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Alex Carpani Band

Symphonic Prog

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Alex Carpani Band 4 Destinies album cover
3.72 | 41 ratings | 3 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Silk Road (13:00)
2. Time Spiral (13:32)
3. Sky and Sea (14:04)
4. The Infinite Room (14:18)

Total Time 54:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Alex Carpani / piano, Hammond, Mellotron, Moog, vocals, composer, orchestration

- Joe Sal / vocals
- Ettore Salati / acoustic, 12-string & electric guitars, bouzouki, balalaika
- David Jackson / tenor, alto & soprano saxophones, flutes
- Giambattista Giorgi / 5-string bass
- Alessandro Di Caprio / drums
- Cristiano Roversi / arrangements, production & mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Michelangelo Pistoletto (The Etruscan statue) with Alex Carpani (photo)

CD Festival Music ‎- 201403 (2014, UK)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ALEX CARPANI BAND 4 Destinies ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ALEX CARPANI BAND 4 Destinies reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
3 stars It appears that fate has had quite a part to play in Carpani's career, as being in the same class as Aaron Emerson, and having the opportunity to meet his father Keith at the tender age of 7 started his interest in progressive rock and keyboards from a young age. Later, when recovering from an accident he took the opportunity to compose and record what ended up being his debut album, 'Waterline', which was released in 2006. Since that time he has formed a full band and has toured much of the world (although not this area I note). The second album followed in 2010, and now he is back with the third. This album features all of the Alex Carpani Band with Alex providing all keyboards and lead vocals, Ettore Salati on guitars, GB Giorgi on bass, Alessandro Di Caprio on drums and Joe Sal on additional vocals. In addition, David Jackson (VDGG) adds various saxophones and flutes as special guest, while it has been produced by Cristiano Roversi (Moongarden, John Wetton Band, Submarine Silence, CCLR).

4 Destinies is a progressive rock concept based on four eventual destinies that a man can find on the path of his life. Alex states that there are four destinies that irradiate, moving from the same point, in four different directions of life... and needless to say this is depicted in four songs, all of which are thirteen minutes or more in length. If one was asked what country Alex hails from, I think that many progheads would fathom a guess at Italy as although his style may be more symphonic at times, then there is no doubt that the Italian scene has had a major impact on his music. The use of Jackson is really interesting, as although there are times when he is very much in step with the rest of the music there are also times, such as on "Sky and Sea", where there are passages where he is producing a melody that is almost as odds with the rest of the band. There is a fine line here between creating chaos and providing emphasis and he just stays on the right side of the line but it is a close call at times. From ballads to more powerful numbers, this is an album that is quite atmospheric, and while never getting to the same dizzy heights as Goblin also have nods in the same direction.

There are times when the contrast between the instruments, and the arrangements being deployed, makes on think that here is something that is going to veer off into avant-garde jazz territory, but it always comes back safely to the prog side. Overall this is an intriguing and interesting album, while never being truly essential, but worth hearing all the same.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This one has taken me a long time to really get a grip on. At first its jazziness captivated me. But then the more I listened to it I was hearing the GENESISness of it--and the PETER GABRIEL-like voice and vocal stylings. Then, more and more the imitativeness of GENESIS and other early prog masters like VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR came forward. Now I don't know how well I like this one.

1. "Silk Road" (12:58) is very much like a heavier THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE song made to excel by its constant morphing into a wide, wide variety of styles and tempos: awesome Italian singing parts, classical and jazzy piano parts, chunky bass, bouncy organ play, breathy flute soli, Gabriel-era Genesis background vocals, 70s era synths, 70s-sounding drums, and many tasteful solos. The continuous shape-shifting, however, does take its toll: It detracts from allowing this song to form an identity of its own; in the end I am left with the impression that this song was made to be a show piece (of the artist's skills). (8/10)

2. "Time Spiral" (13:22) opens like an old GENESIS song--one that was left off of Selling England by the Pound. It then settles into Neo territory--very imitative with plenty of melody but really with nothing new or innovative. But then the third minute seems to shake the mold with some more modern--no. (Fourth minute) Just my imagination. It's Neo. Pleasant enough stuff. KNIGHT AREA comes to mind. Unlike the album's first song, this one seems to want to plod along at the same pace, with a very predictable form and structure. The blatant GENESIS rip off beginning at 8:21 a bit is disappointing. Luckily it is soon followed by a jazzier KC/VDGG-like section. A Steve Hackett solo tries to fit in at the ten minute mark. ERIS PLUVIS anyone? Nice work. Again the singing in Italian may be the song's saving point. (8/10)

3. "Sky and Sea" (13:53) opens with a delicate weave of GENESIS-like instruments including 12-string guitars and clarinet. The Gabriel-era GENESIS vocal that joins in completes the song's obvious GENESIS reference. The B Sections move, again, into more VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR territory, until at 2:45 an amorphous bridge moves back into GENESIS territory with mellotrons and organ. The vocalist's likeness to Genesis-era Peter Gabriel is truly extraordinary. I guess the presence of Genesis-imitator THE WATCH's guitarist and VDGG's David Jackson throughout this album could also have something to do with its Genesis and VDGG sounds. The soft almost-spoken vocal part in the eleventh and twelfth minutes sound much like Fish-era MARILLION. This is probably my favorite song on the album--if you can get past its obvious roots and influences. (9/10)

