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Garden Wall - Chimica CD (album) cover


Garden Wall

Progressive Metal

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5 stars The 4th installment from Garden Wall shows them further defining their heavier "metal" element while still maintaining all the other influences that make them so unique.... This album begins with the 34 minute opus "Chemo" which starts off rather heavy then weaves its way through a myriad of atmospheric and rhythmic changes....

Once again the keyboards/ synth provide a background to Garden Wall's music which gives them their 70's influenced sound which is one of the things that makes this band so unique.... There is a slight "Technical" feel in various places due to the inventive rhythms and time changes which at times gives it an almost "technical metal" feel.... As if this band could have been one of the originators of the style had they been around in the late 70's / early 80's....

Overall I find this to be an awesome album full ofcaptivating ideas and excellent musicianship.... Whether you like progressive rock or progressive metal, this album is worth checking out!!!!

Report this review (#2860)
Posted Friday, October 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars This is the fourth studio album by this Italian band. Admittedly, I didn't give this album as many spins as I should have but this was just due to the utter dislike I felt when I listened to it. After hearing the at least average debut album Principium (***) I was really caught with a surprise when I heard this one. The band sounds totally different in this album and not in a good way. This is more like industrial metal than progressive music. I do not consider this album really that progressive at all but some others might disagree with me. Long compositions are not enough. From what I have gathered the real downfall of this band started with this album.

This album was the first one without keyboardist Mauro Olivo. This can be clearly heard in the sound, as I believe he was the best part of this band. To my knowledge, the guitarist Alessandro Seravelle has always been the leader of Garden Wall but the departure of Mauro Olivo clearly shows that he had a huge influence in the band's sound. Seravelle himself used to have some nice melodies but here his playing is just horrible.

I can only imagine that this album is for people who enjoy weird progressive metal with an industrial techno vibe. It could be that I didn't get the true meaning of this album so I recommend this to them.

Conclusion: I find this album just plain awful. Avoid!

Report this review (#38558)
Posted Tuesday, July 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars "Chimica" which means "Chemistry" in Italian is a concept album that looks at that aspect of our bodies in different ways. The music here is complex and often chaotic with theatrical vocals. It did take many listens to finally get into the first song "Chemotaxis" which is almost 35 minutes long. Funny but the other six songs I liked right away, and they continue to be my favourites on the album.

"Chemotaxis" opens powerfully as drums are pounded violently. Vocals a minute in. This song contrasts the heavy, chaotic passages with the calm ones throughout. It's really an amazing ride that can be difficult to enjoy at times. The drumming especially is really outstanding. The music is very technical at times and at other times quite melodic. As I said in the intro, this suite was difficult to digest and to come to terms with, but it was worth the patience. "Dave In The Swimming Pool" has a fun, uptempo intro before they get serious and impress me with their instrumental prowess. Back to the fun again until a shred-fest before 2 1/2 minutes takes over. This instrumental ends as it began. "La Belle Dame" opens with riffs and organ runs as drums are pounded into submission. It turns lighter sounding a minute in. The drumming is fantastic before 2 1/2 minutes. Vocals 3 minutes in as it calms right down. A killer guitar solo after 6 minutes. Another calm a minute later with vocals. A heavy soundscape 8 1/2 minutes in.

"Immer Unterwegs" is a great instrumental with powerful organ and heavy guitar. A brief calm 1 1/2 minutes in. Love the drumming in this one too. "Psychic Infrared" features a soundscape that seems to swirl until the theatrical vocals come in with powerful organ runs. This contrast continues. "Immune (He Knows My Strength...)" has a good melody with bass. Guitar comes in grinding away after a minute. Cool song. "No More" opens with a relaxed guitar melody as crisp drums join in. Background synths arrive and it all sounds so good. The tempo picks up 2 minutes in but it's brief. It turns sinister 3 minutes in with tortured vocals to follow. It continues to be dark and intense until it ends.

This is a unique band no doubt about that. If you could imagine blending ZERO HOUR with IN THE WOODS... you might be getting warm.

Report this review (#181603)
Posted Tuesday, September 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Garden Wall is an underrated prog metal band from Italy. Their forth album is quite un improvement over the first releases. Very complex structures of the pieces with a lots of time signatures, solid musicianship through all the album. All instruments play at full capacity delivering one of the most chalenging prog metal around these days. While is more than ten years when first came out but is still present and more important , never boring. The voice of Alessandro Seravalle is very theatrical, even in places very hard to get into, but when you became to enjoy this kind of voice you never get tired of. The cherry on the cake here is the opening track named Chemotaxis - who is a 35 min suite of the highest calibre with nice shifting moods from metal touches to mellow ones , excellent piece of progressive metal, some of the bands from today must take notice on this track because kick ass. The rest of the pieces are , of course good but i'm not very enthusiastic about them, only good. The keyboards and drums have a big roll here , delivering some great chops and very instristing arrangements in places. The guitar sounds on the first track specially, metal than ever before on a Garden Wall piece with nice heavy touches as mood needs it and very melodic when mood shift to another musical spectrum. Anyway a solid 3 stars for this album, kinda underrated by many prog metal listners and for sure needs attention.
Report this review (#182596)
Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2008 | Review Permalink

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