Thanasis Lightbridge is a Greek composer whose vision is to create what he calls Electronica-Art-Metal. To do this he has devised not one but two separate, but intertwined projects Dol Ammad and Dol Theeta. The former of those two is what is featured on this EP Winds Of The Sun, which is a perfect if short introduction to the mixture of symphonic metal, progressive themes, electronica and dance beats, all tied together by a fourteen part choir!
So far Lightbridge’s Dol Ammad have released an album of early demos and two full albums, Star Tales from 2004 and Ocean Dynamics from two years later. Thanasis then moved his focus onto Dol Theeta, but in 2010 returned to Dol Ammad with this EP which contains five exclusive tracks. The opening title song is described as a “space hymn”, which what with its gloriously atmospheric layers of keyboards, beautiful choral arrangement and guest vocalist DC Cooper’s (Royal Hunt/Silent Rage) stunning performance, is a perfect way to try to put this expansive, melodic music in context. “Black Winter Day” is a cover version of an Amorphis song, which this time sees the choir of seven women and seven men sing as one voice along to a remarkably dance oriented beat and pulsating synths. This isn’t technically music genres that I would usually gravitate towards, but once the dirty, if rather deep in the mix riff kicks in, it all becomes rather seductive.
Track three of the five on show here is a medley of the four part “Thalassa Dominion” which featured on the Ocean Dynamics album, where the female choir takes centre stage to another driving beat and solid riff. The Choral Remix of “Aquatic Majesty” originally from the album of that name brings a harder double bass pedal workout to punctuate the throb of the commercial keyboards and yet more sublime choral work. The EP closes with “Birth Of A Dream” which is a Jean Michel Jarre keyboard workout that morphs into almost the most metal inspired song on show, although the choir are never a million miles away.
This is interesting and innovative music that borrows from such a wide variety of places that the end results are unsurprisingly original, but pleasantly coherent and engaging. There is still a little work to be done for Lightbridge to turn these strong themes into something truly stunning, but if your musical tastes veer from Therion to Vangelis then there will definitely be something of interest on this impressive, if short EP.
By Steven Reid – Sea Of Tranquility