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THREEFOUR

Phoenix Again

Neo-Prog


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Phoenix Again ThreeFour album cover
3.96 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Agli amici scomparsi (7:25)
2. Eppur si muore (5:57)
3. Spring (6:31)
4. Lindberg (6:24)
5. Cianuro puro (5:29)
6. I bambini nascono per vivere felici (9:07)
7. What can I do? (2:20)
8. Autumn (2:34)
9. Quiete sulla luna... (7;50)
10.Aquarius time (9:57)
11.Free Ireland (5:38)
12.The phoenix flies again (2:42)

Total Time 71:54

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Claudio Lorandi (R.I.P.) / lead guitar, voices
- Antonio Lorandi / bass
- Sergio Lorandi / guitars
- Silvano Silva / drums, percussion


Releases information

CD AMS / BTF PA001 (2011)

Thanks to damoxt7942 for the addition
and to aapatsos for the last updates
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PHOENIX AGAIN ThreeFour ratings distribution


3.96
(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(89%)
89%
Good, but non-essential (0%)
0%
Collectors/fans only (11%)
11%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

PHOENIX AGAIN ThreeFour reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'ThreeFour' - Phoenix Again (7/10)

Drawing a parallel with the UK proggers in BunChakeze, Phoenix Again are a remnant of the eighties that have only recently divulged their art to the world. Originally called Phoenix, they formed in '81 and met some anticipation by those aware of their music. Though some of Phoenix's music found its way into the studio, they could not find a way to release it. By the late nineties, Phoenix had all but split, and it was conceivable that their music would never find the ears of proggers at large. Following the tragic death of guitarist Claudio Lorandi however, Phoenix (now styled as Phoenix Again) opted to release their music at long last. With that in mind, "ThreeFour" is a compilation of sorts, consisting of tracks all recorded over a decade past. It's understandable then that it contends with a weak sense of flow, and though Phoenix Again plays a familiar neo-prog style, this music deserved to be released.

Filled with melodic lead guitar and bright synths, Phoenix Again feels very much a product of the 'transition' era of prog, lodged between the vintage nostalgia of the seventies and a yearning to expand outward. Though the late guitarist Claudio Lorandi is cited as doing the 'voices' for Phoenix Again, this album is almost purely instrumental, save for a short interlude at the end of "I bambini nascono per vivere felici" where a children's choir ambles on to give the prog a breather. Musically speaking, Phoenix Again sticks to composition- oriented, melodic rock. Though there are no pesky lyrics to write verses around, "ThreeFour" is dominated by structure-based tunes, often relying upon Claudio's tasteful leads to guide the band. Synthesizers are also used in a similar context, although "ThreeFour" is certainly a guitarist's haven. The other instruments here fill a secondary role, although every musician is worthy of respect. Lorandi brothers Sergio and Antonio get a driving pulse across with their rhythm and bass work. Silvano Silva does not take the artistic license to madness I am used to hearing from instrumental prog drummers, instead going for an upbeat energy that directly compliments what's going on at the forefront. Overall, Phoenix Again perform with skill and taste.

The compositions are quite diverse, and as a result, "ThreeFour" often reminds itself that it is a compilation of tracks, thanks to a fairly hodge-podge sense of flow. Fortunately, the quality of music and production is generally consistent, although the two 'epic' tracks "I bambini nascono per vivere felici" and "Aquarius Time" both stand out as particular highlights, giving the time necessary for the Phoenix to spread its wings and explore some ways beyond the confines of their compositions. The brief "What Can I Do?" is also a gem; a two minute escape into a dream world I would sooner expect out of post-rock. "Cianuro Puro" is another surprise, moving away from the album's general pleasantry in exchange for a somewhat creepy dive into gothic-symphonic rock.

