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La Maschera Di Cera

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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La Maschera Di Cera LuxAde album cover
3.97 | 184 ratings | 18 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Porta del Cielo (1:10)
2. Doppia Immagine (7:49)
3. Un Senso All'Impossible (10:18) :
- a) teatro di follia
- b) il ricordo
4. Orpheus (4:45)
5. Nuova Luce (10:13) :
- a) passato
- b) sogno
- c) presente
- d) realtà
6. Enciclica 1168 (24:29) :
- a) Scena I: Preludio (Gennaio 17)
- b) Scena II: Caduta / Visione
- c) Scena III: Delitto
- d) Scena IV: Coscienza
- e) Scena V: Canto Pagano / Metamorfosi
- f) Scena VI: Dopo la pioggia
- g) Scena VII: Sterminio
- h) Scena VIII: Lumen In Coelo
- i) Scena IX: Postludio ( "così in alto è come in basso" )
7. Schema (v.s.d.) (3:41)

Total Time 62:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Alessandro Corvaglia / lead & backing vocals, vocals effects, 12-string acoustic guitar, tambourine
- Agostino Macor / Hammond & Crumar organs, Mellotron, grand piano, treated piano, Fender Rhodes w/ Davoli, synths, theremin, electric harpsichord, VCS3, RMI, spinet, celesta, clavinet, "Corvaglizer"
- Andrea Monetti / transverse flute, recorder, acoustic & electric saxophones, effects
- Fabio Zuffanti / bass, bass pedals, frequency generator
- Maurizio Di Tollo / drums & percussion, bells, timpani

Releases information

Artwork: Angelus Design

CD Immaginifica ‎- QQ 1003 CD (2006, Italy)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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LA MASCHERA DI CERA LuxAde ratings distribution

(184 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars In 2002 I got the eponymous debut album from this promising Italian five piece band as a promo on a CD-R. I was delighted about the Seventies inspired sound (Banco, Museo Rosenbach, Metamorfosi), loaded with vintage keyboards like the Moog synthesizer, Hammond organ and Mellotron. Unfortunately the compositions turned out to be a bit too fragmentic, this band had to mature. After two studio - and one live CD here is the new album by La Maschera Di Cera and to start with my conclusion: THIS IS A MASTERPIECE! From the very first moment La Maschera Di Cera takes you away with dynamic, alternating and often very compelling compositions, drenched into the wonderful Seventies Italian progrock tradition: passionate Italian vocals, fluent and pleasant shifting moods, great build-ups and wonderful 'grand finales', often featuring choir - and violin-Mellotron eruptions and sensational synthesizer flights, GOOSE BUMPS! The musical variation is great and ranges from 12-string acoustic guitar and traverse flute to saxophone and a huge array of vintage keyboards (Mellotron, Hammond - and Crumar organ, harpsichord, Fender Rhodes piano and several synthesizers).


Review by Prognut
4 stars Are we in front of the best Symphonic release of 2006? I know is early in the year to say that, but I will not be surprise to see this one in the final 4!!! Let me expand a little bit on this aspect: IMHO it has all the elements to make this a fantastic Symphonic release... lengthy tracks, outstanding extended solos, changes in moods, and of course the most important ingredient brilliant orchestration!!

These guys have been making music for a long time, in one way of another; so, they are not novices and clearly this album is their best release yet!! And, a top-notch production courtesy of PFM Franz Di Ciocco, with a beautiful mini-lp type sleeve ala Italian, to keep it as an essential piece on your collection!!

Fans of PFM, BANCO, MUSEO rejoice!!!! Whatever you decide to buy this year, make the effort to get this gorgeous one. And, if you like Symphonic music coming from Italy is a MUST HAVE!!!!! Extremely Highly Recommended! 4 Stars!!!!

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "...I don't hear your voice anymore, the abyss is here (...) I won't search for my reality because you're disappearing behind me / I won't search for the truth if you're sinking without me..." do we feel when we loose our beloved friends, lovers, relatives?

