Welcome to the Kingdom! Andronikos is a new one-man project created by Josh Willis (Galatic Empire and Unparalleled Height), and he just released part one of his concept record called Stories From the Light. This album is very ambitious and complex, and I find it extremely impressive that all of this came from the mind of one person. Josh performs every instrument and he sings his heart out. The music is a mixture of Progressive Metal and Mainstream Rock and Roll. Do not dismiss this!
When I received the promo, I was trying to prepare myself for what I was about to take in. I knew that I was about to listen to something unique and it was going to require some imagination. That’s exactly what this is all about. Imagination. Josh has been building this up for over a year when he started adding imagery and context to the upcoming release. The music has plenty of atmosphere to add that context, and the melodies and catchy vocals tell the rest of the story.
The album begins with an orchestral arrangement written by Josh and a guest performance by Uyanga Bold. The track builds to eventually lead into the second track called “The Song of Winter.” The track begins with massive double bass and guitar tapping that could be found in some of the most complex parts of Galatic Empire’s arrangements. The vocals come in with an ominous and narrative tone, but the vocals switch back and forth between powerful growls and pitch-perfect singing. The vocals themselves sound pretty sympatico to standard progressive metal but then turns quickly to something you would hear from Niki Sixx’s band Six Am. There are even hints of Metalcore-like breakdowns in certain parts of the track. Needless to say, there is a lot packed into the first two tracks, and that doesn’t even scratch the rest of the what Stories From the Light have to offer.
The third track is called “Burning the Heavens” and is starts with organs and builds into an epic medley of guitar leads and progressions. The vocals come in and the lyrics are pronounced and clear to understand. This track possibly has the catchiest chorus of the album, while it also offers some of the most impressive songwriting from Josh. The Galatic Empire sound can be found several times in the track and that goes to show how much influence Josh has in that particular group. The next track is called “Archaic Anthem” and it starts off with an emotional piano arrangement with Josh singing over it, but that doesn’t last long as a crazy and catchy groove takes over and is ready to kick ass and take names. This happens to be my favorite song from the album. There is a synth. There is a waltz-like breakdown right in the middle of the song, and based on music written from Josh in the past I’ve come to find that’s a sign of his, and I personally love it!
The last song is called “Bring Me Home” and you will never find Central American Island Music mixed with Metal anywhere else than Andronikos. There is so much going. There are blast beats. There are piano runs similar to clumsy comedic scenes in old Black and White movies. There are Bells. There are solos. There are breakdowns. I can go on and on. The only thing I can say is that if you want to listen to something fun and interesting then Stories From the Light will not disappoint you. Give this album a shot!
In conclusion, Stories From the Light is ambitiously fun and you will not find another album like this anywhere else. Do yourself a favor give it a listen if you are a fan of progressive music or if you are looking for something different. This album is not short of guitar leads or catchy singing, and you will find some of the songs stuck in your head after a few listens. All I can say is that Josh Willis is a music mastermind. The King is here to conquer the World!
Stories From the Light is available now on all major music providers such as Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes.
Visit Andronikos on Facebook.