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Aries Double Reign album cover
3.70 | 40 ratings | 3 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Return (6:55)
2. Alone (5:40)
3. Deep Inside (3:33)
4. The House Is Burning (4:34)
5. Voices (4:42)
6. See Through Me (2:14)
7. A Dream Within a Dream (2:42)
8. Space (6:32)
9. I Will Sleep Among the Waves (4:08)
10. Falling Down (4:51)
11. The Moon Rises Again (4:22)
12. Flow (7:34)

Total Time 57:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Fabio Zuffanti / acoustic (11) & electric (1,3,12) guitars, bass, keyboards, sampler, loops, lead (1) & backing vocals, arranger, producer
- Simona Angioloni / lead & backing vocals

- Boris Valle / Fender Rhodes (2), piano (11)
- Roberto Vigo / piano (3,8,10), Fender Rhodes (6), Moog (1), mixing
- Luca Scherani / Wurlitzer (4), keyboards (7), string arrangements
- Vittorio De Scalzi / flute (9)
- Sylvia Trabucco / violin (1,4,5,7,8,12)
- Alberto Bo / violin (4,7,12)
- Ilaria Bruzzone / viola (4,7,12)
- Chiara Alberti / cello (4,7,12)
- Davide Guidoni / drums, drum machine

Releases information

Inspired by the book 'The double reign' by Paola Capriolo

Artwork: Davide Guidoni

CD AMS ‎- AMS192CD (2010, Italy)

Thanks to progshine for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ARIES Double Reign ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ARIES Double Reign reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The second Aries debut evolves lightly from the debut, with leader and multi-instrumentalist Fabio Zuffanti (of Finisterre, La Maschera di Cera and Hostsonaten fame )weaving a music platform for Simona Angioloni's spirited vocal gymnastics, a haunting voice that incorporates tinges of opera , jazz and folk to her usual crystalline pipes. The big progression here is the drum kit being now manned by Davide Guidoni of Tapobran repute, a masterful time keeper who can combine finesse with power whenever needed. "The Return" has a myriad of neo-classical flourishes (nice violin) as well as a swirling Moog solo from Roberto Vigo (Hostsonaten). On "Alone" Simona's voice rekindles memories of Beth Gibbons ( Portishead), a breathy yet anguished plea, skimpily dressed up with some dazzling Boris Valle electric piano (that oft venerated Fender Rhodes, such a gorgeous instrument) and minimalist rhythmic backdrops. "Deep Inside" is poppier , short, pleading and somehow fragile . "The House is Burning" features another classic and utterly distinctive keyboard instrument (the Wurlitzer piano), glowing within the realm of a melancholic string quartet and Simona's wailing vocalized pain. Here the aroma of Kate Bush hovers above like some flaming eagle, the strings emoting strongly. "Voices" gets oddly experimental, almost atonal with pitter-patter percussion, loops, and boatloads of shivering violin. Two short pieces follow, encouraging the odder ambiances; "See Through Me" is keyboards and vocals, while the majestic "A Dream Within A Dream" is the string quartet dueling with some keyboard-backing. "Space" is the hot track here, a heady cocktail of modern folk-prog, somewhat more symphonic is scope, with a superb mellotron/ violin barrage that is quite beguiling. New Trolls legendary Vittorio De Scalzi introduces his flute into the next piece, a haunting slice of musical stupor that conjures images of frozen numbness, as the fluttering flute attempts to warm the soul. Very successful piece that blends well into the punchier "Falling Down", a robotic beat that inspires a lack of balance, a metronomic descent into some abyss of doom, with a tinge of unveiled hysteria that has a Kafka-esque feel to it. "The Moon Rises Again" is definitely more upbeat, lush with undisguised hope and exhortations of "I have found myself, again" and providing a sense of easier listening than the previous tracks. The finale "Flow" is the lengthiest piece clocking in at over 7 minutes and is another highlight, a dirge-like electric mood garnished with that darn string quartet appearing again, while Simona wails unabashed and lets her "spirit flow". An amazing cut , that has much spirit and presence.

While a very decent follow up to the Aries debut, I miss that soaring Fabio Centarini lead guitar that is unavailable here and which made the self-titled album such a proggier universe (read longer tracks such as the masterful "When Night is Almost Done", a bewitching 16 minute masterpiece). Needs more spins but a delightful companion to the vibrant Italian scene. 3.5 stars

Review by Second Life Syndrome
4 stars Fabio Zuffanti is a miracle-worker, in my opinion. This multi-instrumentalist has many projects, including the always amazing Hostsonaten. So, imagine my delight to discover this newer project from Fabio, Aries. This project includes female vocalist, Simona Angieloni; something that is a little out of character for Fabio's other efforts.

"Double Reign" is a very strong album overall. The sound of the album revolves very much around the strong female vocals and also around the use of violin and viola. These two aspects intertwine and play off each other quite a bit, and we are treated to amazing violin solos throughout the album. However, this album also features some stand-out RPI keys and flutes; something that really draws me into the experience. The ambient nature of the keys overlays the tracks with a beautiful surreal nature. Indeed, the entire album has a mystical quality to it.

