Residuos Mentales - A Temporary State Of Bliss

Kev Rowland

Residuos Mentales is a studio project from Athens, Greece, formed by Stratos Morianos (keyboards, synthesisers) and Alexandros Mantas (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, flute, bass) in 2012. It took until 2018 for their debut album to make an appearance, ‘Introspection’, and now a further five years for the next one. There are a lot of guests on this which turn it into a full band with Dimitris Radis (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass), Yiannis Iliakis (drums, percussion), Leonidas Sarantopoulos (saxophone, flute), George Karayiannis (guitar), Vaggelis Katsarelis (trumpet), and Maria Tseva (wordless vocals). Yes, this is an instrumental prog album (way too few of these around), and in true old school fashion it opens with a dynamic track which is more than 17 minutes in length. Actually, there are only four songs on this 44-minute-long release which gives plenty of time for the band to move and shift.

Here we have instrumental music with real purpose and drive, taking the listener on a journey which has many twists along the way, so much so that one never knows what is going to come next. There is no doubt that the final sections of the lengthy “The Stuff of Dreams” are heavily influenced by Andy Latimer in the guitars, while the introduction sounds much more like Galahad as the music is built on layers of keyboards towards the climax which is surely to come, but no, we move into picked acoustic which feels far more like Anthony Phillips. To my ears this is a very English sounding release, much more than other bands from Greece I have reviewed in the past, with plenty of takes from the golden age through to the current day, always polished and with a true sense of direction. We get symphonic combined with neo, with crossover tendencies here and there as they follow the muse where it takes them as opposed to keeping it tightly constrained.

Due to the way they keep shifting, and also having some guests only on certain tracks, one never knows what is going to happen yet, but there is always a real clarity and is an album where any proghead can just sit back and let the music wash over them. Released through Dutch label OOB Records one can only hope it is going to get the recognition it so richly deserves as this is a delight.  

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