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Dropshard Anywhere But Home album cover
3.62 | 34 ratings | 7 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Look Ahead (1.23)
2. Anywhere But Home (6.23)
3. Images of Mind (6.00)
4. A Cold Morning (4.19)
5. Again (1.09)
6. Changing Colours (8.17)
7. A New Beginning (5.06)
8. Look Behind (1.24)

Total Time: 34:01

Bonus track:
9. Freedom Supermarket (4.28)

Line-up / Musicians

- Enrico Scanu / lead vocals, acoustic guitar, flute
- Sebastiano Benatti / guitar, backing vocals
- Alex Stucchi / bass, backing vocals
- Tommaso Mangione / drums and percussion
- Tommaso Selleri / keyboards

Releases information

CD Sonic Vista Music SVRCD017 (2011 UK)

Thanks to bonnek for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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DROPSHARD Anywhere But Home ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

DROPSHARD Anywhere But Home reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by J-Man
4 stars Italy is a country that's always had a pretty strong prog metal scene, and Dropshard is now the latest addition to that list. Taking influences from the traditional American school of progressive metal and then adding plenty of influences from neo-prog and atmospheric rock, this band has definitely gotten off on the right foot with Anywhere But Home. The band was formed in 2007 and completed two demos before releasing their debut full-length, Anywhere But Home, in 2011. This is a strikingly mature and beautiful work of art that can be looked at as one of the best progressive rock/metal debuts in recent memory. People who enjoy progressive metal with touches of ambient and a neo-prog flavor will definitely want to check out this top-notch band. This album took a few listens to really "grab" me, but it was certainly worth every single one.

Anywhere But Home is an album that doesn't seem too original on the surface, but, in reality, Dropshard's sound is quite unique. Taking the atmosphere of Marillion's masterpiece that was Brave and seamlessly blending it with the sound of progressive metal legends like Dream Theater and Pain of Salvation, Dropshard has successfully created an album that significantly distances itself from the seas of Dream Theater clones. The music itself is highly enjoyable, and filled with memorable compositions, instrumental prowess, and beautiful harmonized vocals. Picking a highlight is difficult since the album (aside from the final bonus track) forms a conceptual story that feels more like one piece than 8 separate tracks. In terms of musicianship, I especially have to give a nod to Enrico Scanu for the terrific vocals. The atmospheric keyboards from Marco Zago are also impressive; his playing style can often be compared to Mark Kelly (of Marillion fame). The guitar playing from Sebastiano Benatti is pretty diverse - he can transition from metal riffs to Gilmour-influenced solos in the blink of an eye. The rhythm section isn't too shabby either; the bass playing from Alex Stucchi drives the band perfectly, and Tommaso Mangione's complex and refined drumming is also noteworthy. Overall, this band sounds professional and experienced. It's almost hard to believe that they're so young, and that this is only their debut album.

The production is also very professional, while maintaining a raw and clean sound throughout. This is the perfect sound for virtually any progressive rock/metal album.

Anywhere But Home really took me by surprise. Every now and again an obscure modern group will pop up on your radar that really has something special; Dropshard fits this description like a glove. Although I'm confident they will improve even more as time passes by, this is certainly a far-above-average album well deserving of 4 shiny stars. People who enjoy bands like Marilion and Pain of Salvation should definitely give this promising Italian act a spin - you won't regret it.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars DROPSHARD attracted my attention due to an interesting mix of (prog) styles in general. And indeed ... although labeled as a heavy rock respectively prog metal band, in my opinion they often come close to Mirek Gil's Believe project in style. This means, when listening to their debut, you'll stumble upon powerful impressions with heavy guitar riffs as well as many sections built-up by more charming melodic elements. No matter what happens ... Enrico Scanu's vocals are convincing in any case.

Basically 'Anywhere But Home' is made of two songs, the eponymous suite consisting of eight segments plus one additional bonus track. Not that this should be important for me ... but I can't find anything which would point to their Italian origin. First they Look Ahead when offering a melancholic intro with great vocal harmonies and orchestral keyboard strings. This fades into the core segment decorated with a memorable main melody - and sums up my introduction from a stylistical point of view - virtuoso moments featuring crashing guitars and powerful rhythm branch are alternating with heart-wrenching melodic impressions - fantastico!

And this basically perpetuates furthermore. Well put keyboard, piano, synth input by Tommaso Selleri all over, which manifested finally because I took the time for several listening sessions. Images Of Mind comes up with some really tricky moments. Acoustic guitars and nice vocal harmonies again are dominating the short ballad Again where A New Beginning comes from the metal side of life distinctly. The bonus track superficially bears a more straightforward rocking behaviour then, but you won't miss some complex and cunning approach too.

All in all this thoroughly could also be labeled as heavy neo prog, if you ask me. Technically played on a high level 'Anywhere But Here' is a recommended output, entertaining due to a carefully thought out concept concerning the musical flow. Fans of Polish neo prog should have a try here, as well as lovers of heavier bands in the vein of Riverside and Dream Theater - solid 4 stars finally, basta!

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Anywhere But Home is the debut full-length studio album by Italian progressive metal act Dropshard. The album was released in February 2011 through the UK based label Sonic Vista Music.

The music on the album sits somewhere between progressive metal, neo-prog ( I especially hear nods toward the Polish scene, but Steve Hogarth-led Marillion is also an influence IMO) and progressive rock ( mainly mid to late seventies Genesis). Dropshard seamlessly blend their influences into a coherent style, that may not be revolutionizing, but certainly is intriguing. Itīs obvious that all four musicians playing on the album are very skilled, and besides their considerable instrumental skills, Iīm pretty impressed by the great harmony vocals on the album. Lead vocalist Enrico Scanu masters both soft mellow vocals and louder more powerful vocals too.

