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La Maschera Di Cera - La Maschera Di Cera CD (album) cover


La Maschera Di Cera


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.99 | 157 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'La Maschera Di Cera' - La Maschera Di Cera (8/10)

Perhaps it's largely been due to my focus on the modern era of Italian progressive rock, but I somehow keep running into albums involving Fabio Zuffanti. Although he is not the main star of La Maschera Di Cera ("The Wax Mask" in English), my existing experience with his other bands like Hostsonaten were an early indication that this would be a great slice of Italian prog. Indeed, this self-titled debut hits the spot for Italian progressive rock. Although La Maschera Di Cera locks their sound in the niche of the 1970's 'vintage' style, the impression is nothing short of convincing, and with some of the better musicianship to be heard within the scene, this band has created a debut that would not feel out of place with the classics.

Although La Maschera Di Cera's music is locked in the era of their parent's generation, the music is fresh and engaging. Although the 'go-to' Italian progressive acts like Premiata Forneria Marconi and Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso first come to mind when attempting to describe their chosen style, this quintet brings in a generous share of flute solos, as if it were tipping the proverbial hat to Jethro Tull. Although 'La Maschera Di Cera' is a work of detailed musicianship and imaginative composition, it should be noted that seasoned proggers will find little of surprise within the band's formula. It is as warm a tribute as any to their influences however, and what better way to pay homage to the old greats than by starting things off with a twenty minute epic?

The mammoth title track of this self-titled album takes up an entire half of the album's length, and it's very well spent. 'La Maschera Di Cera' (the track) is filled with dynamic between introspective symphonic orchestrations and dramatic climaxes. Singer Alessandro Corvaglia really capitalizes on the highs and lows within the music, taking his voice through territories both soothing and sinister. Unlike my favourite epics of the genre, 'La Maschera Di Cera' does not cut fine divisions within parts of the suite, and it's easier to see it as a running circus changing up acoustic lamentations for heated flute explorations, and a harder rocking contrast to the majority of the piece, which tends to take its time to soak up new ideas.

The epic is excellent in regards to the musicianship that drives it, but in terms of composition, it sometimes feels as if 'La Maschera Di Cera' would have made for an even more powerful experience, had the composition been made a little more concise and faster paced. Fortunately, the second side of the album leads the band into more eventful territories. Although most albums blessed with epics may be seen to have the epic as the highlight, the song-based side of La Maschera Di Cera's debut is where the band are lifted into excellence. The closer 'Del Mio Volo' is especially tender, featuring some of the most beautiful synth work I have yet heard in Italian progressive rock. Although I would usually prefer to hear a progressive band making music for the future over the past, La Maschera Di Cera manage to keep this trip back in time fresh. It's very nice to see musicians of the new millennium who can rival the classic masters at their own game!

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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