Quadrus | Entropia | Album Review April 2017
Release Year: 2017
Genre: Progressive/Cinematic Metal/Symphonic Metal
John Galanakis – Guitars/Orchestras/Brutal Growls-Clean Vocals
Alexandra Misailidou – Female Vocals
Jon Soti – Male Vocals
Marios Konnaris – Lead Guitars
John Sotirakis – Bass Guitars
Nikitas Mandolas – Drums
Special Guest Musicians
George Konstantine Kratsas – Bionic Origin – Guest Guitars on The Alpha Origin & Engineering/Mixing/Mastering on entire Entropia Album.
Iliana Tsakiraki – Enemy Of Reality – Additional Leggro Soprano Vocals – Featured on Sense Of Matter
Astral Nova – Intro
The Alpha Origin
Sense Of Matter
Alternative Hypothesis – Interlude
Entropia – The Final Chapter
: a measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system’s disorder, that is a property of the system’s state, and that varies directly with any reversible change in heat in the system and inversely with the temperature of the system; broadly : the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system
a : the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity
b : a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder
Quadrus band is a symphonic metal project from John Galanakis that formed in Athens Greece at June of 2014 with Marios Konnaris and began with the creation of ENTROPIA – concept album.
Later on, after 2 years of composing and orchestrations for ENTROPIA, John came in contact with Nikitas Mandolas who recorded the drums for the whole album alongside with Jon Soti, who recorded the Male Vocals, Alexandra Misailidou who wrote the lyrics and the Female Vocals, Marios Konnaris who recorded the lead guitars and John Sotirakis who recorded the bass guitar.
Lots of influences from progressive,djent,thrash,death,black,symphonic,folk,celtic, music and guided from the sound of Wintersun, Dream Theater, Symphony x, Epica , Dragonland, Ensiferum, Nightwish,Two steps from Hell and Hans Zimmer, led to the current sound of Quadrus and formed the cinematic style of Entropia
It seems throughout the course of the history of humankind that there has always been a change to totally alter the course of things. Keep in mind that humans have only been on Earth for just under 20,000 years. We have went from being hunter/gatherers, to small tribal villages to the first democratic city states such that was founded in Greece ,to absolute utter crushing and dominating origins of the Persian, Roman, Mongolian, Ottoman , British and American Empires. It also seems when these various Empires got to big or way to coveted by smaller more second or third world populations coming together, that these massive Empires fell and fell hard.
Humankind has not really learned very much from its past. We constantly and repeatedly create circumstances where we can not be self sufficient on the natural and human made resources that were given to us in the this life, that were given to us in this world. We have ran in vicious cycles of political and civil decay through Dystopia that has ultimately led down the road to Entropia. Such is the very futuristic world that new Greek symphonic, progressive metal, cinematic band Quadrus has done such a great job articulating in their independent self financed and distributed album Entropia.
These same universal laws and made made conundrums can also apply to the vast expanse of space over time. Entropia can happen when a solar system or whole galaxies are devoured by super massive black holes, gamma ray’s, or even quasar’s. The story of Quadrus’ Entropia is a combination of both human irresponsibility and the lack of cooperation of the known universe around us. As with all albums that are conceptual in nature we all see the story differently on the big screen in the theater of our minds and listen to the music through various and different filter’s of our comprehension and understanding. It is also becoming more frequent in the symphonic and progressive metal community that we are seeing more and more conceptual albums even as ‘Debut-Albums’. Both sub genres seem to have the proper atmospheres to allow for this to happen. Now a little break down track by track of Quadrus’ Entropia.
Chapter 1 – Born/Fear/Anger/Doubt
Astral Nova – Intro – Born
This begins with a spoken word element to begin to paint the picture on the screen inside the theater of the listener’s mind’s. It is certainly one of the most beautifully articulate spoken word tracks I have heard on a concept album in the last 25 years. That is no exaggeration whatsoever. Alexandra Misailidou – Female Vocals are not only radiant, they are eloquently elegant as she charms the listener into the story and preparing them for the darkness and the silver lining around some otherwise very dark and bleak moments on the album. This is all done over a beautifully elegant keyboard passage followed by a big drum passage like that of a marching band or a race have been given marching orders. It is like the band are looking at a film on the screen and playing to its intensity and various parts much like a symphony would score a film. This seamlessly transitions very smoothly into the next song in Chapter 1 Shadow Provision.
Shadow Provision – Fear
Begins with a very high end keyboard chord progression that has transitioned seamlessly from its prior track Astral Nova – Born. Soon after that a blistering intro chord progression begins to take the song and album with it into a very dark and heavy realm. John Galanakis – Guitars/Orchestras/Brutal Growls-Clean Vocals adds some vocal depth when he uses the ‘death growls’ more like an additional instrument perhaps in the emotion of anger due to the fear unleashed on the population through the self inflicted chaos to the people in the story of Entropia.
