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Submarine Silence - Did Swans Ever See God? CD (album) cover


Submarine Silence


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.93 | 68 ratings

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3 stars Cristiano Roversi and David Cremoni are both known from the Italian Neo Prog band MOONGARDEN. This is their fourth album released since 2001 under the Submarine Silence moniker.

1. "Undone" (10:43) beautiful GENESIS-like music with unusual vocals from Guillermo Gonzales (made better by the harmony vocals of Manuela Milanese). The music, unfortunately, stays too long in the pleasant but boring 2nd gear of songs like "Mad Man Moon" and "Ripples" without delivering much excitement until the guitar solo in the eighth minute (unless you count the rafters-vibrating pulsing single notes of bass pedals). Guillermo's voice finally clicks with me in the final minute when Manuela goes first and he comes in with deep panache. (17.5/20)

2. "Echoes of Silence" (3:12) super lush GENESIS and-when-there-were-four soundscapes la TONY PATTERSON's Equations of Meaning make for a beautiful listen but then Guillermo's delay-echoed and self-backed voice tracks keep coming in off time, confusing and confounding my ears. (8.25/10)

3. "Runaway Strain" (9:14) humming along like something from GENESIS's Invisible Touch, this one rides on solid drumming and nimble-fingered Hammond organ play while Guillermo sings in his NAD SYLVAN voice. At 3:00 we slow down for a beautiful 12-string passage, embellished by "oboe" and multiple male voices singing. At 4:25 we then move into a "The Cage"-like passage complete with Tony's solo synth sound. Another switch back to the song's second motif before moving back into a high-speed chase with Hammond and Moog soli while Guillermo continues singing at 6:00. At 7:25 we're back to the "oboe," 'tron and guitar picking (though not 12-string this time). I like the thick bass play here beneath multiple "woodwinds." And that's how it closes. (17.25/20) 4. "A Deeper Kind of Cumber" (6:26) opening with a plethora of deep, ominous sounds woven together in a DAAL-kind of way. The Mellotron and simple hitches meant to signify odd time signatures tries to garner interest and respect, but is then abandoned at the two-minute mark for a "Land of Confusion"-like sound and pace for Guillermo to begin singing over. Nice downshift at 3:25. The attempts to bring in a more sinister KING CRIMSON sound run a-muck when those impassioned vocals and Steve Hackett-like guitars join in. Interesting. (8.5/10) 5. "Aftereffect" (6:25) Is this a different vocalist? (Davide Marani, perhaps)? I like it better. Guillermo sounds great as the background vocalist. And the simpler music, even with the bombast in the fourth minute, is a much better match for this kind of song/singing. (8.75/10)

6. "Echos of Silence, Pt. 2: The Answer" (9:35) A bombastic opening slows down to the lush GENESIS 12-string & Mellotron soundscape over which Manuela Milanese takes the lead vocal--using a relaxed, almost hypnotic approach with her beautiful sonorous voice similar to a cross between Anne Pigalle and Christina Booth. At the end of the third minute a much more vibrant, dynamic theme takes over--over which Guillermo Gonzales jumps like a GLASS HAMMER theatric performance. The "shadow" section begins at 5:00: gently picked classical guitar over which first Manuela, and then Guillermo, sing. A pleasant but predictable instrumental section then follows occupying most of the seventh and eighth minutes. In my opinion it is this approach--with two singers, male and female--that works best for this music. (17.5/20)

Total Time 45:35

While I am, of course, enamored of the Genesis soundscapes, I am not a convert to the decision of using Guillermo Gonzales to sing the lyrics. I think I was expecting the pleasant voice of There's Something Very Strange in Her Little Room's Ricky Tonco (which, for me, was the highlight of that particular album. I have not yet listened to 2017's Journey Through Mine.)

B/four stars; a very nice contribution to the Neo Prog lexicon and one that I recommend all prog lovers hear to judge for themselves.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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