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AltaVia - Girt Dog CD (album) cover





3.62 | 50 ratings

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Distant Planet
4 stars AltaVia are a new-ish prog band from Italy, formed in 2008, their original name was Ennerdale, but this was changed due to the tragic Lake District shootings in the UK. This their debut CD is the first release on the new prog label White Knight Records. The White Knight label is a joint venture between Rob Reed (Magenta) and Will Mackie (Hoggwash), such pedigree suggests that all releases on this label will deserve close attention. AltaVia's music is rich in melody and will doubtless appeal to most prog fans, comparisons to It Bites and Pendragon (even Rob's own Cyan !!) spring to mind, but this is an indication of the music's direction, for prospective buyers only, rather than suggesting plagiarism. Indeed there is a fresh and original feel to the music. There is also a British substance to the music that belies its Italian roots. The opening track 'Picture Frame' sets the pace wonderfully, very strong melodies edged with a tinge of hard rock and intriguing time signatures, few prog fans will dis-like this opening gambit. However, such a strong start gives the second track 'The Circle Gallery' a difficult airing. In fact 'The Circle Gallery' does open strongly but occasionally loses its way and doesn't flow and hang together as well as the opener, despite a strong melodic climax. The third track 'Another Lie' has a very strong and repeated ethnical theme that catches you hook , line and sinker and dispels any initial concern that the opening track was going to be the best moment. The album progresses through further strong tracks until it blissfully reaches its ultimate high point , parts 1 & 2 of the 'Wounded' suite, which nod more toward Yes and IQ prog territory. Whilst complex the melodies are again incredibly strong, parts of 'Wounded Part II' tear at your heart and play with it like a fair maiden would..... A great debut from an exciting new band on an exciting new label....give it a spin
Distant Planet | 4/5 |


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