The drum/bass rhythm rhythm section creates a immediate sense of urgency so that when the clean male vocal comes in it already gives the listener the sense of a chaotic event occurring within the story and on the planet of humanity. Between the deep rhythm section and blistering guitar riffs the male vocal narrative begins to question the very existence past. present and future of his own species. The beautiful female soprano vocal comes in and there is a dialogue between one another as to the situation and questions towards a solution to the problem they now face.
Under the clean male vocals and female vocals there is a underlying death growl. This track is a very cinematic track with heavy straight away power metal style vocals with various progressive chord progression changes. The band wastes absolutely no time engulfing the listener into the world they want to paint and create in the theater of the mind. The guitar solo’s are very wickedly insane along with the perfect accommodation of the various keyboard passages.
The Alpha Origin – Anger -(Featuring George Konstantine Kratsas -Guest Guitars)
This begins in a very thick dark power metal passage much like the style of Nightwish or even Epica. Soon the track has some very rhythm based crunchy guitar chord progression over a clean guitar lead. Soon among the instrumental rhythm and lead chord progression and interchanges come the female soprano vocal, male ‘death vocal’ and male clean vocal that blend and interchange perfectly on time and on key. The male ‘death growl’ on this one serves both a vocal melodic verbal narrative as well as a vocal instrumental narrative in the story. Some of the straight away rhythm guitar and bass/drum rhythm sections are in a very galloping matter much like Iron Maiden meets Dream Theater.
All this brutality in the instrumental half is to set up a very angry lyrical narrative. The instrumental allows for the very cynical, hateful, sarcasm lyrical narrative to breathe where it can be understood clearly. I believe it is intentional. The male vocal also serves as a hardcore indictment to the general population as to what they have done to their world as a collective community. The male ‘death growl’ begins to not only convey anger but it also begins to tell the people how to channel their anger to a legitimate and everlasting solution a motivator.
About the 5:05 mark the piano comes in and the brutality of both the instrumental narrative and lyrical narrative wane a little to allow the listener to absorb the situation from both sides. To the listener that really follows the story from the CD booklet, they can identify and relate to some of the anger the band articulate both lyrically and instrumentally. They start to realise that they can find themselves in a situation as this. Anger is a powerful motivator for change and the band do a great job painting a picture of it on this track. The guitar solo’s are quite fluid. The track ends on a very orchestral passage with various harmonies that convey the appearance of various choirs.
Sense Of Matter – (Featuring Iliana Tsakiraki – Enemy of Reality – Leggro Soprano)
This starts out with a beautiful classical piano that appears it is being played in a concert hall. The clear male vocal come in to continually articulate the overall story in the concept. Then the track explodes with various rhythmic chord progressive passages that are sheer blistering. The passages are definitely and purposefully over the top with the cinematic and dramatic to match the intensity of the story. The band go above and beyond painting the emotion of doubt of the people in the story to the intended audience they are targeting. The ‘death growls’ can actually be very understood, a welcomed surprise where this particular music is concerned. They also continue to serve as a instrument along side the chants from the soprano half of the vocal narrative.
Chapter 2 – Living/Deception/Guilt/Sadness
Alternative Hypothesis – Interlude – Living
Is a instrumental thus, the sub title of Interlude is added. It opens up Chapter 2 – Living/Deception/Guilt/Sadness much like a second ACT in a Three Act stage play. The population of the people are really starting to acknowledge the plight of their situation. This instrumental begins to also set the atmosphere for the Second portion of Entropia.
Deceptive Projection – Deception
Just as a shred of Truth starts to come in so does Deception. The track opens up with a thunderous rhythm section with a dark male spoken word narrative. The instrumental also does a good job building a sense of anticipation for the lyrical narrative. It is the classic a case of you can not have one without the other trying to remove its enemy. There is also multi dimensional choirs to convey various emotions within the people. This is also the point of the story where the resolve of humanity really begins to be tested. The chaos on the outside begins the war for the soul and spirit on the inside of the individual and humanity as a collective. The harmony between the instrumental and lyrical is really tight and cohesive about now and the band really start working as one, much like a well oiled machine. On a lyrical note humanity knows some great deception is coming and scramble to prepare for it. The ‘death growls’ begin to really get more and more intense to match the equal intensity of the brutal almost blackened death metal style instrumental half. The keyboard passages go into the area symphonic fusion. The band ends this with what appears to be machine like effects in progress that will easily and seamlessly transition into the following track Attribution Theory – Guilt.
