Stasinos - A World To See
Released off label 2021
Stasinos is the project of Jim Stasinos. Born and raised in Greece, Stasinos began writing and recording music from a very young age. He has been involved in the project Underworld Dreams and currently serves as the lead and rhythm guitarist in the heavy metal bands Clairvoyant and Divurge. His latest experiences serve as a bit of an experiment for the usual heavy metal enthusiast. Now, he’s taking a stab at synthwave and retrowave on this solo project. Never abandoning his love for metal, Stasinos combines his guitar strings with electronic bliss. While it’s a decent start for his career, Stasinos fails to avoid a lot of synthwave tropes to truly make it original and unique from the myriad of other retro releases.
The familiar feeling starts with the initial track and extends to the two following songs as well. ‘Ignition / Neon Dreams’ has all the tropes of synthwave written on its sleeve; soft pads, energetic and bright synth lines, and playful guitar powering through it. ‘Palms In The Twilight’ also extends this invitation, though having a softer, Miami-like feel to it. The third track ‘Missing You’, is as generic as synthwave can get. I found no other way to describe it other than, “Yes, that’s synthwave with some guitar in it.” To be honest, I had similar feelings for most of the rest of the album and to repeat myself would be redundant. This goes for ‘A World To See’, ‘Cyber Nostalgia’, ‘The Future Is Now’, ‘All That Begin (Come To An End)’, ‘Farewell My Dreams’, and the Dynatron Tribute ‘To The Stars And Beyond’.
Stasinos does have the capacity to shuffle it up a bit, however, as demonstrated in both ‘Sunset Drive’ and ‘Feel The Dancing’. ‘Feel The Dancing’ has wonderful clashing drum work involved as well as layered guitar notes. While the feeling is nostalgic, I also find that he elevates himself and his music without falling too hard into stereotypes of the genre. He also feels a lot more comfortable on this song experimenting with different electronic lines rather than sticking to the genre’s conventions. ‘Sunset Drive’ feels more like a song for an action scene than anything else, but it’s 8-bit sensibilities and rocking guitar solo did wonders.
Where else I would like to praise Stasinos is in both his mixing and mastering. While many times I come across submissions that feel like they’re not even close to a finished product, Stasinos’ sound is crisp and clear. Where each layer should be heard, they are. Nothing arguably sounds bad (at least to my ear) on the album, so I can give him a praise for that.
Stasinos’ debut album “A World To See”, then, falls under both scrutiny and praise. His productions skills are more than acceptable, that’s for sure. And he can rock when he runs away from any sound that’s been normalized by the abundant retro / synthwave scene. However, that talent is shown off in only two songs on the album, ‘Feel The Dancing’ and ‘Sunset Drive’. While I can wholly recommend those two songs, the rest are very bland and not worth my time. And two out of eleven songs is not great. Five-and-a-half out of ten.
This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.Dec 14 2021
Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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