The 38:29 minute long album consists of 9 tracks. The first 8 tracks on the album are a concept piece ( or a suite) while the last track on the album called Freedom Supermarket is a stand alone piece. The songs are dynamic and explore both harder edged progressive metal riffing and more mellow progressive rock pieces. This makes for a very varied listen and at no point do the band fail to entertain.

The production is professional and fits the music.

Anywhere But Home didnīt impress me like I had hoped the first time I listened to the album, but upon repeated spins the album has grown on me and Iīve ended up really enjoying the album. A 3.5 star rating is deserved.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Italian band DROPSHARD was formed in the fall of 2007 by Benatti (guitars), Stucchi (bass) and Mangione (drums). As the band evolved, their line-up was completed by Scanu (vocals) and Sellari (keyboards), and demo tapes were scored. "Anywhere but Home" is their debut album and was released by Sonic Vista Recordings at the start of 2011.

Italian act Dropshard has crafted a strong and elegant debut with "Anywhere but Home", a piece of progressive metal that should have a generally broad appeal. Moods and melodies are emphasized, the arrangements are dampened. and the compositions as such utilize elements from the art rock universe extensively. Well worth giving a spin, with fans of bands like Riverside and Sylvan a likely key audience.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Cloudy day music with nice contrasts

Dropshard is a Milan based progressive metal/heavy rock band who have released an impressive debut album with "Anywhere But Home." The first band they reminded me of was fellow Italians Novembre whose "Materia" album also had a cloudy, grey sky melancholia which Dropshard also taps into. But it's a sonically lovely sadness when it comes. I think Riverside has to be an influence on these guys as well. The album's long suite is very guitar oriented with vocals and vocal harmonies that are often soothing to the music's heaviness (vocals are English btw). While the synths are often modern and atmospheric, even neo-proggish, what makes the experience for me are those little serene interludes that are reminiscent of Italian rock...the traditional piano, acoustic guitar, even a little bit of flute in there. The electric leads can be really soaring and emotional placing presence above any kind of shredding or bravado. The drumming rocks but is restrained enough to not take over the recording, something which spoils certain albums for me. My favorite moments come during the instrumental break of "A Cold Morning" featuring a lovely blending of the guitar solo with flute. "Anywhere But Home" is an engaging and recommended softer metal album which will please a wide variety of listeners. The debut also benefits from a 34 minute length which I love, most albums do not need to be 75 minutes long just for the hell of it. Kudos on the wonderful album cover art. A bonus track is also included. This would appear to be a band with good potential to go places compositionally, even commercially.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars A suite of powerful symphonic musicianship and prog metal.

I have had this album "Anywhere But Home" in my possession for a long time after the artists kindly sent it to me, and it somehow ended up on the bottom of a huge pile of prog, so apologies for taking so long to review it! My first impression is that it was actually heavier than I anticipated. The album cover almost looked a bit folk prog, an impressionist painting depicting a couple of kids dancing away from each other, and I was in more of a mood for a heavier style. So I was delighted that at least there were some great metal riffs to lock onto and a very distinct sound like Riverside or Porcupine Tree. The first thing that grabbed me was the very accomplished guitar work of Sebastiano Benatti that dominates throughout. The lead vocals of Enrico Scanu are crystal clean and very easy on the ears, reaching high octaves and maintaining powerful strong melodies. He also plays some flute and acoustic guitar. On bass is Alex Stucchi, backed up by well-executed percussion by Tommaso Mangione. The Dream Theater sound alike sections are mostly due to massive keyboard runs by Tommaso Selleri. For a young band the sound is quite mature overall and the album is a solid debut for Dropshard.

The music is dynamic, a suite of songs that run together with a concept, presented in huge blasts of metal juxtaposed with ambient swathes of symphonic keyboards. There is certainly a heavy texture with chugging distorted guitars but the everpresent keyboards underneath are reminiscent of Riverside's style, along with the pristine vocals. There are no epics to speak of, the longest song being the innovative 8:17 minute Changing Colours, and most of the songs are driven by melody or mood changes rather than complex or diverse time sig changes. Lead breaks are always something to look forward to and this album is no exception, with some exceptional shredding from Benatti.

One of the best tracks is undoubtedly the aforementioned 8 minute song, that builds in intensity from ambience to downright fierce axe work; the finale especially crunches and gains tempo to one of the heavier moments on the album. There is also a terrific heavy interchange of guitar riffing in A Cold Morning, a track that is well worth checking out to taste what the band is capable of cranking out. The low dense guitar sound is akin to Opeth or Dream Theater, a darker sound but always kept in balance with the crystalline uplifting vocals. A New Beginning is another outstanding track with melodic metal, and an infectious riff that locks into your skull. The running time for the album is only 34 minutes although the 4 and a half minute bonus track Freedom Supermarket enhances the album, ending it with some very heavy shades of metal. This track has a powerful keyboard motif augmented by lashings of intense metal riffing. The track also features some high falsetto work from Scanu. Overall the debut for Dropshard is a promising start to another new prog metal band, offering nothing that might be considered new as such, but nevertheless delivering a rock-solid album of symphonic nuances and advanced metal phrases. 3 and a half stars easily and room for improvement with a follow up album that the prog community should look forward to.

Latest members reviews

4 stars 'Anywhere But Home' is the first full-length release of Italian band DROPSHARD. It has a variety of songs, from the pastoral 'Look Ahead' to despair laden 'Changing Colours', from acoustic 'Again' to closing track 'Look Behind'. There's darker edged bonus 'Freedom Supermarket' also. Their mus ... (read more)

Report this review (#934943) | Posted by PH | Monday, March 25, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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