky about the Prog I listen to, as I am not much of a fan of instrumental wanking just for the sake of it. This is another promo from well-known Prog label Sensory, and it's fairly typical of the bands they sign. Persona Non Grata are much better musicians than they are songwriters, and this album shares a common weakness of prog – a lot of music, not many songs.

Keyboard player John Ioannidis is the dominant force at work here, as his playing and compositions are much better than the rest of the music. The guitars are strictly a backup instrument and while vocalist Bill Axiotis tries hard, he's just not good enough to carry this band. There are a lot of excellent melodies swirling through this album, and the keyboard work is sharp and inventive. But the arrangements are baggy and lack focus, the vocal melodies are bad and not well sung, and the other players are not really impressive enough to catch the attention of serious progheads. Slapping a John Petrucci guitar tone on a jazzy solo is not enough to disguise the fact that it is not challenging at all. The drums are completely innocuous, and the bass only occasionally audible.

On first spin there's nothing bad about this, but repeated listens render this album harder and harder to listen to, as it is all surface gloss and no substance. Delving deeply into these compositions will only point up how poor they are, and the album will start to annoy you pretty seriously. I'd skip this one if I were you.

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