Have you ever discovered an album that is simply so transcendent and so mesmerizing that your words failed you? I’m having some difficulty trying to express my feelings about Mother of Millions most recent outing, “Artifacts”. I’m a bit late to the game on this one, as it released on March 22nd, but I felt the need to support this group for anyone who isn’t aware of them.
Mother of Millions hails from Greece. The band consisted at the time of this album of George Prokopiou on vocals, Kostas Konstantinidis on guitars, Makis Tsamkosoglou on keys, Panos Priftis on bass, and George Boukaouris on drums. Unfortunately, Makis passed away in June during a show, and so the band has decided to move forward as a quartet only. RIP Makis. I can only imagine the emotion and pain in that moment and beyond.
Mother of Millions plays music that dabbles in various genres. They definitely sound like progressive metal at times, but fall more into rock, post-rock, and even shoegaze at times. Their music is primarily about atmosphere and internal soundscapes, and so you will find their sound to be absolutely drenched in humanity and heart. Passion and sincere sentiment hang like a heavy fog around them. Time and again, this album has given me goosebumps from the potent and dense emotions on display. Absolutely hypnotic!
The lyrical content on “Artifacts” is fascinating. The primary idea is that objects and feelings have ritual value, and thus can and should be cherished and observed. I take this to mean that humans not only have the right to experience their feelings, but also the necessity. The band’s motto overall is “Rise! Evolve!”, and so I think you can start to see the purity of hope and inclusion that this band has made the very core of what they do. I really, really appreciate these messages, and the hope they offer is a multi-textured monument in every minute of their music.
Like I said, this album is full of feeling. I think the band accomplishes this not only through huge guitar solos and celestial keys, but also through vocal harmonies that are impossibly clean and unadulterated. I think “Amber”, the album opener, demonstrates this well with the harmonious chorus that makes you want to join their ranks immediately as they raise their hands to the sky and add huge percussive moments to accent everything. One of my favorites on the album, it is one of those songs that instantly feels nostalgic and wonderful. And the whole album feels that way, I must say.
I have a couple more songs I wanted to spotlight. “Rite” is perhaps the heaviest song on the record. It manages to feel effervescent but also riff-heavy at the same time, and the results are beautiful to my ears. “Anchor” has some of the heavier moments on the record, too, though. “Nema” is basically a gorgeous piano intro into this track, and “Anchor” takes it from there with colossal sensations that enthrall me every time. I love the blast beats near the end that really bring everything together.
My favorite track on the album, and one of my favorite songs of 2019, is the album closer, “Artefact”. This song is a slow burn. It builds and builds, and the band slowly increases their intensity and volume. George’s voice is desperately human throughout, however, and when the spoken word interludes hit, you know the song is about to break wide open. And it does. The band unleashes a river of emotion that levels me every time I hear it. I’ve noticed that my oldest daughter (eight year old Gloria) is affected by this song, too. She cannot help but immerse herself in the ambiance, and sing along with the melody. When a song affects my whole household like this one does, I take notice.
Mother of Millions is one of those bands that I think will explode in popularity soon. They deserve it. They are bringing music to our ears that is extraordinarily human, yet also instructively hopeful. The human condition is very much on display, but they encourage us to do more, see more, and become more. Their music is a celebration of everything I love about progressive music. I need more.
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