Greece has built quite a name for itself as it comes to metal music. Some well-known names have emerged from this Mediterranean country but it also has proven a healthy breeding ground for new and upcoming bands and artists. The Magic Bus is a band you can put in the latter. Founded back in 2017, this four piece outfit has been working hard on new material and along the way played in numerous cities across Greece, sometimes sharing the stage with some of Greek’s best known bands and names.
To Kastro is the debut album of The Magic Bus and is an independent release which was shared with the world on September 1st, 2021. The album features 11 new songs, has a total play time of almost 47 minutes and the artwork for this album is created by Dinos Adamopoulos. The Magic Bus brings us “rock essence, intriguing lyrics and interesting compositions” so expectations are rising with me. For me it is my first encounter with The Magic Bus so it’s about time to hop on and enjoy the ride!
What first comes to mind listening to the album is that is sounds like old-school rock. Clean vocals and a steady tempo are characteristic for The Magic Bus. The fourth track (Weighing of Souls) for example has a nice tempo, which changes a little towards the end. The vocals are strong and, although the lyrics are in Greek my knowledge of the Greek language is very limited, you feel some sense of emergency in said lyrics.
Another song that stands out to me is Farirytale. The fifth track of the album reminds me a little of rock music from the late 80’s early 90’s. The vocals in this song carry it and the somewhat slow tempo makes the song somewhat melancholic.
The longest track on the album is Weaveworld and is the 8th song of the album. With a duration of little over 5 minutes Weaveworld showcases what The Magic Bus can bring to the table. Again it’s hard for me to understand what the lyrics are about, but from the start it builds up nicely. A somewhat ominous feeling is created with the slow guitar and somewhat “hold-back” singing. Although the tempo changes slightly throughout the song, it keeps more or less the same pace and the guitar solo towards the end is a nice bonus.
The final track on the album is called The Ship Of Fools and this one stands out to me. Multiple vocals and the addition of extra instruments makes this song different from the previous ones. It almost feels like an old sailor song from an era long ago. The tempo changes somewhat in this song and like other songs on this album there is enough room for the musicians to showcase their abilities. This song is best described as a merge between old folk music with a Greek twist.
The Magic Bus has delivered a very good debut album. All songs are well put together, the vocals are spot on and the composition of the music itself is well thought out. With almost 47 minutes of play time it isn’t the longest album of the year, but that is not an issue. All eleven songs in itself are strong and remind me strongly of old school rock that emerged in the late 80’s early 90’s although several other influences can be found in the album.
The Ship Of Fools stands out to me as it is different to the other songs on the album. A little bit more folk as well as tempo. Having that said, there aren’t any misses on the album.
If I have to name a point of criticism, it is that the music itself isn’t really flowing over with originality and that sometimes the tempo is a bit too steady although it is needless to say that it is a personal preference as it comes to the tempo of the music itself.
All in all The Castle is an impressive debut album that fully comes to its right once it is performed live in front of a crowd on a nice summer evening. For people who love old school rock The Magic Bus is a band they should look into as The Castle is an easy accessible album for all to listen to. As a fan of this Greek outfit, The Castle is a must to purchase.
THE MAGIC BUS – THE CASTLE HAS BEEN RELEASED ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS
The Magic Bus:
Valantis Dafkos – lead & backing vocals
Ermis Soultanopoulos – guitars, backing vocals
Dina Argiriou – bass
Paris Gatsios – drums
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