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Mangala Vallis - Lycanthrope CD (album) cover

LYCANTHROPE

Mangala Vallis

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.57 | 60 ratings

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seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator
RPI
3 stars Other members of the site have beaten me to the punch with their reviews of this album so I'll keep my comments short if not sweet. ''Lycanthrope'' contains some nice tunes but it's just a tad too derivative. If it's not the seemingly ubiquitous Dave Gilmour slide guitar then it's the Chris Squire bass, and if it's not the Emerson-inspired Hammond organ flourishes then it's the unashamed references to ''Watcher Of The Skies''. Mangala Vallis aren't the only Italian band to have borrowed from this song of course, but come on, not on three of the opening four tracks on an album. And they don't so much borrow from Genesis as rob them blind.

Now all that would be bad enough but the coup de grace arrives courtesy of singer Bernardo Lanzetti, whose gruff vibrato makes him sound like a heavily accented Roger Chapman. The difference with Chapman is that his voice suits Family's blues-inflected brand of music. Furthermore, the daft wee voices that Lanzetti occasionally uses make it seem that Mangala Vallis simply wants to be taken for a Genesis tribute band.

Plus points? The elegiac ''Call Me Alias'', despite its lack of originality, features some exquisite Mellotron (think of Crimson, circa ''In The Wake Of Poseidon''). Actually, the album features shed-loads of Mellotron, real or otherwise, and that's always a bonus in my book. These guys are apparently working on their third album and, given that this one is even more of a Genesis clone than their debut, they're certainly setting a worrying trend with their releases. If their next album is to be anything other than a pastiche of the seventies giants then a change of direction might be in order, but I'm not holding my breath on that particular score.

seventhsojourn | 3/5 |

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