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Macromarco - Il pianeta degli uomini liberi CD (album) cover





2.74 | 9 ratings

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3 stars A promising, effervescent set

MacroMarco is the moniker for Italian composer/multi-instrumentalist Marco Grieco (born 1967, Salerno Italy). Marco began playing instruments at the tender age of 10 and has composed hundreds of songs over the years. In 2009 BTF released his debut progressive rock album entitled 'Il pianeta degli uomini liberi' (The world of free men). It's an impressive debut technically and musically, crossing progressive genres of RPI, neo-prog, and crossover. It should appeal to fans of bands like Coral Caves.

The website has a page for the concept album which features lyrics and visual/music content, and the project does have a very visual feel to it. I remember being reminded of 'US' era Peter Gabriel when listening. Warm and accessible pop/rock songs are developed into more elaborate affairs via Grieco's instrumental flair and luxurious arrangements. While some of the repeating choruses do get on my nerves there are enough excursions to keep things interesting. Spoken word narration and sound effects add layers of intrigue, the sounds of children laughing, thunder, a cigarette being lit, etc. Some of the more upbeat fair is tempered by melancholy instrumental parts like the introduction 'Temporale.' 'Via Col Vento' features acoustic guitars, female duet vocals, and Floydian overtones. 'Vado Lontano' is a favorite piece: gentle piano notes and strings, so sad, beautiful but very sad, leading to a lovely symphonic ballad. The rock quotient springs to life in the middle of the album with sharper electric guitars and feisty keyboard runs. 'Five on the Fire' is a solo piano interlude while 'Ancora Sul Fuoco?' is perhaps the progressive highlight with a long, glorious keyboard jam taking center stage. 'La Mia Isola' is also quite strong with building emotions and strong performances.

Macromarco's debut is a very promising album for those who enjoy refined art rock full of pop sensibility and melody. It runs on a bit long and is not a personal favorite of mine, but it certainly meets my standards of a good album.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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