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Egoband - We are... CD (album) cover





3.18 | 18 ratings

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3 stars Egoband is a classic lineup power prog from Pisa that had something going for it but petered out of sight rather quickly, perhaps unable to find its course as they skirt through neo, jazz-rock, hard-rock, space and groove without clearly deciding where to make a stand. Which is why this album in particular has received such hodge-podge reviews and frankly, it's a correct assessment. After a brief spacey intro, the title track is a bit hard to deal with, a rather pedestrian 6 1/2 minute heavy rock exercise with untimely drumming, an asinine sounding cowbell (?), lyrics poorly sung in accented English (ma perché ?) and the whole somewhat uneventful, even the moody mid-section does little to inspire any satisfaction. But the immediate follower, "What a Man Could Be" is superb space -groove prog with a hypnotic Hawkwind-like beat, an active reptilian bass and several sweeping then bubbling synth gushes, a brief narration in the center and a completely blissed-out squealing guitar rampage that deserves serious applause, a combination Holdsworth-Hillage but really closer to the fusion realm than meets the ear. Bassist Alfonso Capasso does his best Mike Howlett de Gong imitation while Alessandro Accordino coerces his organ (stop that innuendo) into the rippling Dave Stewart school of buzz-fuzz. This is a highly enjoyable ride. "Lost Friends" is metaphorical a piano/vocal duet that has a definite Gabriel feel, plushy and evocative ("as the fog clears away") but really just a brief and romantic interlude. The next 2 minute track blends mellotron and acoustic guitar (often a heavenly match) and the two certainly exude some celestial magic. The multi-hued suite "So Far Away" is a 10 minute Hammond-led prance into harder regions, riff-heavy with grueling guitar chops, sizzling fret leads, robust synths warbles, binary drum bashing that somehow disappoints and a driving bass rationale that keeps things aligned. The vocals are actually moderately decent here, as Accordino bellows with Black Sabbathian delight. Midway through, gentle piano twinkles mingle with harsh swaths of galloping sound, wah-wah infestations and hurling electronic slashes. The next piece and my favorite here, "Peace of Mind" gently caresses the soul, twirling bass ornamentations in the foreground, blowing gently over large swaths of sonic expanse, with massive doses of mellotron to encourage the depth and passion of the skilled arrangement. The upward crescendo-seeking synth foray is truly extraordinary, especially when the guitar parallels the theme sumptuously. This is another highpoint on the Egoband menu, an acutely impressive track. "Wrapped Up in Sweat" is back to the "raunch" dressing (yet no salad) with rabid playing on key and fret boards and a rather ordinary vocal too forced to be valuable , while the drums flail wildly and some Gentle Giant dissonance to confuse the issue. The sinister organ solo has a severely gruesome tone, the singing really sucks here something fierce and on the verge of annoying but the guitar solo has lots of subtle density to it, flush with blush feeling and charisma. "White Paper" is somehow out of place , veering into bizarre sonic territories , where dissonance meets urgent electronica , overwrought vocal hysterics and a certain lack of melody except for the majestic background orchestrations and the obvious synth slash a la Lucky Man that gores it. As usual, our "fettucini" finnforest was dead on in reviewing this partially successful ISP recording and I can only concur with his rating. A definite mixed bag. 3 personality strips
tszirmay | 3/5 |


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