This is the main question, the central concept upon which all the album is based. A strong argument, the most anguishing situation for any human being in his life. And it's very interesting that La Maschera di Cera have elaborated their musical ideas aroundthe figure of the ancient greek myth of Orpheus. Orpheus start a journey from the earth's light (Lux in latin language) to the darkness of the afterlife's underworld (Hades - Ade), the reign of the deads. His beloved wife Eurydice sadly died and he never managed to accept it. Then he decided to start the long and dangerous journey throughout the world of Hades. But when he arrived and founded her, he realized he could not bring back on earth because she was only the image of herself, her body wasn't anymore. What a sad story, what a common situation for all of us! This is what the world is made of: pain.

By the way, the conceptual idea of the album rapresents the opposition of two elements: Life/Death, Dark/Light, Faith/Anguish ... there we can find a sort of reference from that fabulous Le Orme's record of the 1973: Felona e Sorona, a concept album about two opposite planets. And the music itself of Lux Ade search for a modern way to interpret (or to re-interpret) the italian prog traditions. So we can find also references to some movements from Rustichelli & Bordini's Opera Prima (1973). A great role and position for the varied keyboards instruments. Agostino Macor delights us with his hammondorgan, crumar organ, mellotron, synthesizers, classic pianos, electric harpsichord, clavinet, rmi, spinet, celesta and theremin corvaglizer (I wonder what is it...!).

The flute, the flute is not the same of that of the previous album "Il Grande Labirinto" (2003). It has now more prominence and is sometimes similar to some mellow interludes tipical of the later records of Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson. So is in particular the last song of Lux Ade titled "Schema (V.S.D.)". I don't know what the acronym is on about. An instrumental delicate dream, after a so much powerful record!

What about Fabio Zuffanti his perfomance on bass guitar? Excellent, as always. Specral sometimes. Impressive "conubium" with all that keyboards' richness! His lyrics on "Doppia Immagine", "Orpheus" and "Enciclica 1168" are all appreciable and worthy of special mention. What a pity for all the non italian language people!

Such a wonderful and great record had to have also a great artistic producer behind...what a surprise: Franz di Cioccio (from Premiata Forneria Marconi)!

"Porta del Cielo" (Sky's Door) is the instrumental short opener (1,10 mns). A melodic gentle-piano based track that, suddenly, introduces the listener to the real tune "Doppia Immagine" (7,49 mns). This one is a wonderful gem, with an incredibly good saxophone interlude. Perhaps the most pregnant part of the track, indeed!

"Un Senso all'Impossibile" (A Meaning for the Impossible) starts with a wonderful and relaxing acoustic 12 strings guitar, provided by Alessandro Corvaglia, the one who provided also the lyrics. All the 10,18 mns of the song are worth of inclusion in most excellent repertoire of modern symphonic prog! What a dreamy synthesizer, what a wonderful atmosphere! The rithm is slow in the first part, then flute, keyboards, bass and drums start to work as their players are able to do.

"Orpheus" (4,45 mns) is a varied and impressive composition. All the richness of the album is here well rapresented! The following track "Nuova Luce" (New Light) is the most favourite of mine of the seven of Lux Ade. Outstanding 10,18 mns of pure prog pleasure! The melodic and pompous symphonic part makes me sing at each time! And that's the thing really impressive!!

With the sixth song starts the Program 2, id est the second part of the whole opus! The long suite (24,27 mns) is titled "Enciclica 1168". Enciclica is what the roman Pope sometimes write on about christian faith and other specific religious arguments. The suite is composed of 9 so called "scenes" titled, respectevely: I scene (Preludio); II scene (Caduta/Visione - Fall/Vision); III (Delitto - Crime); IV (Coscienza - Consciousness); V (Canto Pagano/Metamorfosi - Pagan Chant/Metamorphosis); VI (Dopo la Pioggia - After the Rain); VII (Sterminio - Extermination); VIII (Lumen in Coelo - latin language for Light in the Sky); IX (Postludio/ Così in Alto E' Come in Basso - The So High Is the Same of the Low).

