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FEM Prog Band - Sulla Bolla Di Sapone CD (album) cover

SULLA BOLLA DI SAPONE

FEM Prog Band

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Italian combo FEM PROG BAND started out as La Forza Elettro Motrice back in 2007. Following an initial phase of members coming and going they solidified into a steady unit in 2010, and work then commenced on the creation of their debut album. Following an initial EP in 2012 their full-length debut album followed in 2014, released through the Italian label Altrock Records' "Fading" imprint.

FEM Prog Band is a quality addition to the ranks of bands exploring a vintage-oriented variety of symphonic art rock. There's plenty of keyboards throughout, lots of organ and a fair amount of Mellotron, used in compositions that first and foremost appear to revolve around a style that points back to the likes of Genesis and Camel, but with some harder edged excursions and a touch of jazz-rock here and there for additional flavoring. The compositions come across as vibrant and energetic, and fairly accessible in nature and expression too, and come with a general recommendation to those who treasure vintage-oriented symphonic progressive rock.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#1212494)
Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars Sometimes there comes an album thats so good you just want to scream to the whole world about it, you just want everybody to know how good it is. This is one of those albums. When the band FeM goes in to the third song "Microgen parte 2", I'm just sitting and smiling to myself thinking this is the reason I love progressive rock.

FeM is one of those rare bands that not only can they write great songs, they have the knack for creating just these killer moments that makes you want to rewind instantly. I was driving my car back to Stockholm, and I had to reach for the rewind button on the CD-player to hear just that moment one more time. Very few bands can achieve that for a seasoned vet progressive rock listener.

There are 15 songs on the album, most in the shorter span but many of them are segued to each other so they are in fact longer than they first appear. 60 minutes of music is something that all bands can't manage keeping the quality up, but there are no fillers here. Of course in such a long album some songs could have been cut away to reduce the length but there is no deadweight so to speak. They also manages to play using the full spectrum, from lighter piano-based songs to almost getting in to hardrock, they can play light happy songs and they can get really gritty and complex. They also manage to keep it all together so it feels like one band with one style. I like how the band can spring up and surprise me with a beautiful melody, coming out of nowhere in the middle of a song.

The band uses the full arsenal of guitars, keyboards, bas, etc with brass, flute, acoustic guitar and lots of great keyboard sounds like moog, Hammond etc. The vocals are handled by Sabbatini who has a stellar voice that complements the music perfectly.

Soundwise they are firmly based in the great Italian progressive tradition, perhaps a bit more uptempo, try mixing La maschera di cera with ACT. I would compare them to other fellow Italians like Unreal city, La coscienza di zeno and LogoS.

Be patient when listening to the album, the really goody stuff starts at the second half of the album. All in all; great songs, great sound and a great album! This comes highly recommended and is firmly at the top of the best albums of 2014. This is a feast of Italian progressive rock.

Rating: 4,5 stars (I rarely give away 5-star ratings unless it's a timeless masterpiece).

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Send comments to Andis (BETA) | Report this review (#1218997)
Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Among prog sub genres, I am especially fond of the Italian prog which seems to get air from its own sphere and I have noticed that I easy use to like this music. Because it is that they sing in their own language that is so geunine, the though of not doing that is just stupid. Forza Elettro Motrice which FEM stands for is a new prog band which record "Sulla Bolla di Sapone" is the next record for me to encounter. I have heard it twice and most say I like it.

They are five guys in the band and I most say the music is quite keyboard and guitar driven. The music is similar to pop prog as The Flower Kings with catchy symphonic lines in particular performed through the keyboard. The cover of this 2014's record is quite nice with a landscape we see in a bubble. I also like the sign of FEM, I don't think the similarity with PFM is a coincidence.

But how to value this record? Yes, It is lengthy, contains a lot of music and the material is ambitious. I notice that the band has worked a lot with it and all the songs are parts of an easy flow. I think Massimo Sabbatini is the lead vocalist and he does a great job. His voice is powerful and rocky. Even if melodies are there and they are fine, do I find all the songs perhaps a bit too similar. They don't challenge me and don't get the deep interest, to be honest. It is fine material for sure so if you like modern symphonic prog, this is certainly something for you. I'd say it is worth three stars!

"Il peso della Conoscenza" is one of the record's best tracks and one that I would recommend as well as "Un viaggio lungo un instante" or "Ritorno al Giardino".

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Send comments to DrömmarenAdrian (BETA) | Report this review (#1239245)
Posted Saturday, August 09, 2014 | Review Permalink

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