Keyboard wiz Bob Katsionis is probably best known for his work with Firewind. At least that’s where I know him from. While he plays a key role with that band, he is constantly overshadowed by guitarist Gus G. I’ve heard of Katsionis’ solo work but not had an opportunity to check it out so I was intrigued when “Prognosis & Synopsis” hit my review queue.
After listening to this album, I had one question. How the hell isn’t Bob Katsionis mentioned with all the keyboard greats of the day? Holy shit, he is incredible on this album. But it’s not just the keyboard work. I know he plays some rhythm guitar with Firewind but the guitar work on “Prognosis & Synopsis” is amazing. I think the guy is easily as good as Gus G. Yes really.
Style-wise, “Prognosis & Synopsis” is mostly prog metal but also has elements of New Age and power metal, albeit not at the same time. The album kicks off with “Prognosis” which as you might guess is quite prog. THIS is how you kick off an album. The song kicks major ass. It reminds me a bit of Jordan Rudess’ solo work and thus a little of Dream Theater. But it’s NOT a copy of any of that. “Secrets of the Nomads” has a very cool acoustic ethnic vibe mixed into the hard prog metal. Another great song.
On the more ethereal side of the spectrum, there’s songs like “Dark Matter” and “The Messenger” which are equal parts Tangerine Dream and Mike Oldfield. “Cold Embrace” takes the chilly synths of those songs and mixes them with the powerhouse prog metal of the earlier tracks I mentioned. The album closes out with “Synosis” which is another kick in the ass. A blistering track that sums up just how great this album is.
Just when I think instrumental prog metal has gotten dull, I am reminded that all it takes is a musician who knows the importance of melody. You can’t just be precise and technical. The key is and always will be strong melodies. Bob Katsionis has proven that all through out his amazing album “Prognosis & Synopsis.” It makes me wonder why he isn’t revered because based on this album, he should be. Essential stuff.
2. Secret Of The Nomads
3. Tomorrow Starts Today
4. Dark Matter
5. Asymmetric Parallels
6. Aegean Sunset
7. The Messenger
8. Cold Embrace
Label: Symmetric Records