Enciclica has some darker passages. Even the lyrics are about human fear of God. Impressive track!

What could I say more? Let's go out and buy immidiately this wonderful gem!

P.S. ...and for another time Erik was right...

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Their first album made a splash when arriving on the scene as a new project from Finisterre's hyper-creative genius Fabio Zuffanti , unleashing a rather distinct , rarely attempted symphonic prog style featuring NO GUITARS (a la Greenslade) , just a short hard hitting arsenal of keyboards courtesy of new keyboard wunderkind Agostino Macor (Finisterre, Zaal, La Zona) , allied with a variety of various wind instruments played by Andrea Monetti. Unanimously received by the progworld, the follow up was neither better or worse , just a consolidation of a heavy symph style that garnered added justified praise. This third offering was expected to be more of the same with only the drummer replaced. Who would of expected a kick up a notch (as Emeril , the prog chef would state)? From the exotic packaging, the beautiful artwork and booklet, this looked good right before the start button was pushed. Led again by Fabio's devastatingly reptilian trebly bass and with Agostino zipping the synths, squeezing out thunder from the organ ( no innuendo, please), blazing the 'tron and caressing the piano , the compositions are better balanced and packing a more mature wallop than ever before. From the subtle "Doppia Imagine" loaded with haunting melody and great sax, to the majestic and memorable "Nuova Luce" and finally topping it off with a 25 minute encyclopedic prog symphony , aptly titled "Enciclica 1168", this is a serious excursion into the darker forms of Italian prog, where Alessandro Corviglia's passionate angst vocals (he is no Bernardo Lanzetti , thankfully) sit well with the overall hazy atmosphere. This is exhilarating symph prog that will leave even the most passive proghead drenched in sweat . Pretty prog this is not. More like vroom vroom Ducati prog . Finally, PFM vocalist and drummer extraordinaire repeats his production chores that began with Finisterre's latest "La Meccanica Naturale" with another breathtaking job. Like with all previous albums, a couple of auditions is just not enough to appreciate the quality here. Like all real good prog albums, this just gets better with each visit. I shudder to think how this can be bettered but you never know.... 4 waxed masks
Review by TRoTZ
3 stars This album is an ode to Classic Progressive Rock, particularly Italian Progressive Rock. The use of classic mellotron is the high stantard here, remainder of not only Italian past but also Yes classics, while the use of flute is invocative of Jethro Tull's best efforts. In fact, these influences are quite obvious at times, but the band still manages to preserve feeling at its finest, giving the album a sincere aproach. The use of modern organ a la neo- progressive, Dream Theater or Ayreon, is perhaps the only thing that assures we are not in the 70's.

Best tracks are obviously the longest epics, where "Nuova Luce" and "Encidica 1168" elevates specially. The band reveals all their ability to recreate classics without loosing any passion. Flutes, pianos, saxos, guitars are present in a very balanced and delicate approach, without any signs of pretension. Small tracks are not as strong, in "Orpheus" I had the feeling the band has listened to the latest Ayreon's albums.

A nice effort, even though not bringing anything of new - we may even call it regressive - but it is a good example of making a classic prog album, without taking away the character of it.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars Is this the door to heaven?

Three years after their last studio output the band has made another exciting release with expressive vocals in italian language. Andrea Monetti is convincing adding folk and ethno flavour with sax and flute. You are missing an electric guitar player in the line-up? No problem - Agostino Macor is acting with great variety - for example Fender Rhodes, Mellotron, Hammond, Piano - 'Nuova luce' is a good example. This is symphonic rock music in the majority - mixed with Psychedelic a little bit and Italian Folk.

