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Narrow Pass - In This World And Beyond CD (album) cover


Narrow Pass

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars "Narrow Pass" attempts to pass a Camel through the eye of a needle for the second time, and this effort suffers from some of the same issues as its predecessor. While lovely melodies abound, the interconnections between song fragments remain tenuous at times, although some improve with repeated exposure. As before, the lead guitar outbursts appear abruptly after quiet passages, with insufficient transitions, and its slight raunchiness does not suit the personality of the group anyway. The vocals of Valeria Caucino remain lovely as ever but sometimes those raucous tones of the male lead are simply not compatible. The tendency to run off into Genesis land a la "Los Endos" or "Unquiet Slumbers" is sometimes unconvincing, especially since Narrow Pass has the raw ingredients to do so much more.

Yet after listening actively for a week or more, I am enjoying some of the newer styles of the group, such as the pagan folk of "Silver Lady", and the related earth centered message of "Heaven's Crying". Edmondo Romano's flutes and whistles can't help but recall Eris Pluvia, but his tenor saxophone work on "Flying from Ireland", perhaps the best overall Narrow Pass track yet, ventures into new realms. "Beyond" is an instrumental that sets the spotlight on "Mauro Montobbio's bountiful keyboard work, in particular the synthesizers. I wonder aloud if some lead keys could have replaced a few of the guitar solos, both for variety and for a better fit, but I may be off base.

I should add that the production here suggests big budget, unlikely though that is, without tiresome excess, and the group thus avoids some modern (read neo) pratfalls in the process. I have perhaps set my expectations too high for Narrow Pass from day 1, and to acknowledge the improvements and downplay a few of the persistent personal preference issues, I am rounding up beyond this world to 4 stars.

Report this review (#223900)
Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In This World and Beyond is the sophomore effort of Italian outfit Narrow Pass. And a good one, if you appreciate their particular mix of musical ingredients.

The band basically seek to blend two rather different types of music here. The aspect most noticeable is that of celtic-tinged folk rock, where acoustic guitars and flute sets up a compelling foundation for the strong, emotional female lead vocals. The other side of the mix here is symphonic prog in the tradition of Genesis, with a strong emphasis on atmospheric elements to the point of almost coming across as vintage Neo-Progressive rock.

Personally I found the celtic part of this mix most compelling, but at best Narrow Pass is an able symphonic outfit as well. And while none of the compositions gets a note of brilliance for me, those fond of Genesis-tinged symphonic prog will find much to please their tastes here - especially if they don't the atmospheric approach. Those among that crowd who generally enjoy celtic-tinged folk as well should take note of this production, chances are that they'll find the combination of the two both pleasing and satisfying.

Report this review (#252037)
Posted Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Narrow Pass one of the lesser known italian bands formed in the 80s by Mauro Montobbi who is probably known by some prog fans from Eris Pluvia fame gathered around him some guest musicins and the Narrow Pass was in good shape to release the debut who will be released only in 2006. In 2009 is coming the sophomore release In this world and beyong. Well, the music is a combination of folk/celtic parts with acustic guitars , symphonic prog arrangements and even some neo passages are to be found here, all melted giving the sound of Narrow Pass. The album is well performed with beautiful instrumental sections like on Beyond a 7 min great example of how talented is Mauro Montobbi on keyboards, the rest of the pieces are also good but not excellent. All in all an ok release with plenty to enjoy but not really in same league with other releases from italian school from this period. Similar or influenced by bands as Eris luvia, Camel, Genesis or La Maschera di Cera. 3 stars maybe rounded to 3.5 in places. A nice art work.

Report this review (#1319681)
Posted Thursday, December 4, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Narrow Pass was founded in the Eighties, disbanded but reformed and in 2006 Narrow Pass released their highly praised debut album entitled A Room Of Fairy Queen's, a very pleasant and melodic album. It was followed by In This World And Beyond in 2009 and A New Day in 2014. This review is about their second album. Well, on this second album Narrow Pass entitled In This World And Beyond the band still created 76-77 Genesis inspired symphonic rock. Most of the seven tracks deliver flowing shifting moods featuring a tasteful colouring. The music is very alternating, from acoustic and classical guitar to flute, saxophone and violin. But also moving electric guitar work, varied keyboards and a wonderful female voice, along some male vocals. A very special and beautiful song is the folky Silver Lady with Gaelic vocals, instruments like violin, Irish bodhran, tin-whistle and the use of two Irish speakers.

I'm sure this wonderful second album will please many symphomaniacs. Fortunately, Narrow Pass didn't remain another new and promising one-shot Italian progrock band.

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#1932535)
Posted Saturday, May 19, 2018 | Review Permalink

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