The Kolios Project was started in 2002 by guitarist and composer Ryan Denzer-King, and quickly became an online musical project with musicians from around the world. Their four-track eponymous demo features several guest guest guitar and bass players, beside the original lineup which consists of Ryan Denzer-King on guitars, Manfred Dikkers on drums, Matteo Borselli on keyboards, and Alan Goldstein on bass. You may have heard of Goldstein because of his affiliation with Aghora, one of the finest technical progressive rock bands around. He plays bass on one song here and puts his signature stamp on it.
Four songs, over 24 minutes of music, this demo is going to have the biggest Cynic, Aghora, Psychotic Waltz, Gordian Knot, and Meshuggah fans drooling, especially if they ever wondered what these bands would sound like if they were all instrumental acts. Save for the first track "Forsaken", which features some excerpts from the Shawshank Redemption movie, all songs are instrumental stuff punctuated with moody arrangements and delicate textures. Don't expect any overtly shred-oriented stuff where Denzer-King is all about showing off his chops. While he can get insanely technical in spots, it's his understanding of intensive atmospheres and gorgeous legato playing that characterizes much of the songs. Matteo Borselli plays hypnotizing keyboards that range from gentle moody passages to head-spinning lead attacks. It is amazing how versatile his playing is. The first track features him in a more subdued role, where he just builds complex textures beneath pronounced and articulated guitar and bass lines that border on jazz territory. On "Lambs", on the other hand, his playing sounds almost 70's, marked by plenty of analog synths that drive the song into darker and more sombre realms, while still retaining Denzer-King's blazing sweep work and acoustic guitars. "Low Men in Yellow Coats" breaks the 8-minute mark, starting out with huge sound effects that are followed by a Pain of Salvation-like key solo, then some pounding bass throbs, jazz piano, and glistening cymbals. I've said little of Manfred Dikkers, the drummer. I really hope people get to hear him on a real full-length disc with better production, for he truly shines as a drummer, adding in lots of wicked signatures and jazz-inflected open rhythms.
I read that Aghora guitarist Santiago Dobles recently recorded a solo for The Kolios Project. Let's hope this demo generates some interest for the band and they get signed by a decent label that can promote and distribute them properly. This band could become one of my favourites because they have so many features that set them apart from most of the instrumental stuff out there.
- Low Men in Yellow Coats
- Teleological Suspension of the Ethical