Just like Jens Johansson (Stratovarius) or even Janne Warman(Warmen, Children of Bodom), Bob Katsionis is a virtuoso at playing the electric keyboards within the power metal scene. Another notable fact of Bob is that he has the ability to harmonize his keyboard solos with the guitar (that includes rhythm and solos), that characteristic of his musicianship has been seen in plenty of Firewind releases. However, when we look at successful bands and the numerous solo/side projects their members are associated with very rarely do we see noteworthy occurrences. Unfortunately for Bob Katsionis, he’s one of the many that seem to be producing pieces that were scrapped during their main band’s writing sessions.
Granted, Rest in Keys
portrays indisputable evidence of great musicianship, but it doesn’t compensate the fact that the album drags its feet during the majority of the duration of the album. Rest In Keys
itself is an album that’s difficult to define in terms of being enjoyable; there is no white-and-black
areas of the album except a few. Those few happen to be the songs with guest appearances on vocals, which happen to be “On My Own”, “Another World”, and “Rendez-Vous in the Sky”. Despite them being the standouts on the album there are still questionable moments. “On My Own” starts off with similar traits to Firewind’s “Falling to Pieces” – case in point of a scrap or lack of ideas. “Another World” is basically a carbon-copy of “On My Own”, but don’t let that turn you down or anything, the song is still enjoyable in the least.
On a brighter side, “Rendez-Vous in the Sky” show reasons why we should respect Bob Katsionis’ work with and without Firewind. Believe me when I say this, “Rendez-Vous in the Sky” may be an instrumental piece for 70% of the time, the song’s structure in melody is so simple that it manifolds emotion in a cohesive melancholic manner puts “Rendez-Vous in the Sky” at a must listen.
While, the three songs mentioned before portray notable highlights for the Rest in Keys
, there’s still one thing about them that separates them from the other songs on the album. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; it’s the separation of the use of guest vocalist. Once you actually sit down and individually separate the songs with the vocals and the ones without, it’s quite easy to see all of the instrumental tracks sculpt into one big song or start sounding the same. So I’ve taken the pride to cherry-pick out the notable tracks: “In My Little Big Planet” and “Falling From the Edge of Space” are consistent tracks that don’t entirely focus on mindless shredding, “The Four Seasons of Love” is the epic piece at the very end of the album with a duration of twelve minutes that’s divided into four segments of classical and modern variations of piano and guitar, and “Poseidon’s Rage” features Gus G. on guitars and the track comes out in the same vein as Firewind’s “Fire and the Fury” except not as epic as “Fire and the Fury”.
In conclusion, Rest In Keys
is an okay album with a modest amount of enjoyable sections here and there. The only real complaint that can be made about Rest In Keys
is simple, complex, and expected at the same time. That complaint is the consistency of the album; half of the songs are interesting, enjoyable, and possibly even re-playable, but those songs vary in those three categories. While the rest fall into the abyss of disgrace and stereotypically labels of being scrap pieces brought up from Mr. Katsionis in Firewind’s jam sessions, or better yet: mindless wankery. Another part of that complaint of consistency was the lack of ability from Christopher Amott (ex-Arch Enemy) on “Game of Drones” and Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery) on “Gravity Dance” to captivate the audience(s).
On My Own
Rendez-Vous in the Sky