INK’s latest offering is LOOM, a pretty incredible and wide-ranging effort from this Alexandroupolis, Greece-based band. LOOM was originally released in 2016, but it is only recently that the music reached the ears of foreign shores in the United States.
INK – Vocalist Chris Tsantalis, Guitarist Kostas Apostolopoulos, Bassist Ketseris Kostas, and Drummer Stavros Tsantalis – list Tool, The Tea Party, Alice in Chains, Faith No More, and The Cult among its influences and describes the music itself as “Alternative Metal with big psychedelic doses.”
Those who are already familiar with INK know the band’s signature song, “Ophelia,” a track filled with four-minutes of haunting lyrics and mournful vocals that are mimicked and accentuated by the ever-present wailing and soaring guitar work of Apostolopoulos. But there are many more offerings to enjoy from LOOM.
Straight off, it’s no secret that Chris Tsantalis self-admittedly and unabashedly loves the sounds of the Seattle-based grunge vocalists, such as the late Layne Staley of Alice in Chains. Listeners will hear echoes and reminders of Staley in INK’s vocal intonations, but Tsantalis definitely puts his own touch and talent on each song. There are other grunge rock-sounding pieces, such as “Desert Sun” and “Sell Me,” both complete with the despairing vocals and heavy grinding guitar that is represented in that particular era of sound. But if you think this is all INK is, you need to listen further.
“Rain” is a total 180 of INK’s grunge roots, with both Tsantalis and Apostolopoulos showing a more progressive and post rock-side of the band. Other tracks, such as “Persephone” and “Legend,” follow in this mode. While not listed as an influence, “Question” sounds in places like a lighter version of Metallica’s “Sad But True,” but overall it is an effective piece.
Then there is “Little Story,” which starts off in a striking acoustical guitar manner. Vocals blend in perfectly and effortlessly, with the “just-right” arrangement of the bass and drums, and Apostolopoulos continues to flow with his six-string talent throughout.
All in all, LOOM can be described as passionate, emotional, and arresting. But why try to explain it here when you could be listening to it?