After a short intro which should open the door to heaven for everyone 'Doppia Immagine' starts. The best song - not all the following songs can reach this quality. The sax theme reminds me of Embryo with Charlie Mariano a lot. The track also consists of remarkable melodies - FANTASTICO! 'Un senso all impossible' is very melancholic and the beginning of 'Orpheus' sounds like Ian Andersons' TULL. And then you have to take enough time (24 minutes) to lay back with composure enjoying the long track 'Encidica 1168' - consisting of nine sections - indeed another very impressive song.

Conclusion: elegant album including the masterpiece 'Doppia Immagine' - one of my favourite songs in 2006.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars If you have read my reviews for their first two efforts, you know that I quite like "La Maschera". Actually, I consider them as one of the best actual Italian bands. I was very enthusiastic to discover their third album. They took their time to release this one (three years after "Il Grande Labirinto").

Influences remain the same : Crimson, ELP and to a some extent Genesis. A new drummer (Maurizzio) will be featured here.

Even if "Doppia Imagine" is again a wonderful track, it is too similar to "Il Viaggio" to sound original. Of course "Il Viaggio" was a masterpiece and I guess it is normal to try and achieve to repeat the beauty of this track. "Doppia" features great vocals (as usual) and nice keyboards as well. Some good sax to justify the Crimson filiation. Still, one of the highlight of LuxAde" (but again, there will so many that it seems useless to talk about highlights).

"Unsenso All' impossible" is a long track well in the tradition of La Maschera". Crimson and Genesis are the inspirators here. Some very nice fluting from Andrea. It was a great idea to have a full time flutist / saxophonist in the band (but one of their inspirator did it long ago with Mel). He is such an added value to the band and makes "La Maschera" sounding rather different from the majority of their Italian colleagues. And since I am found of this instrument for over thirty-five years, I can only be charmed with this track. Another very good song with a superb finale : an explosion of keys and great drumming.

"Orpheus" is 100% Crimson-esque. But the Crimson side I like less (not the symphonic one, if you see what I mean). But "La Maschera" never go as far as their masters in the noisy parts. They always come back with an incredible and passionate Italian flavour. This is probably why I love them so much. I know that very few of you think my way and might even believe I am completely nuts but for me they represent the perfection in a style invented by Crimson. When I could get irritated by some of some KC noisy parts, "La maschera" will turn them into brilliant and pure symphonic ones. This track is the living proof. Another very catchy song with a somptuous melody.

"Nuova Luce" is another long composition (again over ten minutes). The intro is frankly jazzy, but after two minutes "La Maschera" will bring us again on track with their so identifiable style : emotion at its peak. I really like Alessandro's voice here. On top of that he is a good showman and apparently a very friendly person. This track is the most complex one so far : a bit structureless with here and there some weird passages, you know like...

But these are so short, and usually followed by the sweetest music you can think of. Really enjoyable. There will be a re-use of the great riff from "Watcher" for a few moments, just before the bombastic keyboard-oriented finale. "La Maschera" often produces such great instrumental sections. A pure marvel.

I have to say, that so far this album is on par with its fantastic predecessors (which I both rated with five stars).

So, now we are heading the central piece of this album. An almost twenty-five minutes epic.

Weird (but short) intro. IMO, "Encidica 1168" is sub-par with the rest of the album. It seems to go nowhere (or in too many directions) and it is more a collage of different pieces than really an epic with recurrent themes. The atmosphere is rather scary and bizarre, but where are the melodious moments we are used to ?

We are far from the brilliance of the title track of their first album as well as "Il Viaggio" from their second one.

Even Alesandro sounds less inspired, almost shouting at times. "La Maschera" will also produces some pure improvisations here which have never been my cup of tea. Maybe that this track should have been downsized substantially, but even so I am not sure we would have gotten a much more interesting song since great moments are too scarce in here. Only the finale can match their best numbers. But four minutes out of twenty-five is just not enough.

The last instrumental track is a short (according "La Maschera" standards) number which is very pleasant and closes this very good album nicely.