4. "The Infinite Room" (14:17) opens with some untempoed piano and saxes--very VDGG- like. As the soundtrack feel builds a tempo seems to solidify until at the two minute mark drums and guitars take over to provide a foundation for a Richard Wright-like echoed synth solo. Mid-tempo Rock tempo is established for the vocal (again very Genesis-era Peter Gabriel-esque). At 3:55 a very COLLAGE Moonshine-like section begins, but it eventually morphs back into the vocal part--which turns from English to Italian at the end of the sixth minute. Dracula is mentioned just before the Richard Wright synths are let loose again. Grand piano takes over with the advent of the seventh minute before a more RPI familiar section takes over. Solos from multiple instruments are being traded until TONY BANKS' Arp synth (think "Colony of Slippermen") takes over. Grand piano then supports a Broadway-like vocal before David Jackson's sax supplants Steve Hackett for the solo on a section taken straight out of "Fly on a Windshield"--which then morphs back into "The Colony of Slippermen." I guess the Infinite Room may be just next to The Waiting Room! The song is pleasant listening--especially if you can get past the familiarity of so many sections--especially some lifted straight out of other classic 70s prog. (8/10)

It is very difficult for me to come up with a rating for this album. I don't do well with Neo-prog in general as the sounds, structures and formats are often too overwhelmingly lifted from favorite or familiar songs from my already prog rich and prog happy past. This is well done. It is well composed and well performed. It is pleasant to listen to. It isn't bad. I guess I'd recommend it to others so that you can make your own opinions. It is in my opinion more pleasant to listen to than most Neo-Prog--for me, moreso than Marillion or IQ--and certainly mores than The Watch or Citizen Cain. But "excellent addition to any prog rock music collection"?? Hmmm . . . I think I'll let you decide.

Review by andrea
4 stars Four Destinies is the third studio album by Alex Carpani and it confirms all the good qualities of its predecessors, Waterline (2007) and The Sanctuary (2010). It was recorded with a line up featuring Alex Carpani (piano, Hammond, Mellotron, Moog, vocals), David Jackson (sax, flute), Ettore Salati (electric and acoustic guitar, bouzouki, balalaika), Giambattista Giorgi (bass), Alessandro Di Caprio (drums) and Joe Sal (vocals) and produced by Cristiano Roversi who engineered, mixed and mastered all the pieces. The album was finally released in 2014 on the independent Festival Music label with a nice packaging and an art cover reproducing a statue by Michelangelo Pistoletto, The Etruscan, from the Forth Worth Museum collection. According to the liner notes, this is a concept album based on four eventual destinies that a man can find on the path of his life: four destinies that irradiate, moving from the same point, in four different directions of life. To be honest, the concept is not very clear: the lyrics alternate parts in English and in Italian and do not try to tell a story but rather conjure up images adding more colours to the four musical tableaux on the album, the rest is up to your imagination! Four destinies, four long tracks with many changes in rhythm and mood, very rich in ideas and musical colours well performed by an excellent team of musicians...

The beautiful opener, "The Silk Road", takes you on a long journey through valleys and deserts, following the ancient tracks of merchants and adventurers such as Marco Polo. It's a road that marks the destiny of many different people in a melting-pot of races, colours, smells and sounds... A road that crosses the borders between science and faith, where you can hear secret stories whispered by silent shadows under the moonlight...

"Time Spiral" takes you on the mountains where you can sit on the banks of a brook and bathe in the icy waters of the springs of Time. There you can get lost in the mystery of life, you can feel the weight of your days passing by like dust and sand carried away by the current... But a threatening storm is approaching and the rage of the wind will soon blow away everything around you in the crazy spiral of a deadly fate...

"Sky And Sea" begins softly and features some dark passages that recall Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator. The music and lyrics take you on a boat sailing across raging waters under a thundering storm in a dark night... You've got to gather all your energies and fight hard for your life against the fury of the elements. At last the storm calms down, you see a lighthouse and you can breathe the smells of a seaport, you can reach a safe harbour. Now the danger is gone but sometimes tears take a long time to dry...

"The Infinite Room" takes you on a sleepwalk through an enchanted world, as in a H.P. Lovecraft story... Your body is out of control while you're strolling through the streets of a fantastic, unreal city. At dawn the dream melts and you wake up confused by feelings, thoughts and visions that are driving you insane. You can hear a strange music that's shaking your soul... "The sound of weird lyric melody was what aroused me. Chords, vibrations, and harmonic ecstasies echoed passionately on every hand; while on my ravished sight burst the stupendous spectacle of ultimate beauty..." (H.P. Lovecraft, from Beyond the Wall of Sleep).

On the whole, I think that this is a very good album: if you like bands such as Genesis or Van der Graaf Generator and Italian progressive rock, have a try! I'm sure you will not be disappointed.

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