Album Review: Need – Norchestrion: A Song for the End


Album Review: Need – Norchestrion: A Song for the End
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

I’d never heard of Need before this album arrived. Badged as Greece’s leading progressive metal outfit, the band has been in existence for over 15 years, with four other albums under their belt. Comprising Jon Voyager - vocals George Ravaya - guitar, vocals Anthony Hadjee - keyboards, vocals Stelios Paschalis - drums Viktor Kouloubis – bass, they were, until their fourth album, ‘Hegaiamas’, something of a hidden gem.

Thick layered banks of synths juxtapose with dramatic time changes, patterns, and chord progressions as the band meld progressive rock with symphonic metal with a soaring, uplifting style. Voyager’s clean, warm vocals are well-suited to the rich melodies that underpin the band’s musical approach. A steely backbone reinforces the songs, whilst there is ample heavy riffage which provides those looking for a sharper edge reward.

Album Review: Need - Norchestrion

Musically the band are impressive, each of the band delivering stellar performances which work in harmony with the overall sound and direction whilst it is also possible to draw out the individual complexities of each instrument. Hadjee’s keyboards have a retro 80s feel without dominating whilst there is also opportunity for Ravaya to show his abilities with a series of searing solos as well as some sterling rhythm guitar work.

The album is 66 minutes in length, allowing ample opportunity for Need to expand and explore. There are many influences that spring to mind, from Evergrey to Dream Theater, from Pain of Salvation to Symphony X, as well as drawing on some of those 80s melodic rock behemoths such as Asia, Foreigner and Kansas.

Second track and first single ‘Beckethead’ grabs the attention with its huge sound and thrilling multi-layered musical interplay, with Ravaya standing out with a crafted solo. A couple of shorter songs lead to the traditional feel of ‘Norchestration’, something that progresses into a series of staccato style deliveries. Perfectly fluid in its delivery, it’s one of the standout tracks on the album. It is however, slightly overshadowed by the mammoth and ambitious 19 minute ‘Anake’, the penultimate track on the record and something of an epic. A musical voyage of fantastic proportions, the song features some layered vocal tracking, changes in momentum which echo Dream Theater in their pomp and which, with the crisp production, will be a delight for those progressive fans who enjoy longer, sprawling, explorative, and expansive songs. It stands both on its own but also as an integral part of this album and propels Need into the line of vision for the future. The echo of atmospheric closing track ‘Kinwind’, sung in Greek brings ‘Norchestrion: a song for the end’ to a fitting conclusion. Perfectly crafted and performed, Need are a band that are worth checking out if you enjoy extended, progressive music.

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