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Alex Carpani Band - Waterline CD (album) cover

WATERLINE

Alex Carpani Band

 

Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 40 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Swiss born, Italian based composer and musician Alex Carpani is no stranger to the art of creating music. He has recorded and issued a number of albums prior to to 2007 - but when he issued "Waterline" it was his first production exploring the realms of progressive rock.

Like many other artists it's the symphonic side of the progressive rock universe that has fascinated Carpani, and whilst there's certainly a distinct vintage sound to this first venture of his in this stylistic expression he's to be given credit for finding a sound that doesn't immideatly make you think of other artists, although for the first half of this album the reason for this is also one of the major weak points of this venture as far as I'm concerned.

The reason for this are the constant changes in style and mood in the compositions for the first 6 tracks or so. I get the feeling that these excursions consists of more transitional segments and breaks than actual themes themselves - the individual passage hardly have time to settle before we're moving on to the next, and more often than most it's done by a transitional part than by a more freely flowing evolvement. Personally I like to be able to get somewhat familiar with a theme before the next one appears; but this is more of a personal point of view of course; many find these arguably frantic shifts intriguing in themselves; and those of that opinion should find this album pretty captivating due to that.

For my sake the second half of this effort is much more interesting though. Although changes in sound and style still happen more frequently than on many other albums the intensity of these shifts lessen somewhat, and the inclusion of more typical fusion elements to these compositions also makes these tracks more anjoyable for my part. Even the one tune here with a sound pretty distinctly similar to one other band - "Song of The Pond" the track and Camel the band - is so well made that it's a pleasure rather than an annoying feature.

The songs are all keyboard dominated; and the piano is the most dominant of the keyboards used here, with the organ a close second. Vintage sounding keyboard themes and floating patterns are used neatly as embellishments and to add the odd detail, while acoustic guitars and toned down guitar riffs flesh out the soundscapes. For the latter half of the album some pretty neat sax work is added in to strengthern the fusion touches of these tunes. And as far as intrumental performance go it's pretty top notch from start to finish here. The mix and production does come across as somewhat rudimentary at times though; but as this does add a vintage touch to the proceedings this may as well be a planned effect - many fans of progressve rock do prefer the warm, vintage sounding production over the crystal clear and slightly cold modern one after all.

All in all a talented debut album, and one that warrants to be checked out by fans of symphonic progressive rock.

Windhawk | 4/5 |

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