Residuos Mentales is a studio project from Athens, Greece consisting of Stratos Morianos (pianos, synths) and Alexandros Mantas (guitars, flute). The project was formed in 2012. They aim to combine cinematic music with elements from Greek music, 1970s progressive rock, electronic music and whatever they find fitting for the music at that moment.
As far as I can tell, Introspection is their debut, presenting almost 38 minutes of music in 11 sections, which are basically parts of one piece. According to the information, this is also reflected on the cover of the album where the twelve hours of a clock are featured. The album tells the story of a man who is tortured by memories of the past. Since there are no lyrics, it's up to the titles of the separate sections, the instrumental moods and the listener's imagination to tie together the story.
This was not really how I listened to the album (sorry, Stratos and Alexandros!). I just took it as an instrumental album and listened first to the music without much thought of a story. Let's just have a run through:
Pandora's Box opens the album with spooky sounds, then slowly a piano enters, cosmic elements are added and then the piece grows into dramatic symphonic. Alienated brings pearly piano, then the sound of rain falling and then romantic violin joins in. Also Immersed is classically oriented (is it just my copy, or is the track meant to sound like it comes from a crackly vinyl LP?) acoustic guitar with piano (and more violin). Very beautiful. The Thorn In Me is stylistically different and tends a bit towards orchestrated fusion.
My Stories seems to be the centre-piece of the album and sounds like electronic soundtrack music of a French 1970s movie. It contains vocal lines from the movie “The Words”. Easier on the ear is A Prospect Of A Blooming Life carried by piano and acoustic guitar.
The first time electric guitar steps to the front is in Home. This piece has a kind of Pink Floyd feeling and most likely will appeal to prog rock fans. The album stays in the somewhat harder vein. It All Becomes Clear is the rockiest piece so far, with marching drums, melodic electric guitars and symphonic keys.
With Narrative we are back to romantic music with gentle synths, acoustic guitar, piano and violin. Then it builds up with soaring sounds (is that a Theremin?) to a great climax. Also On The Borderline is dramatic. The keys and piano with orchestral elements lean towards Rick Wakeman's style of music. A Promise Unkept/Mental Residuals provides a solid closer with electric guitar in the lead. Fantastic symphonic rock that one longs to hear more of!
All in all, an enchanting CD that shows a good variation in styles and yet works as a whole.
***+ Carsten Busch (edited by Dave Smith)
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