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Imagin'Aria - Progetto T.I.'A. CD (album) cover



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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Cool Sci-Fi concept album for 90s/00s Neo-prog fans

Imagin'aria (from Alessandria) are another quality modern progressive band that is hard to pin one label on. You have some very talented musicians here who are injecting symphonic progressive rock with the influence of prog-metal, electronica, pop music, and neo-progressive. The band reminds me a bit of The Gourishankar in their chameleon ways, but whereas that band was simply musically out-of-control to the point of annoyance, Imagin'Aria does a better job of satisfying.putting cohesion above flash. It's a tremendously mysterious and beguiling little album that will get under your skin if you let it. Apparently this is a conceptual album with a Sci-Fi storyline about and end-of-world scenario and what takes place.

I'm not even sure how to describe the songs of "Progretto" other than to say variety is the spice of life. In the three-part opener "S.O. Seji" alone, they will deliver a Wall-era Floydian guitar atmosphere with female wordless operatic vocals over electronica, pulsing rhythms and even acoustic guitars. Most vocals on the album however are traditionally sung male vocals of very good quality. "Tela Bianca" crosses right over into pop music with sing along melodies and twangy clean electric guitars. They will go instrumental mode for "Il nostro delore" balancing lighter piano sections with some very heavy guitar and bass. "Il volo di Ledeo" toys with prog-metal blast drumming and heavy chugs. One of the album's highlights is surely the longest song "Fusione" at just over 8 minutes, which moves a turbulent and heavy first half into a more contemplative second half with melancholic lead guitar notes accenting the fine acoustic guitar work, and emotional, pleasant vocals. Several tracks are also quite fond of the blips and blurps sounds and rave beats you might associate with Bjork, yet there is usually more going on above and below the beats, sometimes spacey synths, flute, or strings. The compositional quality of the album is very good and the performances even better. These guys know what they're doing-I've a feeling we've not heard the last of Imagin'Aria!

I actually believe the fans who would most appreciate Imagin'Aria are the Neo-prog fans. This album, with its melodic but harder-edged modern prog sound should appeal to fans of many recent Neo-prog bands (as opposed to Genesis style 80s neo like Script), and reminds me more of high quality Neo than it does Italian Symphonic or Heavy Prog. To me there are only passing references to '70s Italian prog though the band cites it as an influence...they also cite funk, electronic, and folk. In any case this is an album with much appeal. The booklet is quite modest but features lyrics and some nice drawings. 7/10

Report this review (#174729)
Posted Saturday, June 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
3 stars This is the fourth album by Italian band Imagin'aria, but is the first that I have heard from them. According to what I have been reading on the web the previous releases have been symphonic hard rock with some prog influences ? but if that is the case then the band have totally turned that around as while there are some undoubted hard rock influences, especially with the guitars, this is now much more of a prog album that has been influenced by PFM, Eloy and Floyd. Apparently this is a concept album, based on a science fiction story about constellations, planets and the close relationship between humans and artificial intelligence. But, it is all sung in Italian so I don't really have any idea as to what is going on. The start of the booklet contains two pages of text so I presume that this gives the background to what is going on, but as that too is in Italian I am none the wiser.

Musically this is an album that covers a lot of bases, with gentle almost folky music giving way something that is more powerful. The vocals are very good, and it is strange to note that this is a standard rock line-up with singer, two guitarists, bass and drums with no keyboard player in sight (the sounds that are used are apparently triggered by the guitars). The more I have played this album the more I have got out of it, and musically it is very good indeed. If this had been sung in English then I am sure that we would be reading a lot more about it as this is a very positive work indeed. If you enjoy your prog European and don't mind the language difficulty then this is worth seeking out.

Report this review (#906888)
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 | Review Permalink

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