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Submarine Silence - Did Swans Ever See God? CD (album) cover


Submarine Silence

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
5 stars Submarine Silence is the side project of Moongarden which gives us a good idea of how this band sound. The first song is some Genesis 70's inspired music with a long and breathtaking guitar solo from David Cremoni, Hackett style. ''Runaway Strain'' is in a faster tempo mode. It sounds a lot to the band THe Watch with some heavy bass playing, but the music switch on an acoustic mode inspired again by the pastoral side of Genesis. The band switch frequently from quiet parts to more upbeat passages. ''A Deeper kind of Cumber'' is a dark and slightly heavier track. I have heard previous releases of this project and Moongarden albums and that album click with me more than others. The production is excellent with the sound of every instrument, the songs are all engaging. 5 stars close to God!
Report this review (#2481630)
Posted Wednesday, December 2, 2020 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the few reasons 2020 has been a remotely good year is the standard of modern prog, which I think is at its best for some time. At the heart of that has been the resurgence in the RPI genre: Logos' "Sadako e le mille gru di carta", La Maschera Di Cera's "S.E.I.", and now this one to finish the year, all three of which are 5* albums for me.

Here's where I show a bit of ignorance though - I've not listened to Submarine Silence's previous albums - however looking at the line-ups, this album adds the vocals of Manuela Milanese, who's harmony with the male voices really adds something special. I also don't know an awful lot about Milanese herself, but a quick google led to a YouTube video of her taking on The Great Gig in the Sky, and doing it well.

"Did Swans Ever See God?" for me is a brilliant symphonic album - many modern symphonic offerings I often score poorly due to sounding dated - If I wanted 70s sound, I'd listen to something from the 70s. This though doesn't give me that feeling despite the clear Genesis/Yes influence.

Best tracks on the album bookend it - the opener Undone is more Genesis-like, plus a long belting guitar solo, while Echoes of Silence Pt 2 is more of a Yes-meets-classic-rock grand finale. In between, the fast paced Runaway Strain and darker, heavier Deeper Kind of Cumber are also great tracks.

Report this review (#2486662)
Posted Monday, December 21, 2020 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Cristiano Roversi and David Cremoni are both known from the Italian Neo Prog band MOONGARDEN. This is their fourth album released since 2001 under the Submarine Silence moniker.

1. "Undone" (10:43) beautiful GENESIS-like music with unusual vocals from Guillermo Gonzales (made better by the harmony vocals of Manuela Milanese). The music, unfortunately, stays too long in the pleasant but boring 2nd gear of songs like "Mad Man Moon" and "Ripples" without delivering much excitement until the guitar solo in the eighth minute (unless you count the rafters-vibrating pulsing single notes of bass pedals). Guillermo's voice finally clicks with me in the final minute when Manuela goes first and he comes in with deep panache. (17.5/20)

2. "Echoes of Silence" (3:12) super lush GENESIS and-when-there-were-four soundscapes à la TONY PATTERSON's Equations of Meaning make for a beautiful listen but then Guillermo's delay-echoed and self-backed voice tracks keep coming in off time, confusing and confounding my ears. (8.25/10)

3. "Runaway Strain" (9:14) humming along like something from GENESIS's Invisible Touch, this one rides on solid drumming and nimble-fingered Hammond organ play while Guillermo sings in his NAD SYLVAN voice. At 3:00 we slow down for a beautiful 12-string passage, embellished by "oboe" and multiple male voices singing. At 4:25 we then move into a "The Cage"-like passage complete with Tony's solo synth sound. Another switch back to the song's second motif before moving back into a high-speed chase with Hammond and Moog soli while Guillermo continues singing at 6:00. At 7:25 we're back to the "oboe," 'tron and guitar picking (though not 12-string this time). I like the thick bass play here beneath multiple "woodwinds." And that's how it closes. (17.25/20) 4. "A Deeper Kind of Cumber" (6:26) opening with a plethora of deep, ominous sounds woven together in a DAAL-kind of way. The Mellotron and simple hitches meant to signify odd time signatures tries to garner interest and respect, but is then abandoned at the two-minute mark for a "Land of Confusion"-like sound and pace for Guillermo to begin singing over. Nice downshift at 3:25. The attempts to bring in a more sinister KING CRIMSON sound run a-muck when those impassioned vocals and Steve Hackett-like guitars join in. Interesting. (8.5/10) 5. "Aftereffect" (6:25) Is this a different vocalist? (Davide Marani, perhaps)? I like it better. Guillermo sounds great as the background vocalist. And the simpler music, even with the bombast in the fourth minute, is a much better match for this kind of song/singing. (8.75/10)

6. "Echos of Silence, Pt. 2: The Answer" (9:35) A bombastic opening slows down to the lush GENESIS 12-string & Mellotron soundscape over which Manuela Milanese takes the lead vocal--using a relaxed, almost hypnotic approach with her beautiful sonorous voice similar to a cross between Anne Pigalle and Christina Booth. At the end of the third minute a much more vibrant, dynamic theme takes over--over which Guillermo Gonzales jumps like a GLASS HAMMER theatric performance. The "shadow" section begins at 5:00: gently picked classical guitar over which first Manuela, and then Guillermo, sing. A pleasant but predictable instrumental section then follows occupying most of the seventh and eighth minutes. In my opinion it is this approach--with two singers, male and female--that works best for this music. (17.5/20)

Total Time 45:35

While I am, of course, enamored of the Genesis soundscapes, I am not a convert to the decision of using Guillermo Gonzales to sing the lyrics. I think I was expecting the pleasant voice of There's Something Very Strange in Her Little Room's Ricky Tonco (which, for me, was the highlight of that particular album. I have not yet listened to 2017's Journey Through Mine.)

B/four stars; a very nice contribution to the Neo Prog lexicon and one that I recommend all prog lovers hear to judge for themselves.

Report this review (#2488737)
Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2020 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars The band started as a Genesis clone more or less, but soon they have found their unique niche regarding the widespread progressive rock realm. On the one hand SUBMARINE SILENCE constants are David Cremoni (guitars) and keyboarder Cristiano Roversi, both also known for operating with the band Moongarden, yet on a hiatus probably. Furthermore, with Guillermo Gonzalez there is a rather prominent singer aboard, Not for the first time really, the predecessor album from 2016 already sees him participating. And that would be the band's core. What comes in addition to this are bass player Alberto Zanetti and drummer Valerio Michetti, plus two female/male singers, just caring for some additional background vocal duties.

Distributed via the acclaimed label Ma.Ra.Cash Records 'Did Swan's Ever See God?' shines with strong symphonic traces. Roversi does not skimp on Mellotron and Hammond. The great plus goes to the sophisticated and overly accessible compositions offered during around 45 minutes playing time. Well, I'm not willing to hightlight any specific song in this case. The album simply sounds rounded, coherent all the way through. The entertainment factor is in full blow here. Also a quality feature, I guess approximately half of all the prog album covers must have been painted by Ed Unitsky. This is very recommended, especially dedicated to the typical retro tinged symphonic prog lover who also prefers to hear music from bands like the early Genesis, The Watch, Karmakanic, The Flower Kings aso.

Report this review (#2502385)
Posted Friday, February 5, 2021 | Review Permalink

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