Hailing from Greece, a land of myth and legends, Vasilis Georgiou is himself a legend-in-the-making. With a voice that resembles a lot that of Norwegian singer Roy Khan, both dark and angelic, Vasilis is becoming more and more known worldwide since the release of “Fragments of Creation”, the phenomenal debut album of Sunburst.
Born in Larissa, on September 18th 1980, Vasilis studied graphic design in Thessaloniki and started singing at sixteen years old. Over the years he formed his own singing style which can be heard in any of the bands he has fronted since then. His first musical influences were not only metal as he listened to many different genres as well as radio. The most important influences, however, were Conception and Kamelot, and as far as singers goes – Roy Khan. Apart from these, Vasilis also liked Fates Warning, Queensrÿche, Dream Theater, Crimson Glory, Pain of Salvation and other more underground bands. Before entering the music industry, while still in high school, he has been in a number of nameless bands, not recording anything, just playing with friends in Larissa and discovering the intricacies of writing music. Jamming and playing everything from Sting to Beatles, from James Brown to Michael Jackson, continued also while he was studying in Thessaloniki. Following the suggestion of a friend, he recorded some demos, which were never released. Around the same time he began singing for a local band with which he recorded a full album, that couldn’t be released, due to various conditions.
His first proper release came with “Deliverance of Soul” by Black Fate from 2009. He was 25 when he recorded it and the album shows a lot of his vocal potential (listen to “Angry silent scream” or “If the silence was grey”). However, prior to his ventures with Black Fate, there was Innosense. Vasilis created the band around 2005-2006 together with his friend and drummer of Remainstill, Michael Maroulis. After the line-up was completed by bassist Vasilis Liakos, Nikos Tsiogas on keyboards and guitarist Aristotelis Papageorgiou, the band played various live gigs and released the demo “Life” in 2007 which contains only 2 songs – “On and On” and “The Fall”. They played with Sieges Even, Evergrey, Fates Warning and Mayfair and in 2011 the band released its only album to date, “Outcast” (which can be found on youtube). They had other material in the works for another album, but that never materialized as each of them had other priorities, and it seems to be a closed chapter in Vasilis’s musical career.
However, Black Fate was not over and as such, in 2014 the band released its fourth album, “Between Visions & Lies”, a more complex and mature release that contains the singles “Rhyme of the False Orchestra” and "Lines in the Sand". The band’s history goes back to 1992, and is one of oldest active bands from Larissa. Vasilis used to listen to it when he was 14-15 years old and cites Heracles Fanarakis (who sang on the band’s demos) as one of his first influences and reasons for staring to sing. In between releases with Innosense, he approached the drummer of Black Fate and suggested they do a project together, which materialized in the album “Deliverance of Souls”, re-released in 2016 by Ulterium Records.
Around 2010-2011 Vasilis, drummer Kostas Mylonas and guitarist Gus Drax started working on song ideas that later developed into Sunburst’s debut album from 2016, “Fragments of Creation”. Heavier and more complex that Black Fate, most of the guitarwork in Sunburst was written by Gus and echo very strongly the European power metal scene, while the lyrics were written by Vasilis. Featuring such songs as the rocking "Out of the World" or the melancholic "Lullaby", the album was a success among metal lovers and critics alike. The lyrics are more personal and darker as to fit the mood of the music, but always with a bit of light and optimism. The band was scheduled to play this year at Prog Power USA, but because of some Visa problems, the show had to be cancelled.
Koastas Milonas (drums)
Gus Drax (Guitars)
Vasilis Georgiou (Vocals)
Nick Grey (Bass)
Apart from Innosense, Black Fate, and Sunburst, Vasilis also worked on some side projects. In 2015 he sang on five songs for the Rock Opera “When Darkness Falls” by Chronicle Project. In 2016 he participated in the track "Angel in the Ashes" by Project Aegis along with Rob Rock (Impellitteri), Matt Smith (Theocracy), Daísa Munhoz (Vandroya), Leah McHenry (Leah) and Gus Drax. The piece was composed by Matt Smith and all of the profits were allocated to feeding the homeless and refugees in Greece. In 2017 he sang with Mina Giannopoulou on the ballad “Sands of Time” from the Rock Opera “Land of Light” by Aldaria, a supergroup that features many important musicians like Fabio Leone, Todd Michael Hall (Riot), Rick Altzi (Masterplan), Yannis Papadopoulos (Wardrum) and many more.
It is worth mentioning that Vasilis was one of the three main finalists, out of 800 candidates, to fill in the position of lead singer for Kamelot, after the departure of Roy Khan. However he was not chosen because Youngblood decided it’s better not to have someone with a voice that resembles so much that of Khan’s and so ultimately the job went to Tommy Karevik. And this year Sunburst will open for Kamelot on their show in Athens on November 10th with more shows to be announced later.
That’s quite a journey, and it’s only the beginning. With new material in the works for both Black Fate and Sunburst, I can’t wait for the new chapter in Vasilis’s metal career. In the meantime be sure to check out Sunburst live whenever you have the chance, also support the two bands and listen to their songs. I am sure you’ll like them.
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