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A Lifelong Journey - A Lifelong Journey CD (album) cover

A LIFELONG JOURNEY

A Lifelong Journey

 

Crossover Prog

3.95 | 2 ratings

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andrea
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A Lifelong Journey is the brainchild of Mauro Mugiati (vocals, keyboards, bass, acoustic guitars) and Brian Belloni (electric and acoustic guitars, lap steel guitar, drums), two talented musicians from Pavia both members of Beggar's Farm, one of the best known Italian Jethro Tull's tribute bands. In 2019 the two young multi-instrumentalists felt the need to express their own skills as composers and song-writers and self-released an interesting eponymous debut album where they blended vintage and modern sounds, inspired by historic bands from the seventies such as Genesis, Yes or Procol Harum but also by the likes of Spock's Beard or Steven Wilson. In my opinion, the result of their efforts is very good!

The album was conceived as a long suite in thirteen parts telling about a metaphorical journey across the circle of life, a kind of metaphorical quest for freedom and self-realisation. It begins by a short, dreamy instrumental section entitled 'Overture' leading to the pulsing 'Streets Of Empathy' that introduces the subject matter. Time has come to find your way and now you are walking on your own on the streets of the world following your dreams and feeling empathy for travellers, voyagers, beggar men and everybody else who dares to defy conformism although many people can't understand it'

The following section is the delicate 'The Shadow' that features a nice strummed acoustic guitar pattern in the background and echoes of Genesis and Procol Harum. You're still not far from home and already the colours you can see all around you make you perceive different sounds and feelings. The music and lyrics here evoke the fear of breaking bounds, the ghosts from the past, the need to carry on and the pressure of choices to make to find a way to escape from a prison located inside your head...

Then comes a nervous section entitled 'Illusion' that describes the feeling of loosing touch with reality driving you where you can hide from other people. You experience the illusion of freedom as you're spinning fast, upside down, falling deep into your self-consciousness' On the following section, 'Reality', the illusion melts but you're still building a prison in your head, brick after brick, despite the desire to break free standing proudly on your feet. The land of your dreams is very difficult to reach indeed! 'The Shadow (Reprise)' is a dreamy finale for the first half of the album with a backing strummed acoustic guitar and a soaring electric guitar solo. Well, you think you've caught the change, you made it and now you feel free...

The second part of the suite (or side B if you prefer) begins by a dark piano solo pattern that leads to the melancholic thoughts and sensations of 'Reflections From The Window' where pain is waiting for you in black circles surrounding your head. Deceiving pictures and tricky words run free, breaking the silence. Out of the window the rain is falling down on a tree, time passes slowly and you're loosing your balance as your dreams seem to turn into nightmares' Threatening organ waves take you to the next section entitled 'Disillusion'. Take a look at yourself, where are you're heading now? Time is running out and you can't let it break you, you're tempted to give up and turn back but don't let your regrets change your mind, don't surrender to the tide! Disillusion was the price to pay for your dreams and now there's no time to waste, you know you can still be master of your fate...

Then comes 'Fate' with a martial pace and filtered vocals. Someone is asking for help, restless and lonely just like you were. The next section, 'Open Up', brings a calm, dreamy atmosphere and features strummed acoustic guitar and piano. All alone, in your own dimension you've been fighting the world to find your soul. In the fight you thought to have found your own way but you lost stability and balance and now you feel confused. You can't just drift away, you have to open up and don't let your ego mislead you. But time is running out and you realize that you'll never find your peace of mind. You have to say goodbye, you're going to die tonight and there's nothing left to try...

The section entitled 'Where We Belong' expresses in music and words regrets and nostalgia. You spotted happiness in a glimpse of light, there was another way to break the chain, there were other ways to live a better life and to deserve a better fate. Now you're giving up, you can fight no more, tonight you are walking through an unknown door' You're still so far from home and the colours around you have no light nor sound. The sky is falling, don't look back! It's the end of your lifelong journey and you're nothing but the shadow of the man you were. In the darkness you're going back where we all belong' Then the frenzied instrumental section enitled 'Memories' leads to the finale, 'Streets Of Empathy (Reprise)'. It's the end of the road, the end of all the pain and you're moving on, along the streets of empathy. The circle closes...

On the whole, a very good album that deserves a try! To perform it live Mauro Mugiati and Brian Belloni have recruited two additional members, Sergio Ponti (drums ' from Beggar's Farm too) and Leonardo Barbierato (bass). So, if you have the chance, don't miss one of their concerts.

andrea | 4/5 |

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