Tragodia – Mythmaker
Metal Archives has let me down. Upon receiving the promo for the new Tragodia release, Mythmaker, I decided to prep myself with some homework. I know that the MA is famously awful with genre definitions (mostly by virtue of allowing a large [and often uninformed] userbase to manipulate artist details), but still, ‘Gothic/Progressive Metal’ with lyrical themes on ‘Ruins and Decadence’, wow. I hadn’t even heard a note and I was ready to bring down hell on what I could only imagine was an absolutely awful piece of music. Heck, they’ve even got a demo called “All Our Miseries”. I was mentally preparing for brooding, worn out, self concerned gothic crap. What I got was my ass kicked unmercifully.
Despite every bit of expectation I had for some serious crap, Tragodia took it in exactly the opposite direction. Instead of some brooding garbage that I was in no mood to hear, I was treated to the most enjoyable melodic progressive metal I’ve heard since DGM back… sometime at the start of this year. The rhythm guitars are top notch, with a lot of tasteful technicality. Look in particular to “A Cry Among The Stars”, “A Temple In Time”, and “The Stone and the Idol”.
While I’m not the biggest melodic prog metal nut on this site, I do hear quite a bit of it through the frenzies that Dan and Arno occasionally erupt into at various albums. I’ve got to say though, for his niche, Tragodia’s vocalist Luca Meloni is certainly in the upper echelon. His delivery is really strong, and he’s got just enough attitude to deliver catchy hooks that absolutely belong with the rather aggressive guitar patterns. The title track “Mythmaker” is another really cool song, no small part of that being the opening bass pattern that I absolutely adore. The rhythm section is absolutely brilliant throughout, moving through some really effective choppy passages in the verses, set against really blazing and smooth stuff in the choruses.
I’ve got to hand it to Tragodia: in a year I thought it impossible to fit any more great progressive metal into my list, they’ve made a pretty big dent. It’s a sign of the times that prog metal is in such a great place. But even for a great run in a great year, Tragodia really stands out. I thought it was a great decision to throw the one slower song right in the middle of the album, and particularly between two faster tracks. I like the song, it’s got great classical guitar stuff and it’s played masterfully. A few other assorted observations: every song has a really great intro. I’m not sure if this would appeal to fans of Pagan’s Mind, because I don’t particularly like Pagan’s Mind, but I really like this. All the same, it feels like an apt comparison, without being as soulless as Pagan’s Mind. Another apt comparison at times is Firewind, who I like quite a bit. Anyways, absolutely check this album out – you’ll be impressed with its consistency, strength of comparison, and even at times emotional resonance (nothing too heart wrenching, but still quite expressive).
4.25 // 5