Distorted Force – Curves of Sidereal Cosmos

Metal music is an intense journey. One day you can listen to some black metal songs about burning buildings and the next you will have a progressive metal concept album centered around mythical realities. Luckily for those against arson, we are dealing with the latter today.

Distorted Force hail from Greece and have risen to become one of the front runners of Greek progressive metal. In the past eight years, Distorted Force has released three albums and two EPs. Most of these albums take place within the same lyrical concept. The story stretches from their 2010 eponymous debut EP to this year’s Curves of Sidereal Cosmos.

Fortunately, the story follows their albums in chronological order. This is in contrast to some bands… like Rush… who have a song series that goes in reverse chronological order across three albums, plus an additional fourth song twenty years later. That being said the story is a bit confusing. The band states that their 2018 album is their first concept album. However, the YouTube link features the album’s as if they are all within the same story. Whatever the case, Curves of Sidereal Cosmos is a joyful thrill ride the whole way.

Through and through, Curves of Sidereal Cosmos, is progressive metal. The elements in the singing hint at other genres such as death, but the progressive side is much more clear. The opening track, the 11-minute “Barrows of Doom” expresses many different sounds. The early part of the song is slow and features heavy use of keyboards. “Barrows of Doom” quickly turns into a heavy song with fast paced instrumentals. The mid-section features some great guitar work from Nikos Felekis. Later on, it returns to the slow pace it began with before breaking into a melodic vibe that closes the song. Track two “Dreamworld’s Forest,” contracts the mix of tempos by being fast through almost the full eight minutes it is on for.

The title track, “Curves of Sidereal Cosmos,” follows this theme of fast-paced metal, but also features a soft mid-section. The album ends with the 25-minute “Raven,” which draws inspiration from the Edgar Allan Poe poem of the same name as well as others by Poe, Donald Tyson, and H.P. Lovecraft. The song itself is quite the journey. It opens in a dramatic form that switches between heavy and slow. This theme continues throughout the track as two characters seem to be fighting forces within the lyrics. I am not exactly sure what happens to the main character in the song, but he lets out a shriek near the end which leads me to believe he dies. The song ends with some overbearing keyboards that fade off, presumably into the next chapter of this saga.

For years, metal musicians have delivered albums that tell monumental stories. Many musicians view their work both as music and literary creations. With albums like Curves of Sidereal Cosmos, I can definitely see why. Distorted Force have laid down an album that is great to listen to and neat to follow. If you enjoyed Curves of Sidereal Cosmos, check out their previous albums which contain the predecessor’s to this story.

Curves of Sidereal Cosmos was released independently on May 28, 2018.