Attribution Theory – Guilt
This picks up seamlessly in transition off the previous track before it Deceptive Projection – Deception. It appears the machine is turning on a instrumental half of the track. By this point of the album when things get brutal they stay brutal both instrumentally and lyrically. As far as instrumental and effects there is a definitive turn of events in the story. This contains beautifully done keyboard passages with blistering guitar rhythms sections. The instrumental emotion and lyrical narrative displayed are those where humanity seems beside itself and in disbelief over the events that are happening on their Planet Earth. You can say that humanity are truly bearing the burden of guilt over their own actions. The instrumental is very climatic to a further tipping point in the story. Instrumentally it concludes on a major melodic note with various double soprano vocals layer in and out of one another.
Aggression – Sadness
Begins with a thunderstorm effect that is perfectly complimented by a crunchy rhythm guitar. Soon a cleaner guitar chord progression comes in and matches the lush layered keyboard atmosphere on the stronger end of the melodic side. The beautiful soprano and male clean vocal really pay justice to the instrumental portion of this. This track takes on a very odd Gothic element within both the vocal and instrumental much more like Epica. Lyrically the population of Humanity reconcile with their plight and begin to chart the course towards their own survival and preservation. The keyboard atmospheres really remind me of Jens Johanssen of Stratosvarious. This track also marks the end of Chapter 2 much like a second part to a three Act play or stage performance.
Chapter 3 – End Of Circle/Redemption/New Beginning
Entropia – The Final Chapter
This is the finishing epic of Entropia. It opens up the third and final chapter to this epic concept. It is just under 18:00 minutes in length and serves as a major third of the story.
Part 1 – Atom
This starts out with a very subtle keyboard passage in the background while various audio clips from news agencies report disaster, a new planet that is 60% larger than our Earth but is habitable like our Earth. Here you really get the sense as a listener that humanity is doomed and in desperation to find a place of redemption and salvation. It is a Epiphany on a very mass scale.
Part 2 – Epiphany
Lyrically is a definite wake up call for humanity and the very fact they either change their ways and adapt to the circumstances of their actions or they perish under them. This is followed in by some lush glossy keyboard sections with some very brutal rhythm sections blended in with symphonic death metal elements. This is a very angry portion of the epic. The perfect blend of death growls and strong female soprano vocals and choirs really place a sense of conviction here.
Part 3 – Cosmos
This opens up giving the appearance of a intergalactic choir acknowledging the knowledge and understanding they have left. Although they have this understanding they also begin to really recognize their complacency and how it is beginning to devour them from the inside out. All this emotions are conveyed with a very easy and palatable symphonic and cinematic section in the instrumental portion. It is as if they are starting a journey towards perhaps a new home or solution.
Part 4 – Shadow Light Spirituality
This part is very brutal in the sense that this is straight away symphonic/cinematic death metal blended in harmony with spoken word sections. After the emotion give by both the lyrical and instrumental content for the first half or verse of this portion, the band utilizes their native Greek language as if it is the language spoken by this particular sect of humanity. They do this in a very coherent and articulate manner in the midst of such a angry instrumental portion.
Part 5 – Justification
Lyrically this is the age old war between the sciences and religions of humanity. It is as if both sides are making futile attempts to justify their actions and contributions on the race of humanity. This emotion is done with a interchange of the male clean and female soprano with the death growls coming in to convey the utter anger between the sciences and religions. The anger in both the lyrical and instrumental side are in total harmony. The band remains on point and objective with this particular portion of the epic.
Part 6 – Elevation
This seamlessly transitions from Part 5 – Justification with a deep and tuned down symphonic rhythm section that is both cinematic in nature and the appearance of a little bit of space metal. It is a bit slower to allow the listener to breathe and absorb the epic and story that the band has been painting in their minds. The female soprano comes in this time more as a voice of reason and the various instrumental elements allow for that to be possible in harmony with the vocal elements. Humanity also sees they may have a second chance for survival.
Part 7 -Redemption
This last portion of the epic starts at the 13:24 mark and proceeds to bring the entire epic and overall story within the concept of the entire album. The transition is remains continuous and on point towards the end. This conclusion is very blistering and brutal on the instrumental half. It is a non stop power rhythmic sections blended with cinematic keyboard atmospheres. The band does a great job bringing this story and concept to it climatic conclusion. The choir provides the illusion of a humanity once again unified towards the common goal to go on despite all its imperfections and disasters.
In a year that has already produced concept albums by Pain Of Salvation In The Passing Light Of Day and Ayreon’s The Source, that are actually signed artists, it seems that some bands and artists have chosen to go independent/unsigned for their conceptual debuts. Earlier in the year I reviewed some independent/unsigned concept albums from Ireland’s The Vicious Head Society Abject Tomorrow and Aeloias, The Architect and now Quadrus’ Entropia, it appears that this may turn out to be the year of the independent artist or band doing concept albums without any label support whatsoever. Although Quadrus have only been together just under three years they sound and operate like a band that has been around anywhere from 10 to 15 years. This was very well written, arranged, produced, mixed and mastered. This gets a very strong 5/5 for independent quality.