Artemisia Belladonna is a promising melodic/atmospheric progressive rock band I have discovered about a month ago with their captivating debut release; Sycophantic, which was released not long ago as a single in 2020. This song is Artemisia Belladonna’s first and the only song so far in their professional musical careers. After listening to it a few times, I have decided to feature them here on Metalhead Community especially for those who are interested in some old-school hard/progressive rock music. Now, please give it a listen while reading the rest of the article.
As you might also remember from my previous articles, I am a big fan of progressive rock/metal music. My journey of progressive music was started with the legendary Pink Floyd, continued with bands like Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Riverside, and ended with the ultimate discovery of my life; Opeth. All these pioneers have influenced millions of people from all around the world mostly with their innovative thinking, including me. When I look at this very song in our example, I can easily say that Sycophantic is a very successful piece of work, a promising debut by an up and coming band. They might not be the next big thing after all these amazing bands I have mentioned above, yet they all the right decisions to make a promising beginning to their musical journey with no doubt.
First of all, I can hear that the band has a delicious balance in their music. Artemisia Belladonna haven’t pushed anything too much here. They have only blended their origins with their understanding of music, offered this beautiful piece to the world which immediately reminded me of Riverside. Most of the time, progressive bands are trying to be more progressive, extreme, technical or diverse, and unfortunately missing the actual point; the magic, the musical focus in this process. I know from my experience that this goes on and on for some time now. In my opinion, this was the reason why Dream Theater was so successful back then, and not doing so well lately (comparing their early and late periods). And this was what I liked about Artemisia Belladonna the most; not losing the point while doing something new.
When you listen to Sycophantic carefully, you’ll hear that this song is making the actual difference with its overall feeling, energy flow, and dynamics. I loved the overall atmosphere of it which keeps everything fresh from the beginning to the end. The instrumentation is keeping the dynamics alive and the listener never loses the focus. On the other hand, they are not only showing a character with their ideas but also with the vocalist’s singing style. It might sound unfamiliar or even weird to some people at first, but believe me, this beginning can go somewhere really interesting. Please don’t forget that this is just the debut song of Artemisia Belladonna, and I am very much positive about everything I’ve heard so far.