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Garden Wall

Progressive Metal

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Garden Wall The Seduction Of Madness album cover
3.48 | 28 ratings | 7 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Horizon Of Events (6:05)
2. Taenia (4:45)
3. W8less (6:49)
4. Noia (5:53)
5. Strange Appetites (Pornopazzia) (4:54)
6. Le Ch?teau Fou (6:08)
7. All The Best Years (My Top Ten) (3:21)
8. The Doll (8:27)
9. Blurp (1:46)
10. Sedation (Of Madness) (7:51)

Total Time: 55:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Mauro Olivo / keyboards, piano, flute
- Fabrizio Zidarich / 6-string bass, 5-string fretless bass
- Alessandro Seravalle / vocals, guitars, keyboards
- Camillo Colleluori / drums

Special guest:
- Kikko Grosso / vocals (4)

Releases information

CD Music Is Intelligence WMMS080 (1995) Germany

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Cesar Inca for the last updates
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GARDEN WALL The Seduction Of Madness ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GARDEN WALL The Seduction Of Madness reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
3 stars Let me start off by telling you that other than their name, they really have nothing in common with GENESIS. After you hear the first track you will hear exactly what I am talking about ! Get ready to be bombarded with relentless heavy riffs and deep toned instrumentation. These guys take their lessons from DREAM THEATER, KENSO, HAPPY FAMILY and most certainly KING CRIMSON. "The Seduction Of Madness" is a very harsh album which definitely makes noise... and lots of it. The Peter HAMMILLl-like shrieking vocals can be a bit over the top at times for me (my only real criticism) but otherwise this is a killer album. The hectic, frenzied pace of some of the instrumentation most of which are in odd meter really draws home the KENSO and HAPPY FAMILY comparisons. Usually the metal tones on the guitar and drums (lots of double bass) usually would bother me but they are played so convincingly and melted into the music so well that it becomes almost irrelevant. This album is for those days when you want some real heavy pulsating prog rock with a clever and original twist. Through all the heaviness one can find a lot of beauty in this album and will be a "love or hate" kind of album for most I suspect... put me down in the Love category on this one...
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If you ever dreamed of a fiery combination of modern King Crimson, 75-76 era VdGG and prog metal, in an amalgam both explosive and captivating. well, all you have to do is pay a close listen to Garden Wall's third album "The Seduction of Madness". After a debut album that was leaned closer toward the current lines of neo-prog and a second album that was mostly epic and grandiose, Garden Wall is determined to show off with full vengeance the dissonant angst that previously had remained somewhat deterred. Saravalle's aggressive guitar playing and neurotic singing are now the main focus in the production and arrangements of the new repertoire, though his (still by then) partner Olivo manages to assume a significant role on his keyboards with skill and full inventiveness: the orchestrations, chord progressions and counterpart solos fill spaces and create a solid bridge between the guitar riffs and the rhythm section. Speaking of which, it would be unfair not to state that the amount of energy dispensed to the complex rhythm patterns by Zidarich and Colleluori prove to be quite effective in terms of enhancing the potential power inherent to the compositions. The conviction and commitment are so obvious in the band's overall performances that the listener can easily notice that this is the prog trend that the band feels most related to: they're past the turning point and now they're enthusiastically engaged to a road of no return. The Hawkins-inspired 'Horizon of Events' kicks off the album as a direct manifesto of what Garden Wall is all about, and the next two numbers follow in the same path of dissonance and harsh pyrotechnics. But there comes the bittersweet ballad 'Noia', on piano and voice only: special guest Kikko Grosso - of Asgard fame- delivers a heart-felt tenuous cadence to this number, pouring out his melancholy until he feels "empty as a stage when it's all over". As a ballad, 'Noia' serves as a momentary relief, but lyrically the tension of souls is carried on. Later on, 'Strange Appetites (Pornopazzia)', 'La Chateau Fou' and 'Blurp' exhibit the most bizarre and accomplished passages in the album, with Olivo adding some occasional colours on flute. In all three cases, the emergence of carnival-like atmospheres in the synth layers and tempos give a certain air of macabre playfulness to the overall sound - irresistible! On the other hand, the band stretches out their sonic power in 'The Doll', focusing steadfastly on their metallic side. Finally, 'All the Best Years' sounds like a tribute to 80s KC, while the closure 'Sedation (of Madness)' sees the band drawing a bit closer to symphonic realms, thus allowing the album to be closed down with a touch of extravagant solemnity. In conclusion: "The Seduction of Madness" is a perfect musical paradise for lovers of the most delirious side of prog rock, and generally speaking, one of the best prog recordings of the 90s. 4 and a half stars for this one, indeed.
Review by NJprogfan
3 stars For the life of me, I'm trying to remember why I bought this album a few years ago and I can't come up with an answer. I'm not a fan of prog metal and I don't have any other types of this kind of prog to judge/compare it to. So, I'll just come out and say it's not my type of music, BUT, it has some merit. Seravalle's vocals fly all over the place. He reminds me of the dude from the Italian band Deus Ex Machina if that particular band leaned towards metal. In spots, there's a definate Fish era Marillion sound to his vocals but for the most part, it's a screetch-fest with some toned down singing on tracks like 'Noia', which is the sole ballad. There's Fripp-like guitar on the first track but for most of the time Seravalle's guitar sounds like a car having a hard time starting, it just grinds and grinds. They do mix things up a bit with some carnival-like melodies and some looped sound effects, (babies crying and phones ringing). Keyboards are keep in the background but will occasionally pop up front for a run or two. It's mainly a showcase for Seravalle's vocals and guitar wailings. I will admit at times I want to throw this disc out my car window, yet I'm totally intrigued by the balls these guys have throwing around time signatures and the ultra goofy lyrics. I can't for sanity's sake give it anything more than three stars, although 2.5 is more like it. If you're a prog metal fan you may give it higher marks but three it is. A one of a kind disc in my collection for sure. For adventurous prog fans only!
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars At first, I thought this is the band in the vein of Genesis by looking at the name. So at that time I thought that it's something like Pallas, Jadis, IQ or other neo progressive band. But when I spun the album at the first time I was quite shocked that the music was quite heavy and it's in totally different vein than any album Genesis has ever released. It's not totally progressive metal like what we have typically listened to like Dream Theater or the like - even though there is some elements of the music that are similar. I think the band has tried to appear differently from typical riff-based heavy progressive metal music. In general, the music is rough with some heavy riffs and guitar solo with some flavors of symphonic music.