Though I imagine that this hour of music is not nearly enough to grasp what Phoenix must have done in their careers together, "ThreeFour" is a very good record. Their often 'soaring' brand of instrumental rock occasionally sounds a little tame for its own good, but Phoenix Again throws a handful of more adventurous moments our way as well. Although- to my knowledge- Phoenix will not be rising once again, it is cool to finally get to hear their music, in spite of the tragedy that provoked its release.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#777367) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 25, 2012

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Phoenix Again are a lost 1980's Italian progressive band who never got around around to releasing an LP in their heyday, but have since compiled all their music onto this one album `ThreeFour'. I tend to think that the music was written at that time, but properly recorded in our modern era for this album. This will likely be their only release, due to the death of their beloved guitar player and founding member Claudio Lorandi. Therefore, this album is probably considered as a one-off tribute to the man, and the band couldn't have put out a more deserving memento. It's a wonderfully varied and lush instrumental progressive album filled with tasteful and tuneful arrangements that frequently highlight what a talent their guitarist was, in addition to the skills of the rest of the band.

I find it strange that this band has been listed as a neo-prog band, which is far too limiting a description! When you listen to the album for the first time, several of the tracks have far more in common with the symphonic and romantic prog artists such as Rousseau, Camel, Terpandre and even the more recent Sanhedrin. In other words, lovely melodic instrumental prog rock. `ThreeFour' does eventually come across as a positive and bright neo-prog album like the Jadis debut `More than Meets The Eye' and the self-titled Index album, too.

All the tracks are loaded with soaring electric guitar solos, warm acoustic playing, bravura bass playing, varied drumming and waves of lush keyboard sounds. Despite the band being comprised of the three Lorandi brothers, with Silvano Silva on drums and percussion, the CD booklet doesn't seem to credit who plays the keyboards! The synths all over the album are mostly used to subtly colour the backgrounds of the music, with only occasional flashy solos.

In an album filled with all quality material, there's a few real highlights that truly stand out. The first track `Agli Amici Scomparsi' sets the standard for the rest of the album. Warm acoustic guitar playing, a lovely evocative violin melody and gentle flute makes the track something that wouldn't sound out of place on Camel's much-loved `Snow Goose'. It's soon joined by evocative mellotron and joyful rising electric guitar action before a stomping finale.

The majestic `Lindberg' has a grand and regal melodic electric guitar line, along with killer solos and Hackett like acoustic moments. This sounds like a classic early 70's Genesis instrumental without being a total imitation, and there's a beautiful uplifting quality to the piece.

`Quiete'' flies through a number of different styles and ideas within it's near 8 minutes. Like a heavenly crossing of early Pendragon and Camel in the beginning, before dancing back and forth between snappy 80's Yes-like guitar runs and upbeat Wakeman synth attacks, chugging bass playing and pounding drums. The guitar solo at the ends partly reminds me of the final track on Ange's `Au-Dela Du Delire'!

The 9 minute `Aquarius Time' has a harsh electronic introduction before an extended fluid and tasteful electric guitar solo from Claudio that snakes it's way along the track, through washes of Mellotron and dramatic drumming. Would probably be hailed as a classic track if it was from an IQ album!

The rest of the album offers plenty of interesting music. There's twisted metallic funk on `Cianuro Puro', the Split Enz-like quirky reggae of `I Bambini'.', the dirty jazzy grooves of `Autumn', medieval acoustic folk ballads like `What Can I do?', harder scorching riffs on `Eppur Si Muore' (but with a sumptuous acoustic solo in the finale), bouncy synth and guitar interplay in the appropriately titled `Spring' and haunting shimmering ballads in `The Phoenix Flies Again'.

Despite that this release is something of a `compilation' of all their material, with a wildly varying display of styles and genres throughout, the album never sounds too disjointed or uneven. Certainly the sound quality is always consistently full and clear, and doesn't come across as fragments taken from years of recordings. But there's so much great material on offer here that likely many listeners will find plenty to appreciate, making it a perfect prog album to gently unwind to.

`Threefour' is played with great love and energy, and there really couldn't be a finer way to commemorate not only the late Claudio Lorandi's talent, but the skills of the entire band. It's now here for us all to enjoy, no longer confined to a lost chapter in the progressive rock genre.

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Send comments to Aussie-Byrd-Brother (BETA) | Report this review (#810599) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 26, 2012

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