01. Εισβολεις [Invader] (1:03)
02. Γεννηση [Genesis] (0:59)
03. Τα Παιδια [The Family] (2:14)
04. Μνημη [Memory] (3:38)
05. Επιστροφη [Return] (1:30)
06. Αγαπη [Love] (2:49)
07. Ego (4:25)
08. Τραγουδι [Song] (0:58)
09. Το Πανηγυρι [The Festival] (3:50)
10. Το Ονειρο [The Miracle] (2:35)
11. Το Θαυμα [The Dream] (4:56)
12. Και Ιδου Ιππος Χλωρος [Look Both Horse and Green] (1:01)
13. Κατακτηση & Ζετα Ζωρζετα [Conquest & Z Force] (3:05)
- Aris Tasoulis / keyboard
- Stavros Logaridis / bass, vocal, acoustic guitar
- Giorgos Tsoupakis / drums
- Dimos Papachristou / electric guitar
Few music and musicians from Greece have pro-pulsated progressive rock greatly and with resonance, not to mention originally (and none so extensively). Along with the monumental APHRODITE'S CHILD (with whose conceptual merge they're actually far from identifying) and with AXIS or SOCRATES (with whom they match better), AKRITAS is strongly recommended for its lasting vintage sound up to an exciting mix of impressions. Definitely hidden from the amateur eye (also, given the music, against it) and exceptionally regarded, although exactly inside the level and the story of Greek passionate prog, the band made a tasteful effort.
AKRITAS formed in the late moments of 1972, being made of vocalist, guitarist and bassist Stavros Logaridis, former member of POLL, drummer Giorgos Tsoupakis and keyboardist Aris Tasoulis, former member of BOURBOULIA. Their praised effort came later in 1973, crediting a collaboration with guitarist Dimos Papachristou, and also benefiting of greek magic lyrics from Kostas Ferris. After that, the magic vanished.
The impressions that do exist, regarding influences and prog touches, can be mixed, going still on a refined blend of swirling progressive, psychedelic (or psycho-space), symphonic rock archetipes (with sufficient melodic moments, of a mediterranean breeze), Canterbury, jazz-rock improvisations and several other intimately approached nuances - to which we can still add the traditional and the conceptual opening towards, simply put, riveting rock. Except the already mentioned relations with the greek prog minds of the period, the influences also stretch towards ELP (the rythms are said to meat the expectations of none other than Carl PALMER), AMON DUUL II, light OSSANA, SPRING, ARCADIUM, or, more peculiarly, GENTLE GIANT, FRANK ZAPPA, DR. Z, GRACIOUS. There's an uncomparable Italian symph fluency to be considered, more closely in the lines of BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO.
Akritas is not only a full portrait of the band's passion, creativity and standards, but also gains itself the price of admission towards a sort of prog rock killer mood (with demanding bits, here and there). Drawn as a concept of particular obscurity and experimentality, judging the multi-instrumental complexity, it saves some space though for the vocal originality and emotiveness. Mixing the sound of psych-(s)paced guitar play, baroque organs, pianistic tunes, driving drumming, art vocalizing and sound high effect, the material can be an incomparable stigma or a curiously scaled revelation. A varied project, therefore, with entertaining parts for the deep listening soul and with the tricks that make it entirely artistic, perhaps only missing the classic recognition. The organ and keyboard work is especially appreciable for its special technique of Mellotron and Moog, while the guitar holds the traditional sonority.
There is one note about another album having been made by the band, in an uncertain year, still the source is singular and the 1973 album's relevance remains highest.
AKRITAS, with a more or less epocal recording, tell the story of traditional music, ambitious playing, rock-filling versatileness and lyrism, having the mix of at least three prog movements and pleasing with a connectivity that goes from the simplest (music play) to the most ambitious patterns. A bit of a one-off success, that laments the short living of the group. A friend of mine from Greece, big fan of prog, told me that ''Akritas'' is the best progressive album ever made in his country. After listening to some prog and prog-related Greek bands like PLJ BAND, APOCALYPSIS, PELOMA BOKIOU, PANOS DRACOS, SOCRATES and obvious APHRODITE'S CHILD I completely share his opinion.
AKRITAS created a unique piece of art, Greek in nature (vocals in Greek, though there are not many vocal parts, Mediterranian tunes throughout the album) and similar to Italian symphonic prog in approach, when lots of musical ideas change each other in a short period of time, making the music always unpredictable. The mood of the whole album slightly reminds me of BALLETTO DI BRONZO's ''Ys'' (though I don't think AKRITAS were familiar with ''Ys'' back then in 1973), maybe less dark. There are also hints of jazz and some ELP influences. Lots of contrasts, powerful organ chords, propulsive and at times aggresive drums, testful use of synthesizers, interesting guitar passages are the components of this short record. My only complaint is the final part of the album, it seems to me a little crumpled, while I expected some impressive coda.