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Submarine Silence - There's Something Very Strange in Her Little Room CD (album) cover

THERE'S SOMETHING VERY STRANGE IN HER LITTLE ROOM

Submarine Silence

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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4 stars Well

An improve in this second album

Nothing very new or original here...

But i like very much this album

This one man band is not ironic....directely takes the influences of Genesis,IQ and Marillion... Is a mix of music of those bands but very well done...with touches of the Rock Progresivo Italiano

So.... nice songs like the classical Genesis or Marillion or IQ...very good musician...very good inspired in........composer.

Vocals quality a little weak but...is not very disturbing...

So as I like so much old Genesis and IQ music , I only have to thanks to Submarine Silence to keep those sounds alive.

4 stars(or 5 ?... for maybe the best Genesis and IQ inspired band)

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Send comments to robbob (BETA) | Report this review (#1008568)
Posted Tuesday, July 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
Second Life Syndrome
COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams
2 stars I wasn't sure what to expect from this new album, "There's Something Very Strange in Her Little Room", by Submarine Silence. They are usually labeled as rock progressivo italiano, but that sub-genre is usually quite diverse in style. When I received my review copy, I was immediately unimpressed with the cover art, as it seems very gaudy to me. I admit, though, that I go for the "less is more" approach.

Submarine Silence is a side project from the more well-known group, Moongarden. This group is usually quite revered, but I really don't see the need for this side project. Submarine Silence embraces a very keyboard-driven style without much variety. I recently saw them compared to Genesis and Marillion, but they literally sound nothing like them in any way. The style is completely different.

Every song on this album consists of the same basic beats, atmospheric keys, and quirk. That would normally be fine, but I find that the compositions are severely lacking here. The style is just fine, but there is little or no inspiration that can be found. All we get are tracks that drone on and on without any direction or focus. Even with the plethora of different instruments they utilize, the music still sounds dull.

Another issue I have is the vocalist, Mirko Ravenoldi. His voice is way below average, and even cringe-worthy many, many times. I can't help but feel like his soulless delivery is part of why this album stinks for me. Don't get me wrong: This album has some interesting moments, such as the short instrumental interludes. These interludes, such as "Sleepfall" and "Evening Comes", are usually heavy on the RPI influences, and feature grand, airy synth that just feels right. Indeed, there are even some great moments within the major tracks with some decent solos, but whenever Mirko starts singing, the album plummets in quality.

Overall, this album just goes on and on and on for what seems like two hours. I had to check the play time, and was surprised at how short it actually is! The dull, uninspired tracks that make up the majority of this album really make time crawl. If you start looking at your timepiece while listening to an album such as this one, maybe you shouldn't listen to it at all.

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Send comments to Second Life Syndrome (BETA) | Report this review (#1008947)
Posted Tuesday, July 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Hmmm...`There's Something Very Strange...about what's gone a little wrong here' might have been a better title for this one. I bought the CD of `There's Something Very Strange In Her Little Room' simply on the strength of Submarine Silence's previous self titled album back in 2001, and anyone who has heard that one may remember it was a lush and sophisticated instrumental album in the tradition of classic period Genesis. It's a work that has endured, so the promise and anticipation of a long- awaited follow-up after 12 years was very high. What a shame it is to discover that the band themselves seem to have somewhat lost focus of what made them special and endearing in the first place, despite many moments of greatness scattered sporadically throughout the disc.

Things look fine on the surface. The album has lovely evocative cover art with a lavish CD booklet, even if the colours are a little dark and ominous. The album is essentially one continuous 38 minute 14 part title track with three additional numbers at the end, and like the previous album, much of the music is grandly symphonic and full of numerous instrumental movements. There's an endless overload of majestic Mellotron, dazzling Minimoog, stirring electric guitar solos and delicate acoustic atmospheres, as well as some brief orchestral flourishes. This Italian band works closer to the Neo and symphonic genres than proper RPI, though there are still glimpses of that every now and then. The previous album showcased what a talented band of musicians they are, especially main composer Cristiano Roversi, and from an instrumental point of view, that is still very much evident. Just listen to the multi Mellotron choir `Prologue' that opens the album, the exhilarating `Childs At Play', the haunting `Sleepfall' and sumptuous `Aftersong'.

However, where the album badly falters is the use of vocals this time around. The addition alone wouldn't necessarily be cause for alarm, but in this particular case it has very damaging results. Lead vocalist Ricky Tonco employs a forced gothic slur, a kind of pained David Bowie by way of Marilyn Manson-esque croon that pushes the wondrous music so far to the background. It sounds like the band were kind of hoping for an IQ/Arena dramatic and theatrical sound here, but despite much of the album having extended instrumental sections, everything crashes to the ground because of the endless use of the drab vocals, and it gives the music a colourless, mundane quality overall. Just compare how much the album picks up the second the vocals stop and you suddenly start paying attention again. I challenge you to make it through the 8th track `Passing Strange' and not give up on the album altogether, absolutely excruciating. Oddly, one of the extra tracks at the end features a different vocalist, Mirko Ravenoldi (of fellow Italian prog band Catafalchi Del Cyber), and even his delivery is quite shrill and harsh! Can't win either way here.

I think a serious rethink concerning the vocals is in order with this band. I'm all for artists trying new things, and I think we all have prog albums in our collection with poorer or average vocals that we still grow to love, but for now I think they are a serious liability for Submarine Silence. It's a shame they cover so much of the music (probably about 80% of the album), because the actual compositions and performance here are so promising. If you are willing to be patient, to take the time to focus on the playing and can overlook the vocals, you may really end up liking this. I'm quite sad to be so critical of this point, and probably Tonco would sound fine under different circumstances. I really hope other listeners can enjoy the album more than I did and can see past this factor.

So a bit of a frustrating missed opportunity, but let's not write write the band off just yet, as there's too much talent to dismiss them quite so easily. Let's also hope we don't have to wait another 12 years for their next work.

Two and a half stars...rounded up to three for the actual playing and compositions.

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Send comments to Aussie-Byrd-Brother (BETA) | Report this review (#1091020)
Posted Tuesday, December 17, 2013 | Review Permalink

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