Anyway, I feel of course a bit disappointed that the longest song of this album is below my expectations (but maybe they were too high)? This album remains a very strong and a beautiful one. Still, if you have to get only one of their record I would recommend to stick to their first one if you are more looking to pure and beautiful music, and to their second one if you like more sophisticated and complex music. I would say that with "LuxAde", a bit (but just a little bit) of the magic has gone. Four stars.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having only discovered La Maschera Di Cera recently I know very little about the band and bought this album on a whim after hearing good things about them here. It's turned out to be one of my better more recent surprise purchases.

The band are Italian and play Symphonic Prog in it's purest sense. It sounds very retro with its seventies Keyboard sounds like Mellotrons, Hammond Organs etc. A heavy use of Flute also adds weight to this giving them a Jethro Tull feel on one or two occasions too. It's interesting to note that there are no electric Guitars, just acoustic. Bass player, Fabio Zuffanti sometimes uses a Fuzz pedal on his Bass (which I'm not entirely convinced about) and there is also occasional use of Saxophone. The band all play well and Vocalist Alessandro Corvaglia sings passionately although as the vocals are in Italian I don't understand the lyrics. There's a very sympathetic production too also contributing to that authentic seventies sound with clean Drums which don't sound like the processed ones you get on many records of today.

The albums centrepiece is a twenty four minute track titled Enciclica 1168 which is broken into nine parts which as you might expect from such a long track has great dynamics and good instrumental sections and has a lovely soaring Keyboard dominated finale. However, superior to this is Nuova Luce, comparatively shorter at just over ten minutes and is stronger melodically with lots of light and shade amongst its more soaring moments.

The album closes with an excellent flute dominated instrumental called Schema (v.s.d.), a nice end to an excellent album that any lover of Keyboard dominated seventies Prog will want to check out.

As a footnote the cd is beautifully packaged in a Vinyl replica gatefold sleeve; ah the good old days!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is their third record and thankfully they continue along the same path as their previous two albums. This is a concept album but with the lyrics and liner notes all in Italian I would suggest you read Andrea Cortese's excellent review on this subject. As Tszirmay mentions this album was produced by ex-PFM drummer Franz Di Coccio.

"Porta Del Cielo" is a piano intro to this record. "Doppia Immagine" is fairly heavy to begin with as bass provides the bottom end and the flute plays over top. Vocals and organ arrive.I like the vocal melodies that come and go. As with most of these songs there are so many moods and tempo shifts, it's hard to keep up. It ends with some sax and more heaviness. What a ride ! "Un Senso All'Impossible" opens with acoustic guitar and flute. Vocals are reserved. Mellotron after 3 minutes is always welcomed. The song stops and restarts with organ, flute and drums leading the way as it becomes more energetic. "Orpheus" opens with pounding drums and heavy bass as organ and flute come into this uptempo intro. Vocals arrive and the song slows down. Tempo changes continue. The dual vocals are great. More mellotron after 3 minutes.

"Nuova Luce" has a spacey intro before bass, organ and flute take over. Piano, synths and keys all take part in this classy tune. "Enciclica 1168" is a 9 part 24 minute epic. I won't even try to take you through this one. Lots of organ, bass, drums, vocals and flute, with some sax and acoustic guitar. Some dissonant sounds 18 minutes in with strange vocals to follow. This one has it all. The last 2 minutes are awesome. "Schema(vsd)" is a great closer as flute is tastefully played with mellotron, bass, drums and synths leading the way.

