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LOOK OUT

Phoenix Again

Neo-Prog


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Phoenix Again Look Out album cover
3.88 | 19 ratings | 2 reviews | 30% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Adso da Melk (11:50)
2. Oigres (6:19)
3. Look Out (10:36)
4. Summer (6:54)
5. The Endless Battle (5:37)
6. Invisible Shame (8:23)
7. Winter (8:45)
8. Dance of Three Clowns (3:23)

Total Time 61:47


Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Antonio Lorandi / bass
- Sergio Lorandi / guitars
- Marco Lorandi / guitars
- Giorgio Lorandi / percussion
- Silvano Silva / drums, percussion
- Andrea Piccinelli / keyboards, cello

with:
- Claudio Lorandi (R.I.P.) / vocals (6)

Releases information

Label: self-released
CD, February 28, 2014

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to aapatsos for the last updates
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PHOENIX AGAIN Look Out ratings distribution


3.88
(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
30%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
60%
Good, but non-essential (10%)
10%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

PHOENIX AGAIN Look Out reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Second delightful studio offering from this obscure Italian band. As in "ThreeFour", here we have music that was composed in the 80's by the band but only now saw the light. Compared to that album, the group has grown with the addition of more members from the Lorandi family (Marco on guitars and Giorgio on percussion) and Andrea Piccinelli on keyboards/cello. The result is a more dynamic, varied and somewhat heavier sound.

The voice of Claudio Lorandi (R.I.P.) appears on the only sung track (Invisible Shame), which, although pleasant, is arguably the weakest moment, balancing between a pop-Marillionesque and Phil Collins style, but closes with an impressive neo-prog keyboard solo and strong vocal melodies. Although the average track length approaches the 8 minute mark, the instrumental compositions of Phoenix Down flow freely.

The moods vary from pure Neo-prog passages to heavy fusion and symphonic prog coming straight from the 70's. "Summer" and "Dance of the Tree Clowns" shows the mellower side of the band, with the former reminiscent of Mike Oldfield's soundscapes and organ-like dreamy keyboards and the latter a short baroque, chamber prog, ethereal piece with cellos, flutes etc., which will bring a smile to fans of (mellower) Anglagard. On the contrary, the up-tempo "Endless Battle" reminded me of Maiden's "Transylvania" with a hefty dose of fusion, which shows the band's heavier side. "Look Out" builds up to similar riffology but coming from a funk/jazz intro with lush Neo-prog keyboards that see it out to the end. "Oigres" is a mix of King Crimson and accordion on low tempos! "Asdo da Melk", inspired by the "Name of the Rose" is the highlight of the release and grasps the listener's attention with the "romantic" opening acoustic guitars that swiftly change to early Marillion styles, progress to jazz/fusion dancing rhythms and uplifting bass lines and peak towards the end with cello accompaniment - breathtaking.

A multitude of rhythms and styles, a background of Neo-prog but with space to elaborate on jazz/fusion and classic progressive rock, "Look Out" is an album with a distinct character, even though we can only hear snippets of the band's Italian heritage. Emotion, skill and character: this has to be in the top-10 for 2014. 4+ stars.

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Send comments to aapatsos (BETA) | Report this review (#1173899) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars The Italian avalanche of stunning 2014 releases continues unabated with the Neo-flavored Phoenix Again up for evaluation, a different appreciation is needed as their sound requires a little adjusting, mostly instrumental and on the raunchier side , veering into hard-jazz- fusion, space-rock and symphonic splurges when and where it is warranted. My first audition was underwhelming but it came after multiple trysts with Logos' recent jubilating masterpiece 'L'Enigma della Vita', a love affair that continues on my vehicle dashboard. Phoenix Again could easily have been called the Lorandi Famiglia +guests but it really comes through as a much focused (sic) affair, with occasional winks at classic Focus, among a few other influences. This took a few spins to really imbibe myself into the rather explorative nature of this mostly instrumental album. But once I did, 'I could scarcely believe all the pleasures inside'.

