Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Google Ads

WithoutEnding: WithoutEnding

When this album was initially released in 2004 under the name WithoutEnd, it received a lukewarm reaction from me. I must admit, though, that the self-titled debut from the band -- which changed its name to WithoutEnding to coincide with the album's reissue by the esteemed ProgRock Records - has grown on me. The Australian trio makes complex progressive rock bordering on progressive metal, combining elements of Fates Warning, Marillion and even Pain of Salvation. No surprise, then, that the album's primary theme of change and consequence is conveyed through dark arrangements and emotional lyrics.

Plenty of polyrhythms and odd time signatures interweave with sometimes-flowing, sometimes-halting melodies and metallic riffs, and singer/drummer Nicholas Georgakopoulos' straightforward delivery lacks the bombast of many of his prog peers. A song like the accessible rocker "In Transit" sits comfortably next to the more aggressive "Analyse," which features the unexpected flighty warbling of guest female vocalist Nicoletta Kardas." "Searching for Meaning" wouldn't sound out of place on modern rock radio, while the piano ballad "The Third Day" reveals WithoutEnding's gentler side.

But in the end, WithoutEnding still lacks a well-developed sense of pacing and direction. That's not to say that WithoutEnding's musical depth doesn't run deep. In fact, I'd argue that these guys have so much talent that, for some reason, they're trying to rein it in. Album number two could be - nay, should be - huge.

Track Listing:
1) Again (6:40)
2) In Transit (4:58)
3) Analyse (5:30)
4) I Still Remember (8:01)
5) Seaching for Meaning (4:30)
6) Descend(4:35)
7) Comfort Zone (3:17)
8) Compulsion (5:17)
9) The Third Day (3:08)

Added: March 12th 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: ProgRock Records
Hits: 3738
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

WithoutEnding: WithoutEnding
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-03-12 11:52:01
My Score:

WithoutEnding's self-titled album is a great debut. Produced by noted producer Endel Rivers, this band should be added to the amazing list of Australian bands, right up there with the likes of Eyefear, Vanishing Point, and Black Majesty. WithoutEnding's style is considerably darker than these acts though. This trio plays a signature mix of early-90's Fates Warning meets the more atmospheric stuff of Queensryche. At times quite technical and guitar-friendly, the band also likes to experiment with darker and deeper ideas, utilising solemn acoustic guitars and some keyboard lines by guests Bill Kadi and Endel Rivers himself. Needless to say, the results are impressive, especially considering Nicholas Georgakopoulos' great voice. He has a strong midtempo voice that lends the band a unique edge, but what's more interesting is, Georgakopoulos also plays the drums on the album and does a great job.

Most of the songs on this album are filled with semi-technical guitar riffage and moments of the 90's incarnations of Rush. WithoutEnding's writing is divided between the stuff we were accustomed to hearing from most Norwegian bands in the mid-90's, such as Trivial Act, Manitou, and Conception circa Flow, and perhaps, the more metallic versions of contemporary prog rock (bands like Tiles and Enchant come to mind). On "Again", there are a plethora of influences, emphasizing ever-changing riffs and melodies, extended drum solos, and heavy, rhythmically complex arrangements. However, the following piece "In Transit" is a more atmospheric cut, with plenty of keys and acoustic guitars dominating it. Halfway through, Michael Totta throws in some angular guitar chords in the mix to widen its scope. "Analyse" features some female vocals in the beginning, before a cold, menacing bass works its way in the mix and, with the inclusion of a dreamy synth melody, creates a beautiful mood. "I Still Remember" explores the breakdown in relationships, and is perhaps the most brooding song on the album. Georgakatoulos' vocals are amazing here.

"Searching for Meaning" is littered with mind-bending riffs, but always leaves room for melodic content. The song has a nice symphonic backdrop to it, but it's once again Totta's shifts of dynamics and quirky note choices that makes this track all the more interesting. The Manitou meets Trivial Act reference is best noticeable on "Descend", where Georgakatoulos also plays a cool drum solo. In this way, he reminds me of the Wolverine drummer on their first full-length. It must be tough to handle both the drumming and singing for him, but honestly, I'd hate to see him leave either of them. "Comfort Zone" sounds like a jazzified Tiles cut on their first disc with more female vocals, while "The Third Day" is the album's most emotional piano ballad suggesting time heals all wounds, no matter what. It closes the album on a hopeful note, once again proving how amazing Georgakatoulos vocals are in an almost a capella context.

I look forward to hearing what this band comes up with next. Their dark tone and odd-timed riffs and melodies should appeal to a vast prog audience.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by