Anthem to Creation (2013) is the second full-length album by Greek progressive metal act Until Rain. It's been several years since the group's debut The Reign of Dreams (2009) and in that time they've acquired a new vocalist, Yannis Papadopoulos, as well as bassist, Bill Gkagkavouzis. They did however release an EP in that time called Pandemic (2011), which saw the new line-up make their debut together.
The music on Anthem to Creation is mostly progressive metal of the traditional, Dream Theater school. Until Rain expands on the sound every so often with aspects of symphonic metal and slightly less commonly, power metal. The album is quite the mammoth undertaking from the young band with a total running time of almost seventy-nine minutes. If there's a genre to play in though where such a long duration can be pulled off then it's progressive metal, and Until Rain show that, although they're not up to the masterpiece stages just yet, they can pull off a truly excellent album of this magnitude without ever allowing boredom to settle into their listeners.
The group are all clearly skilled musicians and during the album they show themselves capable of applying their craft both to shorter tracks like opener Brain Death or Living Hell as well as long epic compositions like Empty Helmet and of course the album's title track, which lasts for a whopping 18:21. The quality of their material is consistently high with only a couple of slightly lower points in the forms of Think Again or The Clang of Shields Pt. II, but I have to say those longer tracks are where Anthem to Creation really hits the spot, although I also have to give a special nod to 13-8 as a highlight. In addition to their instrumental prowess Yannis Papadopoulos is a great vocalist whose melodic tone tops off the package nicely. The end result is convincing and most definitely highly praise-worthy work.
Until Rain doesn't exactly push the boat out in terms of really surprising a listener whose familiar with the typical for progressive metal, however. They're a little bit more than a Dream Theater clone due to including influences of other genres but all the same, Anthem to Creation is a bit of a wearing their influences on their sleeves sort of album, meaning that it'll no doubt find a crowd among those who like artists like Dream Theater, Haken, or Redemption, but doesn't quite manage to rank alongside their best work. Still, this is a really excellent release that I'm still happy to award an exceptional grade rating to. I'd like to hear Until Rain develop more of their own identity within the genre, but even as things stand with Anthem to Creation, their music is still a lot more satisfactory than some of these modern so-called djent bands.
(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/until-rain-anthem-to-creation-t3181.html)