The voluptuous resonance of 'Adso da Melk' will instantly get the prog juices flowing, as this master 12 minute piece introduces some Gregorian chants, followed by an acoustic guitar surge that will warm your tired bones by the fire, the lead guitar paralleling the main theme with a little more bluster. It's a gorgeous melody that spawns a real cool, jazzy, free wheelin' and breezy guitar solo that is utterly awe-inspiring. The piece is then led by a resolute bass motif which signals a lengthy jam where guitar and synths exchange musical vows as well as some carnal intercourse, as keyboardist Andrea Picinelli adds a mellotron flurry for good measure. With such a sterling opener, how can one go wrong? That main theme is further enhanced by a bombastic arrangement that throws dense symphonics onto the already shimmering bonfire. What a track this is!

'Oigres' is a torrid little monster track, clocking 6 minutes and 19 seconds of pure proggy bliss, grumbling voice effects (monsters?) and an insistent guitar riff that spirals wildly, swerving with devilish bass undertow and a keyboard swarm of synthesizers and topped off with that classic Italian sound , the accordion. The picking style is deeply expressive, the riffs punchy and vivacious and the keyboard bombast there to elicit even more drama and depth.

A tremendous follow-up that is further heightened by the nuclear-powered boogie of the title track, 'Look Out' being another 10 and a half space rock jam fest, where both Lorandi guitarists (Marco and Sergio) really get to showcase their rock personality with little hints of Robin Trower, Jan Akkerman and Andy Powell. The massive Mellotron onslaught is slightly reminiscent of KC'S 'Sailor's Tale' with that that tempestuous barrage of white noise violins amid the frenzied drumming, booming bass and screeching guitar solos. Relentless like some deranged Rottweiler, the music packs a thunderous punch with drummer Silvano Silva slamming hard on his kit, in order to keep pace with the brothers. Picinelli seasons the sonic cauldron with strange cubist synthesized doodles (a la early Eno), giving the listener both a sense of chaotic order and linear dissonance.

The glittering warmth of 'Summer' brings much appreciated light to the surroundings, a classic piece of progressive rock, nothing too fancy, just very 'finesse', led by a sweet synthesizer melody that elevates the elegant piano insertion, something Chopin would be proud of, orchestrations in the background only serving to enhance the grandiose mood. No doubt that a PFM/Banco feel permeates the track, a lovely mellotronic breeze adding to the mystery. The silky finale guitar part is like George Benson meets Jan Akkerman.

Speaking of whom, 'The Endless Battle' has a raucous riff that screams out 'Hocus Pocus', comically so very obvious, one can only smile in abject respect. The guitar shrieks loudly amid the Hammond organ stop and starts, whist drummer Silva does his best Pierre Van der Linden imitation, pushing hard and fast. The solo is like a Ferrari on turbo mode on a tortuous highway of ripping notes, quick accelerations and sudden bursts of supercharged power. This attention to being fun and entertaining was what finally convinced me that this album is a total keeper.

The only vocal track 'Invisible Shame' was recorded when older brother Claudio Lorandi was still alive and strangely differs greatly from the previous instrumental-driven material. The song is strongly infected with various Marillion-isms, 'You Know You Know', Trewavas- like bass, Kelly-styled keys and Rothery schooled guitar parts. The vocals are acceptable but certainly not up there with Fish or Hoggarth. The musical parts are stellar but the piece does represent the only weak track on the menu.

After summer's warm embrace, the frigid reality comes back every year to remind us that snow and ice are a natural phenomenon (except in the tropical areas of course) and 'Winter' certainly adheres to that kind of glacial imagery. The Manfred Mann 'styled synth solo, the flowery bass attack as well as the brash riffing will provide all the bliss, rolling organ and raunchy guitar blasts go back and forth, like some crazed tennis match. Serene medieval bliss is guaranteed on the intoxicating 'Dance of Three Clowns' , where acoustic guitar, flute, violins, cello and light percussives all get to play in the garden of aural delights. Very Italian, very romantic and utterly elegant, this piece puts a fine stamp of playfulness on the recording. Bravo!

This is another fine 2014 addition to the recent and thankfully ongoing Italian prog invasion currently titillating the RPI lads as well as other prog fans looking for their fix. Well, their soccer team currently sucks but Italian bands surely are riding very high in progland lately. The artwork and cover are both sublime and inspiring. I plan to keep this one playing a lot more than I originally thought.

4.5 watchtowers

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#1199748) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014

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