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Orchestre Celesti - Transition of Power CD (album) cover


Orchestre Celesti

Crossover Prog

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Conor Fynes
2 stars 'Orchestre Celesti' - Transition Of Power (4/10)

Orchestre Celesti is the solo project of Italian musician Federico Fantacone, and the newly released 'Transition Of Power' is the third album he has released under this pseudonym. As with the great majority of one-man bands, the sound revolves heavily around one instrument, being the keyboard. 'Transitions Of Power' feels like a part-time exploration of Fantacone's over the course of two years,as if he decided to get up and record simply when he felt the interest coming on, rather than investing himself in a full project. With that in mind, 'Transition Of Power' is both underwhelming and inconsistent, sometimes being quite impressive and even strong in its composition, but othertimes really falling into the curse of a work that feels more like a series of one man's indulgences rather than a balanced piece of music.

With a cropped image of a well known art-piece as the album cover, two loose sounding 'epic' pieces, Orchestre Celesti does not do anything to set itself aside from the legions of weekend warriors which seek to proclaim themselves as prog artists. The album's music can be described as almost entirely keyboard driven ambient rock music, with classical and jazz fusion elements weaved into it. Fantacone is indeed a skilled arranger when it comes to making music; many of his harmonies and use of modes is very skilled. Throughout nearly all of the album though, something important is missing. Although Fantacone clearly has potential to even arrange classical music at his will, his compositions lack melody, feel, or dynamic,

To Fantacone's credit, this general lack of feeling in the music is not a direct fault of his own, but rather the equipment and budget he has used for this album. There are no 'real' instruments here besides the keyboard, which takes the duties of virtually everything here besides the programmed drums, which sound fairly weak. While Fantacone is skiled enough with the keyboard, there are no human flourishes with the music that make it organic or truly interesting, save for some vocals. The vocals really save the middle of this album, especially the otherworldly 'Sound Of My Dreams', although I still find it unsettling to hear a prog lyricist telling me I should 'move to the beat' of the music.

As it stands, Orchestre Celesti is difficult to recommend. It is skilled yet uninspired; excellent in some cases yet dreadfully boring in others. A fairly disappointing piece of Italian prog.

Report this review (#454798)
Posted Monday, May 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Federico Fantacone, the keyboardist behind Orchestre Celesti is obviously quite talented. On this album he plays in a range of styles, from almost new age to close to full blown symphonic progressive. His keyboard playing is splendid, and his compositional skills are intriguing.

However, he falls into a trap that seems to entwine many solo artists. The instrumentation that he programs around his wonderful keyboard leads often doesn't match the intensity, and brings the music down. Particularly the drums. Few non-drummers seem to be able to reproduce with synthesizers the nuances of a human drummer. Fantacone's drums are way too mechanical, and usually too light for the music. The bass synths bug me a bit, too, but since I was a bass player, I'm especially sensitive to that.

Despite the problems above, I like the album.

Report this review (#521784)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I can't help but feel that this album sounds cheap. I mean there are some great one-man projects, but album Transition of Power certainly ain't one of them. As it goes on forth, there is a clear sense of continuity - the music certainly flows, but it's not like a wild river, or a gentle stream, it's more like water being poured down from a tap - clean, technically flawless, but soulless and devoid of any passion. Nah, drum machine was never my favourite and even it alone wouldn't be reason for bad rating, the other elements are. Too long, too dreary and boring, I am not pleased. The positive side is that the album is for free, but why bother.
Report this review (#606839)
Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 | Review Permalink

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