I have to agree with ZowieZiggy that maybe some of the magic has worn off. I rate their second record as my favourite followed by their debut, then this one. They are all very good though, you can't go wrong with any of them in my opinion.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Lux Ade is one hour of the most accomplished modern Italian prog you will find-or so it would seem on paper. Here we have talented musicians, a famous producer, a concept album, acoustic instruments, and vintage period ethos. And yes it is very good with moments of prog bliss. So why the hell can't I get more excited about it? It's a very fine line and like Finisterre, which is another high quality modern band playing music with respect for the 70s tradition, La Maschera impresses me very much but doesn't quite hit my jugular in the way I need to award 4 stars. That may change over time if it grows on me. It is a very stately, robust, and romantic music with great Italian vocals and a heavy emphasis on the keyboards. This is not an electric guitar lover's album! Perhaps that is part of the problem for me, that coupled with the 62 minute running time there is a certain "sameness" to the sound even though it may be generally pleasant. Along with the fine keyboards and organ you will find ambitious flute and saxophone work. Everything is firmly anchored with a big bass sound that is very upfront and played like a lead instrument. It does make for a warm and pleasing disc that has its upside-yes, I'm on the fence here. I do like the way the band does not rush development and takes plenty of time to explore, especially the 24 minute epic track which is very cool. The highlights of the album though are the two 10 minute tracks, which are both better than the long piece and the short ones. "Un Senso All' Impossible" begins with gorgeous classical guitar, flutes, and synths. It slowly builds in intensity and has nice showcases of flute as the lead instrument throughout. "Nuova Luce" starts with a nod to Floyd electronics before a cool jazzy section. There is a calm section followed by cavalcades of keyboard variety in one melodious flirt after another.

I do recommend this album to fans of Finisterre and quality modern Italian symphonic as well as to any symph and neo fans. It's a classy album. But from my perspective one should first make sure to pursue a deep education in the classic period Italian first. After having experienced those amazing albums there will be plenty of time to get to updated things like this. The BTF mini-lp sleeve is a beautiful high-quality gatefold with a nice lyric booklet. For now, 3 ½ stars for LuxAde.

Review by Menswear
5 stars Bene, molto prego.

To hear it is better, so have a peek at Youtube and ask for the video of 'Orpheus'. It's not the best thing since sliced bread, but the music will probably strike you and it charmed me quickly: twirling flute, great analog keyboards and an especially catchy chorus gave me the need to hear more...and to finally get the record.

I am never disappointed with Le Masque de Cire: from the jazzy side of Camel (Nuova Luce), to the heavy fuzz bass support (Orpheus and Enclicica), the never-too-loud mellotron and the Gabriel-powerman vocals; everthing fits and goes with the flow of a coherent record a la Genesis.

Amateurs of Foxtrot and Camel cannot make a mistake here: it's what came between me and the Italiano Progressive Rock, took my shaky hands in his; so reconciliation was made, new friends were born and now I am absolutely over the moon with this band.

As good as the Great Labyrinth, which means a vintage approach with a flawless production.

Review by andrea
5 stars La Maschera di Cera are an Italian prog band based in Genoa that came to life in 2001 on the initiative of bassist and multi instrumentalist Fabio Zuffanti. The line-up on "LuxAde", their third album, also features Agostino Macor (keyboards), Alessandro Corvaglia (vocals, acoustic guitar), Andrea Monetti (flute, sax) and Maurizio Di Tollo (drums). The album was released in 2006 for the independent label Immaginifica and was produced by PFM drummer Franz Di Cioccio. Well, all La Maschera di Cera's albums are absolutely worth listening to and "LuxAde", a conceptual work based on the contrast between light and dark as metaphors of good (Lux) and evil (Ade), is my favourite one so far. The sound of the band is deeply rooted in the seventies and the influences of bands as Banco del Mutuo Soccorso or Le Orme are clear, nonetheless they do not lack originality managing to add a personal and up to date touch to vintage sounds with excellent results.

The opener "Porta del cielo" (Heaven's door) is just a short delicate instrumental introduction for piano solo that leads to "Doppia immagine" (Double image), a complex track describing the urge to leave a dark reality of mirrors and false images and to look for the light and a better way of life. The music features swirling flutes and a jazzy sax solo and there are many changes in rhythm and mood that seem to underline how winding and difficult a spiritual path towards enlightenment might be. "I'm looking for the dawn inside my heart / I'm walking on a rope... I'm still living among the mirages of my dreams / I don't want to keep on walking on the same steps / I'm wasting every moment of my life...".

