The way of the warrior.
-- Constantine --
Review written by Glenn “Terra Shredder” Van Bockstaele.
Constantine is the one-man project from Greek guitarist and songwriter Constantine Kotzamanis, who has had earlier experiences in bands like Mystic Prophesy, Descending and Nightfall. In 2010 he debuted with the fully instrumental album “Shredcore” and now he has brought us a second album, “Aftermath,” released through Italian record label Rockshots Records and sent to us by our friendly Canadian promoter Asher Media Relations. “Aftermath” kicks off with the lengthy instrumental “Bushido,” which showcases a ton of epic, technical guitar work from Constantine, a great introduction to the album and unlike “Shredcore,” this is the only instrumental track on “Aftermath.” All the other tracks feature guest vocalists, such as the next song, “Hellfire Club” which features the great Bjorn "Speed" Strid from Soilwork on vocals. The song itself has a slow but strong melodic death metal vibe with underlying electronic beats and a progressive middle section. Next up is my favorite song on the album, “Press on Regardless.” It features Primal Fear’s Ralf Scheepers as guest vocalist and it’s a powerful tune with mesmerizing vocals backed up by piano and keyboards and there’s even a short & gentle acoustic part. I’d say that this song would fit very well for an upcoming Primal Fear album.
In the track “Another Day” we have Apollo Papathanasio from Spiritual Beggars picking up the mic. “Another Day” is an overall relaxed tune but it does frequently crank up the intensity and, like “Press on Regardless,” is a very motivational song, all about leaving the pains of the past behind and optimistically looking towards the future. Then comes “Holding On ‘Till The End,” featuring Chris Clancy from Munity Within on vocals. The song is mostly acoustic but does turn electric on several occasions, similarly to “Another Day,” this tune mixes calmness with intensity for another sweet, multi-faceted track with an uplifting message delivered by powerful vocals and beautiful guitar solos The orchestral “Deliver Us” once again features Apollo Papathanasio (he even begins the song with the line “Here I am, once again!) and its mix of symphonic and progressive elements make this one of the stand-out tracks on this album. Aftermath’s co-producer Bill Manthos joins in as vocalist, bassist and keyboardist for the penultimate track, “Elegy,” which is a joyful rock song backed by electronic beats, just like several of the previous songs on “Aftermath.” The album ends with a full on thrasher called “War and Pain” featuring Destruction’s front man Schmier. A much faster and harsher tune compared to the other tracks but it still maintains a progressive edge in some of its parts.
It took 9 years for Constantine to release this album but it sure was worth it! “Aftermath” is an enjoyable album featuring a varied who’s who of metal singers and brought together by a true guitar virtuoso to who I can only say congratz! Well-recommended to all prog rockers out there!