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THE DANCE OF LIGHT AND SHADE

Soul Doubt

Progressive Metal


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Soul Doubt The Dance Of Light And Shade album cover
4.14 | 99 ratings | 5 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hail To The Sun (5:29)
2. Prelude To Unconsciousness (3:23)
3. Hereafter (3:28)
4. Waking Dreams: Spectre Of Twilight (4:55)
5. Danse Macabre (12:18)
6. Elysian (6:14)
7. Waking Dreams: Swing Of Lights (4:31)
8. Silent Notes (6:58)
9. Whispers - Interlude I (1:30)
10. The Fall (5:46)
11. Aeons (9:55)
12. Standing On The Horizon (8:40)
13. Ashore - Interlude II (1:22)
14. Land(E)Scape (5:41)
15. Soundscape (4:38)
16. Sunset - Interlude III (0:47)
17. The Nightbringer (4:40)
18. Circus Oblivion (6:53)
19. At The Gates Of Dawn - Interlude IV (1:32)
20. Ashes Of The World (8:32)

Total Time 107:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Marco Ciancaglini / lead & backing vocals, acoustic & Classical guitars, keyboards, Irish folk and stupid whistles, composer, arranger & producer
- Marco Calbi / electric, acoustic & Classical guitars, dobro
- Nicola Casamenti / lead guitar
- Francesca Pretolani / piano, keyboards, synth
- Federico Benini / 5-string & fretless basses, synth, programming & sound design, composer, arranger & producer
- Ale D'Altri / drums

With:
- Emma Ronca / lead & backing vocals
- Jennifer Vargas / vocals (5)
- Davide Lavia / keyboards & synth (10), organs (17)

Releases information

2xCD self released (2017, Italy)

FLAC download - bandcamp.com

Thanks to rdtprog for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SOUL DOUBT The Dance Of Light And Shade ratings distribution


4.14
(99 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
32%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
27%
Good, but non-essential (27%)
27%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

SOUL DOUBT The Dance Of Light And Shade reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
5 stars 20 well-made songs in total, with a running time of nearly 110 minutes. I'm absolutely overwhelmed now. The band's debut EP, released in 2010, already is showing their talent. Hence I would say that solely the vocals contributed by Marco Ciancaglini are inevitably improved on 'The Dance Of Light And Shade'. So much enchanting stuff to find here and now. And a clever concept first of all. Probably even a bit too clever, too much of a good thing at once. One will detect different views about that, I'm quite sure. They easily could divide both discs into separate albums, without losing any quality standards on each side. In any case here we have a fantastic production overall. They let it rock with ease. Nice incorporated samples, four short interludes are filled with quite differing impressions from atmospheric space to traditional folk.

Exemplified by Aeons maybe, this appears to me like a modern rock opera somehow, due to a theatrical feel coming up overall. Entirely self-produced a real essential thing, technically flawless moreover. Six musicians at work as the core, plus some external keyboard and vocal support. This means, except drums and keys, a nearly stable line-up over the last decade. They are providing highly melodic heavy prog music, surely bordering to metal here and there, though equipped with a wider stylistical range, for example including ambient and psychedelic elements. It's a heavy load to point out particular songs. Let me continue with Danse Macabre anyhow. For some time I was annoyed by this Clare Torry reminiscent female vocals referring to 'The Great Gig In The Sky' towards the end. As I often enough stumbled upon such tries in recent times.

Well, to make it clear for good, this affects a very short episode, should be seen as a real side note. Nessun problema anymore. A fantastic composition in any case. Furthermore both Waking Dreams episodes are belonging to the top of the best here. Regarding such a full load given, there is some danger of fatigue symptoms coming up probably, the second part of the album may be unwantedly underestimated. As noted before, there is no downfall to state though. Nightbringer again and again makes my day. You simply have to reserve enough time for this issue, basta. A very very entertaining excursion through diverse prog meadows over the course. No filler, everything is on a high level. Now coming to a final conclusion, sum of the aforementioned + astonishing + exceptional = perfect.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Reviewer
5 stars Apparently this Italian band were formed as long ago as 2001, but it was only just before Christmas last year that they released their debut album, a concept containing 20 songs which clocks in at just under 100 minutes in length. Someone can't have sent them the instructions that told them that Italian prog bands are supposed to sound a certain way, as these guys have taken influences as diverse as Pain of Salvation and Saga and have put them together in a totally innovative and refreshing manner. If you want harmony vocals combining with modern keyboard sounds, melodic hard rock, complexity and simplicity, then it has all of this and much, much more.

This is modern progressive music with a nod back to the Eighties as opposed to the Seventies, and more than one ear open to what was coming out of North America and Canada as opposed just the UK, and certainly doesn't seem like an Italian band at all. This is layered, immediate yet with hidden depths, and there is just no way that this can ever be considered a debut album as it is just way too complex and polished for a band to release an album as considered as this at a first attempt! If I had heard this in time for me to put it into my Top albums for 2017 then there is no doubt that it would have been given a high rating, but at that point I hadn't come across it, but am so very glad indeed that I have now.