"Un senso all'impossibile" (A sense to the impossible) is a long, complex track in two parts. The first part, "Teatro di follia" (Theatre of madness), begins softly and features acoustic guitar and delicate flute lines. An introspective quest for light and truth could make you lose touch with reality and drive you insane. Blinded by the light and by your desire to fly away like Icarus you risk falling... "When the wind blows further to the North / Towards white and pale auroras / This earth will slowly melt into a mirage, like Atlantis... The horizon broke the border of my world / Closed and still / In a trip, theatre of madness / I was giving a sense to the impossible...". Pounding bass lines coming out from the fading sound of the blowing wind introduces the second part of the track, "Il ricordo" (The Remembrance), then soaring swirling flute notes come in and the rhythm takes off. Here the music might recall BMS, featuring wild keyboard waves and passionate vocals. Holy passions and vain dreams of glory drive your flight to nowhere and once you have realized that, a feeling of rage rises, then rage gives way to an infinite tiredness... "I run after planets and faint versions of God / But now, all that I was running after is vanishing in the wind / And my soul is tired to start again from zero / To breathe again / To burn again / To fly again...".

"Orpheus" is a track full of energy featuring a particular dark, bitter-sweet mood. When you lose contact with reality you also risk losing the people you love. Losing love can lead to losing hope... "I look at your face and I can't find it anymore / I can't hear your voice / I feel the abyss that is here and I want to take you with me...". The title was inspired by a character of ancient Greek mythology. You can imagine travelling down to the underworld to take back what you have lost, as Orpheus did to save his dead lover Eurydice, but you know that it would be useless... "I'm not dreaming anymore / I chose to go far beyond / Thousands of errors with me... I'm not looking for the truth anymore / If you are sinking with me...".

"Nuova luce" (New light) is a complex track in four parts, "Passato" (Past), "Sogno" (Dream), "Presente" (Present) and "Realtà" (Reality). The music features sudden changes in mood and some interesting classical hints. Once you have found a new light you could realize that, all in all, it's not better than the one you left... "Over there, lost forever / Melted into the dark / This consumed new light will vanish / Other colours / Different reality...". The end of this track reminds me of Lucio Battisti and evokes some other "thoughts and words"...

Next comes the wonderful suite in nine parts "Enciclica 1168", the "plat de résistance" of this work. It tells the story, set in the Middle Ages, of a monk obsessed by his faith in God. The first part "Scena I: Preludio (gennaio 17)" describes an abbey and the troubled monk. The abbey is surrounded by a village whose inhabitants don't care for the "holy hand of God" and live in sin, getting drunk and creating barriers between what belongs to earth and the holy thoughts due to God. In the following scenes the music and words describe the monk killing a blasphemous man, pushed by the vision of a cross of light. Once the crime has been discovered the inhabitants of the village try to track the monk down but he transforms himself into a gigantic wasp with angel wings to exterminate the sinful people wiping them out from the earth... "A blade of light / Was all they needed / To melt the wax of its flight...". The perfect interaction between all the members of the band help create a Gothic atmosphere where the evil side of religious power is depicted as in a psychedelic dream.

The last track, the colourful instrumental "Schema (v.s.d.)" is a perfect conclusion for an amazing album. Dark and light have many nuances and I'm sure you'll discover a new one every time you listen to this brilliant work...

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Well, I´m the minority here. Maybe because I still think that good prog music should be both complex AND melodic. Maybe it would be better if I happened to know this band´s discography in chronological order. Anyway, they reached their peak so far with the beautiful and brilliant Petali Di Fuoco. The rare balance between elaborated parts and fine melodies was something that took them some time to gel. And LuxAde was part of the experiment in that direction.

