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FEM Prog Band - Epsilon CD (album) cover

EPSILON

FEM Prog Band

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.26 | 10 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Promising new act

FEM Prog Band is a relative newcomer from the Milan area whose roots date to about 2007. There have been several personnel changes but the line-up is now stable and they are poised to begin recording their first full length album titled "Sulla bolla di sapone". In the meantime they have released this EP in Spring 2012 as a public introduction to the group. The band are influenced by and unashamedly smitten with the 70s progressive rock and the Italian symphonic greats, having a background of doing covers by Banco and Orme.

"Epsilon" features just four tracks totaling about 23 minutes yet it leaves a very clear indication of the group's potential. Their enthusiasm for the classic symphonic scene is most evident yet they are likely affected somewhat by musical movements since, such as neo-prog and prog-metal. The album begins with two shorter numbers which feel like a two-part set-up or introduction to the two longer, meatier tracks which follow.

"Nel Mezzo Del Cielo" offers it all up without hesitation. Big "sticky" synths and robust lead guitars delivery a heavy, fuzzy opening with an upbeat feel. This gives way to an introspective section with piano and finger-picked acoustic, very beautiful, leading to the first vocals. Mr. Balzarotti may not be amongst Italy's most mind-blowing lead vocalists but he is very good indeed. Putting a finger on their sound is not easy for me, I was reminded of Corte Dei Miracoli, Nuova Era, Coral Caves, and sometimes Yes. The closer "Noi, Granelli Di Sabbia" is the second long piece at around 10 minutes. Again it begins with a moderately heavy key/guitar jam leading to a light acoustic section and the vocal, soon rejoined by the grandiose keyboard sound. The long and winding guitar solo at time reaches some real heights, very colorful and emotional, backed by a thick wall of mellotron/bass/drums which push it further.

There is great potential and talent in this group yet this first display of composition leaves me less than overwhelmed. It's pretty safe, locked in a comfortable cruise-control, capturing the beauty of the sound but unable to pull me in or truly excite me. My rating (2 1/2 stars) is not a condemnation but rather an opinion that there is room for improvement and opportunity to challenge themselves in the writing process. That said, I do have a gut feeling their coming full length will be a huge step up from "Epsilon." This one is a fair introduction mostly for RPI enthusiasts.

Finnforest | 2/5 |

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