The guys have been playing gigs and getting themselves about over the years, but surely this album is going to lift them to a whole new level. Prog rarely gets any better than this, and if this is what they do with their first album what on earth is going to come next? Let's just hope we don't have to wait 15 years for the next one.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Sometimes bands form and then they crank out as much product as possible in hoping that something will catch on in the vast world of music available these days but once in a while a certain act will take the complete opposite approach and spend many many years crafting a sole epic album that they deem flawless in execution. Such is the case for the Italian band SOUL DOUBT that formed all the way back in 2001 in Forli. This band that straddles the line between progressive metal and progressive rock in many ways is a typical band with typical instrumentation. Early members began the project simply for fun before they decided to take it all serious in 2004.

Several years were spent crafting a unique blend of progressive rock and metal and playing live shows and in the process went through many personal changes before recording the self-produced EP "Winter's Tale" which was released in 2010. At 40 minutes and a concept EP that fused prog rock and metal together with myriad experimental touches, the band was displaying its epic approach at this early stage but it would take an additional seven years of hardcore practice and studio recording for the band to finally release its debut album THE DANCE OF LIGHT AND SHADE that was released independently in 2017.

For this long awaited debut album the members include Marco Ciancaglini (lead & backing vocals, acoustic & Classical guitars, keyboards, Irish folk and stupid whistles, composer, arranger & producer), Federico Benini (5-string & fretless basses, synth, programming & sound design, composer, arranger & producer), Marco Calbi (electric, acoustic & Classical guitars, dobro), Nicola Casamenti (lead guitar), Francesca Pretolani (piano, keyboards, synth), Ale D'Altri (drums) along with the extra help from Davide Lavia (keyboards, synthesizer) on a few tracks and the extra vocals from Emma Ronca and Jennifer Vargas. 
THE DANCE OF LIGHT AND SHADE is an expansive beast that consists of 20 tracks and clocks in just past the 107 minute mark making this lengthy album a true commitment to undertake however although it's not without its flaws (lengthiness being the top dog here), SOUL DOUBT truly excelled at crafting an epic slab of metal infused prog rock that runs the gamut from Pain of Salvation and Riverside influenced heavier sounds to more ethereal spaced out slabs of Pink Floyd, excessive uses of modern symphonic prog in the vein of Spock's Beard or various neo-prog bands along with lush pastoral folky sections as well as ambient and electronic atmospheric contributions. The album is impeccably produced and rather theatrical with operatic vocals and dramatic displays of fiery passion much like the symphonic Italian prog greats of the past.

Despite falling into the progressive metal camp, the album is so diverse that the lion's share of the musical real estate often falls in the mellow, spacey or chilled out zone however when the metal does occur it is fiery and bombastic and even displays extraordinarily virtuosic guitar solos but for much of this album i would say it sounds closest to bands like Riverside that exist on the prog metal lite side of the spectrum and when the symphonic mid-tempo sections kick in with the female singers adding their harmonies, THE DANCE OF LIGHT AND SHADE sounds like it has permanently parked into the world of neo-prog. While there are experimental touches such as the circus music feel on "Circus Oblivion," the album is for the most part on simmer with melodic streams cascading with atmospheric grandiosity and epic symphonic suffocation. A bit of Celtic folk music and pastoral touches from 70s Genesis also find their way into the mix.

While there's really no bad track on this one, the main hurdle for getting through this one is its ridiculously long playing time and while double albums aren't necessarily a bad thing, THE DANCE OF LIGHT AND SHADE unfortunately doesn't quite muster up enough diversity to offer up the masterpiece that many consider this to be, at least not in my book. The album in many ways plays like an early Pain of Salvation album for sure but not as dramatically in your face and instead relies on an excess of mellowed padding to keep things from getting too out of control. While i personally would've preferred a much more adventurous album that dabbled in as many styles as there are tracks, i cannot deny the top notch quality of this album and for those who love Riverside a lot more than i do, you may actually really, really love this album but for me it doesn't quite reach the top ranks of par excellence.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is one very IMPRESSIVE debut, indeed... This is prog with absolutely everything including the kitchen sink, & your neighbor's uncle's cousin's pet included too! Soul Doubt really pulled out all the stops on this one. Crossing into so may territories and sub-genres of prog with graceful ea ... (read more)

Report this review (#2046016) | Posted by Cylli Kat (0fficial) | Friday, October 19, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I haven't submitted a review in a long time but I recently purchased Soul Doubt's debut album "The Dance of Light and Shade" and was so impressed by it that I thought I should do a review especially as it has not been reviewed yet. This is a quality release in terms of packaging, music and prod ... (read more)

Report this review (#1871157) | Posted by FXM | Thursday, February 1, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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