Not that the album is not full of good moments. It is. And I can understand why so many other reviewers prefer La Maschera Di Cera´s more dense and complex period. After all, some progheads do favor more complicated stuff for its own sake and tend to take melodies as something suspicious (as if good melodies always meant pop music, being pop a desease to be avoided). In any case, there is no denying that this band is great. They know how to write terrific prog stuff (although they haven´t perfected it here yet), their musicanship is brilliant and their singer is simply one of the best nowadays. The lack of a electric guitar player here is a bit of a letdown, although Andrea Monetti, the flute and sax player, does a great job also, filling in several of those spaces where the guitar is surely being missed.

Again the general quality of the CD is quite even. All the tracks are good, with no real lows, but again without any discernible highlight either. Very good retro keyboards abound and that´s what I liked the most about the instrumental passages.

In the end I found this CD to be good. Sometimes very good, but still missing the great maturity they were soon to achieve by the time of Petali Di Fuoco. Final rating: somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 2004 was a really busy year for La Maschera di Cera.The band was dedicated to playing in various shows around Europe and was part of the ''Gouveia Artrock 2003'' DVD.In 2005 they enter the studios to record a third album, this time produced by Franz di Cioccio (of Premiata Formeria Marconi) for the Immaginifica label and with Maurizio Di Tollo replacing Marco Cavani behind the drum-kit.The new ''LuxAde'' album saw the light in March 2006.

Like on their previous releases La Maschera di Cera insist on offering some dark-sounding Heavy/Symphonic Rock with strong Folk touches and a very rich sound overall.The raw vocals of Alessandro Corvaglia, the dominant flute drives and the strong rhythm section provide the necessary force for the band's general style.But unlike ''Il grande labirinto'', this album stands compositionally a bit better.The performance seems more tight, the dark themes are softened with dreamy, spacey synth passages and the lovely organ and Mellotron waves appear when needed and not for the sake of music.Additionally the band's musicianship is equally divided between harder vocal moments and symphonic/folky parts reminiscent of HOSTSONATEN.Most of the tracks are quite long with the 24-min. ''Enciclica 1168'' being on top with some great interplays.Still I think this is a bit far from the band's masterful debut.

A great addition for a wide range of Prog fans.''LuxAde'' is here to satisfy most listeners, whether Symphonic, Folk, Modern or Heavy Progressive Rock is your thing.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars La Maschera di Cera may be only one of many projects by Finisterre bassist Fabio Zuffanti, but it should be the first port of call for anyone seeking to find new music in the classic Italian prog style of the 1970s. Zuffanti and his colleagues assemble a grand collection of vintage gear (just look at Agostino Macor's range of keyboards, synths, and other electronic toys - there's even a theremin!) and put out an album which, if they'd told me it had been left in a vault for 30 years, I could easily be fooled.

Which isn't to say that this is a pure nostalgia trip, mind - LuxAde interweaves dark majesty approached only, perhaps, by the most thunderous moments of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso with strands of great beauty in a mixture which is the band's own. Very much worth it for all Rock Progressivo Italiano fans.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 4.5 stars! Well, first off, I want to thank Andrea for helping me appreciate this album even more with his wonderful review. And second, I have to mostly agree with the other reviewers here. My only caveat on this album and band is that they definitely work from the 70's Italian prog rock r ... (read more)

Report this review (#216583) | Posted by infandous | Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.5 stars! Well, first off, I want to thank Andrea for helping me appreciate this album even more with his wonderful review. And second, I have to mostly agree with the other reviewers here. My only caveat on this album and band is that they definetly work from the 70's Italian prog rock ... (read more)

Report this review (#83479) | Posted by | Tuesday, July 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Every now and an album comes along that changes the way we hear a particular type of music. For progressive rock it was works like "Close to the Edge", "Foxtrot" and "Dark Side of the Moon." Now in this late period for progressive (but should be noted a renissance of sorts) comes another work ... (read more)

Report this review (#75284) | Posted by | Monday, April 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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