BOB KATSIONIS – Imaginary Force

BOB KATSIONIS - Imaginary Force


Lion Music
Release date: June 6, 2004

Guitars: B
Bass: B-
Keyboards: A-
Percussion: B+
Recording Quality: A-
Originality: B+
Overall Rating: B

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Greece’s own Bob Katsionis has released his 2nd CD with Lion Music as a follow-up to Turn Of My Century called Imaginary Force. Katsionis began playing keyboards at the age of 10, and found favor with the guitar at the age of 14. His talents are remarkable on both instruments. Imaginary Force contains 12 instrumental tracks (about 50 minutes in total length), with Katsionis providing the 7-string guitar and keyboard work, Stavros Giannakopoulos handling the bass guitar duties, and Fotis Benardo bludgeoning the drum kit.


The most unique thing about this instrumental album is the focus on the underlying guitar power chord and drum beat rhythms. Typically, instrumentals establish a groove of some sort, only to shift the listener’s focus to the lead guitar or keyboard playing, which often highlights the fabulous skills of the signature artist. Within Imaginary Force, there’s plenty of great guitar and keyboard solos by Katsionis, but the rhythm section shares equal volume and emphasis in virtually every song. It’s a definite change of pace, with respect to a Metal instrumental album, and it works quite well! Although Katsionis has many talents to display, he definitely puts his accompanying musicians to work. Benardo delivers a notably impressive performance, especially on the bass end of the percussion, and Stavros G. fills the holes admirably too with his bass play. The stellar production quality definitely does justice to the variable keyboard passages and solos – Katsionis isn’t Vitalij Kuprij, but he’s not that far behind, and they both share amazing creativity, especially within a Metal framework.


One of the biggest challenges of an instrumental CD is letting the instruments tell the story of the songs. Satriani, for example, is a master of this concept, and a fairly recent newcomer named Anand Mahangoe (also with Lion Music) has shown a strong penchant towards developing a musical storyline. Katsionis accomplishes this objective on about half of the tracks: “March of the Spirits,” “Galaxy,” “Bird’s Eye View,” “Separated,” and the first track of The Trilogy of Lust, “St. Pervert.” In each of these songs, Katsionis seems to have a purpose and delivers the message through his music quite clearly. The other songs, more or less, just seem to be good tracks that were given a name on the spur of the moment. As such, the CD is flawed only by the lack of definitive personality displayed in 7 of its tracks.


We can all thank Malmsteen for opening the industry’s doors to instrumental albums, because here’s yet another solid Metal instrumental effort! Katsionis surely shows he’s among the best on both the guitar and keyboards. There’s plenty of variety in sound to keep the attention of even the most critical of listeners. Each song is a success, and what the CD may lack at times in personality and direction, it makes up for in power, clarity, and originality.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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