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Sithonia - La Soluzione Semplice CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.00 | 27 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Full circle

Sithonia are a band of long time friends from Bologna, some of whom began playing in the mid 70s. As Sithonia the story begins in the 1980s and like so many other Italian bands their albums have become something of a diary of lives and friendships. The period prior to this album was that long hiatus where members go their own way for a while, after a busy 1990s they were pretty much off for over a decade, walking life's other avenues. And thus "La Soluzione Semplice" (The Simple Solution) sounds very much like the reunion of old friends that it is. The band sounds fresh and reinvigorated, enthusiastic, and playing music for the love of it more than anything else. The songs came to life quickly and the recording process was smooth. Lizard Records wisely grabbed this 2011 release from Mellow and it will prove a nice addition to their high quality catalogue, one that will grow in popularity over time as prog fans find it.

Musically Sithonia is an amalgam of 1970s English and Italian symphonic prog influences (Genesis and Banco oft mentioned) with Euro folk music flavors. Despite the 70s leanings there is also a hefty sheen of Neo-prog evident in the pacing and accessibility of certain sections, just as the occasional snarls of electric power chords suggest a modern and heavier influence. But mostly Sithonia seems to possess their own knack for beautiful, melodic prog that will satiate fans of similar 90s/00s RPI like Il Castello di Atlante, Eris Pluvia, Lost Tales, Nuova Era, and Prowlers.

From short interludes to 20-plus minute epics it's all here: grand upbeat synths and warm melancholic piano pieces, lofty mellotrons, drop-dead gorgeous passages of Ant Phillips-like acoustic guitar, rippin' melodic electric leads, and hearty Italian vocals. The combination of the earthy sunset mellotron and the bucolic acoustic guitar segments give the album a truly gorgeous feel, contrasted with occasional feisty elements. The opening of the title track is such a hauntingly beautiful wash of keys and acoustic, it soon develops into an organ groove that has a sinister growl! Sithonia break no new boundaries and seek not to impress via technical ecstasy, instead, this is an album of lovingly crafted tales which seep into you over time. More than anything else this is progressive rock with tons of heart, a passionate pastoral world of folksy musical storytelling and vibrant rock. Their website has English translations and photos suggesting the lyrical themes play on the passing of time, the changing of seasons. This is my first Sithonia experience and while I've not heard their early material, I strongly suspect that this album is their pride and joy. Sure sounds like they'd feel that way. Recommended to fans of RPI, Symph, and Neo of the pastoral/folk vibe. 7/10

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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