The opening track "Horizon Of Events" (6:05) proves to be varied in styles starting with screaming vocal at start followed with guitar riffs which do not indicate the sound of typical progressive music. Indeed, the riffs remind me to the music of King Crimson. The music style combines ups and downs in different styles, textured by riffs and powerful combination of drums and vocals.

"Taenia" (4:45) is a unique song in itself because at start of the music it demonstrates a music in prog met vein but in the middle of the track there is a break with unique organ sound. It moves to the next track with more on symphonic style than regular progressive metal "W8less" (6:49) where the heavy riffs join the music later. The combined work of keyboard, drums, bass and guitars is excellent. The song also contains inventive keyboard solo augmented by dynamic basslines. The intro part is quite long until vocal enters in the middle of the track. The music is diverse in style with many ups and downs throughout the track. The more I listen to this album the more I like it.

It then suddenly moves to a break with wonderful piano work in "Noia" (5:53) to accompany low register notes vocal line. Listening to this intro part you would not believe if someone categorizes this album as progressive metal album. I think the piano work is played with top skills of Mauro Olivo. Alessandro Seravalle sings beautifully here. Yes, you might remember bands like Genesis, Marillion or Yes when you are listening to this track only.

"Strange Appetites (Pornopazzia) " (4:54) is a pure instrumental. It starts off with a relatively complex intro in the vein of King Crimson / Gentle Giant music with excellent guitar work combined with dynamic drumming and keyboards. The intro part is really powerful and enjoyable for most of you who like progressive music. At approx 2:55 minutes the music turns into faster tempo with more complex arrangements followed by excellent keyboard work. .

The music continues nicely with "Le Château Fou " (6:08) in similar vein like previous song but this time is something similar to circus music. What surprising is the inclusion of flute right before the vocal enters the music. It's really good, power metal combined with flute. The vocal enters nicely to the music and the music still continues in symphonic style.

"All The Best Years (My Top Ten)" (3:21) is an excellent instrumental track with great flute work combined with soft guitar riffs and melody at break. There are many inventive segments this song demonstrates. It proves that the music of Garden Wall is quite diverse in styles. "The Doll" (8:27) is the longest track in this album and it demonstrates how the boys in the band wer quite creative in songwriting al well as putting it together in an excellent. Like other tracks, this one also offers unexpected curved lines in terms of structure but the whole segments constitute cohesive effort. "Blurp" (1:46) is a wonderful bridge with great flute work and complex arrangement which brings the album to the concluding, album title, track "Seduction (Of Madness)" (7:51). It starts in grandiose style through a combination of repetitive piano work augmented beautifully with a series of blast music followed with stunning piano solo combined with other instruments. There are many ups and downs in beautiful way. When vocal enters the music it reminds me to Gentle Giant choir line. So how are gonna categorize this album? It's truly a prog album because it delivers a series of mystique.

Overall, I do not think this album is a full progressive metal album that you might have thought a proximity with Dream Theater or other progressive metal albums. If you look into deep the music of Garden Wall, you would agree with me that the music has heavy riffs but they do not dominate the whole segments in the album. Some tracks, in fact, have no progressive metal elements at all like the title track. What I would suggest is that this album is worth collecting, it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. The music is a blend of King Crimson, Gentle Giant, and a bit of Dream Theater or Symphony X.Keep on proggin'..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Garden Wall is a progressive metal band from Italy with some albums in their pockets but never makeing any noise about theirt music. They are almost in underground, even they have more than 15 years behind in music. Onestly Garden Wall is un underrated band who desearve a better place in prog metal zone. The musicianship is tight, well played album with a lot of twist and turns, time signature all the time makes from this third album The seduction of madness from 1995 a real prog metal winner. Asd I said on next album Chimica from 1997, the music thay play are not very common, even for a prog metal listner, but after you get wats is all about you end up love this band and the way they play. All the tracks are good, maybe a little better the instrumental passages than the one with voice, but as a whole is good no doubt. I will give a solid 3 stars for this album, good one all the way , but, there is a but, sometimes I thinks this album lacks of emotions, and the originality is quite hard to find these days, but doesn;t mean is bad, not by far. If you are a prog metal listner give this band a try, they worth without any doubts a better view.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I must say that if there is one thing this band is, it is original. To hear pounding, complex, metal riffs interspersed with lounge type keyboard parts is quite interesting to me. At times I feel like Gentle Giants keyboardist joined a prog death metal band. The singing is like what you might ... (read more)

Report this review (#117162) | Posted by infandous | Monday, April 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Once again Garden Wall returns with their own brand of creative prog rock / progressive metal and from the very start of this album you know your in for something different.... This is their 3rd album and the more prevelant metal influences can clearly be heard even though they still manage to ... (read more)

Report this review (#2856) | Posted by | Friday, October 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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