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Mangala Vallis - Lycanthrope CD (album) cover

LYCANTHROPE

Mangala Vallis

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.57 | 60 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Lycanthrope is Mangala Vallis sophmore release and shows the band developing their own sound even more than on their already excellent debut. Not that they are dropping out all their 70's explicit references: in fact, right on the starting of this CD you will hear hints of Genesis Watcher Of The Skies-like mellotron, ELP's style Hammond organ and mini mogg riffs and, later on, some brief, but very familiar Steve Howe's guitar lines. But again this is less a case of copycats and more of a homage to their heroes. This disc is very much Mangala Vallis sound, even if soaked with that era influences. Nothing very original, I know, but I like it!

While their first album featured as much as 3 lead singers, for this one the band stuck solely with veteran vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti (ex PFM and Agua Fragile). Not too many prog fans seem to like his style. Ok, he still has some Peter Gabriel maneirisms on some (few) parts, but it must be reckoned that the guy developed a lot over the years and found his unique way of delivering the notes which, fortunatly is the majority here. There are some really touching moments when his passionate vocal lines are fantastic (just hear The mask). I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I think he fitted in well. The musicicanship of the band is, of course, flawless: they are now a tight unit, with some great keyboards passages (with delicious waves of mellotrons, Hammond and analog synths), tasteful guitar lines, fine bass and some very inventive drums.

The production is quite good, even if it could be a little better. As for the songs themselves I must say that the band has a different sound from most italian prog bands: is closer to UK 70's synphonic groups than to their own most famous colleagues (this feeling is enhanced by the english lyrics). Sometimes they border the neo prog. Lycanthrope is one of those CDs you have to listen several times to fully get a glimpse of its richness and beauty, but it is worth it. There are no fillers. The songwriting skills of the band members is matching their musical prowness. A band to watch for. Rating: something between 4 and 4,5 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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