The album has many facets and tools. From gorgeous piano to relaxing cello to a noteworthy performance on the drums, this album has a technically strong performance style, but it also has heart, atmosphere, and whimsy. Pure beauty with a hint of darkness and sadness is the name of the game here.

A couple good examples of this are "Voices" and "Space", probably my favorite tracks. They are surreal and psychedelic in nature, but the music itself is gorgeous and organic. This mix ends up providing an eclectic palate for the listener that I hope everyone else will give a try. With a great mix of instruments and a strong showing in both vocals and concept, Aries' "Double Reign" should definitely be more well-recognized, especially for fans of iamthemorning, Introitus, or Frequency Drift. Heck, even Kate Bush fans will be satisfied.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 263

Fabio Zuffanti began his musical career in 1994. Since then, he has been involved, as soloist or leader, of numerous groups and projects, such as, Finisterre, La Maschera Di Cera, Hostsonaten, The Shadow Of The Evening, Rohmer, la Zona, Aries, Quadraphonic, Rughe and many others. Over the years it has been measured with a multitude of genres that go from rock to folk, from pop to electronics, to psychedelic and much more. However, the genre for which Zuffanti is internationally more known is undoubtedly the progressive rock. Zuffanti is considered today as one of the most important representatives of the "new generation" of prog. He can be compared to other prog artists like Steven Wilson, Arjen Anthony Lucassen, Neal Morse, Roine Stolt, Clive Nolan and Mike Portnoy, which belong to that generation too.

The music of Zuffanti and of his solo projects is covered by a patina of songwriting and electronic and has sound references of some many bands and artists, such as, Robert Wyatt, Sigur Rós, Lucio Battisti, Franco Battiato, Thom Yorke and many others. Of fundamental importance for Zuffanti is the search for a certain atmosphere suspended between dream and reality that is influenced by other factors no less importants, than musical ones, like the snow, the asphalt, the rain, the mud, the closets, the leaves trampled, the stones, the weird tales and the earthquakes of the soul.

Aries is essentially a duo project by Fabio Zuffanti and Simona Angioloni. With Aries, the Italian workaholic of the modern age creates another facet of his art of playing. Together with the angelic operatic soprano voice of Simona, he offers an intimate, folk and symphonic music. It's elaborated in a musical frame that sets a sort compromise between the modern prog and melodic pop-rock. It's not the complexity, but the subtlety what Aries are more interested. Still, it has its moments of great intensity. They prefer to handle the momentum in a serene way, instead to be too dramatic.

Aries released two albums, their eponymous debut and "Double Reign". But, unlike their debut, "Double Reign" is a conceptual album. It's based on an Italian novel with the same name by Paola Capriolo, "Il Doppio Regno". The story is about a diary written by a woman who doesn't remember her name and has something of a hazy recollection of the events that led to this situation. She does remember that she was at a seaside resort towards the end of the season when she saw a tidal wave approaching the shore. She fled the town, up a hill, and came to a large, single storey building, a hotel. She finds it difficult to communicate, because of her stress and can't report the tidal wave. She is offered a room and lies down on the bed, not waking up till the next morning. Then she finds that she is the only guest at the hotel, which no one seems to know what happened in the town, there are no newspapers and none of the staff seems to know where the exit is. She stays there for like a long time, gradually losing her memory of her previous life and her sense of self. It's a disturbing story about identity and reality and who we are and how we can communicate.

"Aries" has a very dark atmosphere, is very melancholic, and yet, is very beautiful. Definitely, this is an album with a very ambient sound and with a very interesting mix of prog, pop, folk and Gothic, which can perfectly seen on the track "Alone". All these elements can be found on this album. The way that Fabio does it, make it beautiful to listen to. It's not too pop, too Gothic or too dark, especially due to the very beautiful voice of Simona. Permanent parts of this album are the string instruments, the violins, viola and cellos. They really add the real atmosphere the album needed. This is very beautiful with a real classic touch. The album is so beautiful that you need to see the textures and getting to the story, because all the songs, all the chapters, are build up inside the story, which is very interesting to see, really. The album has also many traces of classical influences. A good example of those classical influences and of the beauty of Simona's voice can be found on the track "The House Is Burning". Here we can have a good impression how beautiful this album is and what Aries is all about. I really like of this dark atmosphere all over the album. The keyboards are also very impressive. We can see heavy keyboards, in the same vein of Arjen of Ayreon, as happens on the track "Space".

Conclusion: If "Aries" is basically a smooth semi symphonic prog album, "Double Reign" is a more modern sounding album. If "Double Reign" has lost part of the potential originality, characterized by the angelical vocals, the dreamy keyboard lines and the sentimental guitar work, it keeps a balance between laid back, almost lounge atmospheric tunes and contemporary prog adventures with a strong melodic sense. The biggest weapon on the whole release is some beautiful string sections providing the classical depth. The music in general follows an ethereal mood with atmospheric soundscapes and few are the moments of a higher energy, which are only used a bit more to get a better result. It has great arrangement quality, melodiousness and the interplay between all musicians is nice. This is another excellent respectable album of the female fronted prog rock. It represents another proof of Zuffanti's deep stylistic diversity.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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