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Mad Fellaz

Eclectic Prog

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Mad Fellaz Mad Fellaz III album cover
3.90 | 165 ratings | 4 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. "Es"/ Frozen Side (6:05)
2. Leaf (6:03)
3. Liquid Bliss (8:27)
4. Fumes from the Ruins (1:59)
5. Under These Clouds (3:19)
6. Frost (7:37)
7. Sweet Silent Oblivion (10:01)

Total Time 43:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Luca Brighi / vocals
- Paolo Busatto / electric & acoustic guitars
- Ruggero Burigo / guitar, electric sitar
- Enrico Brunelli / acoustic & electric pianos, Hammond organ, synths, Mellotron
- Rudy Zilio / flute, sax, synth, backing vocals
- Carlo Passuello / bass
- Marco Busatto / drums
- Lorenzo Todesco / percussions

- Luca Ardini / saxophone (2,4)
- Davide Baratto / 12-string acoustic guitar (7)
- Jacopo Mazzarolo / oboe (7)
- Mattia Marangon / French horn (7)
- Sergio Orso / violin (7)
- Louise Antonello / violin (7)
- Elena Ceccato / viola (7)
- Rolando Moro / cello (7)

Releases information

Artwork: Marco Tosin

CD self-released (2019, Italy)

LP self-released (2019, Italy)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MAD FELLAZ Mad Fellaz III ratings distribution

(165 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MAD FELLAZ Mad Fellaz III reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
5 stars Aiuto, Anna, dimmi, dove sei? Eh, I'm missing Anna Farronato somehow. I can remember, was fairly surprised about the new presence, recognized her impact as a pleasant change when it comes to the prior album. Okay, three years are gone in the meanwhile, and they are known for undertaking some shuffle each time. MAD FELLAZ are a huge crew in any case, featuring Pablo and Marco Busatto, plus Enrico Brunelli, Carlo Passuello, Rudy Zilio and Lorenzo Todesco constituting the core during recent years. Furthermore guest musicians of about the same number are aboard as well. And Luca Brighi appears as the new lead vocalist, a very good move so much the more.

They are acting true to their line of approach again. No, not driving themselves mad, or even us, to make sure, for example due to a weird cover image. But delivering melodic and accessible prog songs, showing finesse and uniqueness, nearly being without equal. They are utilizing a short warm up during the opening track, and then the second part Frozen Side and the following Leaf will present them in full blow, eh ... that's exactly what I dared to hope. Formidable! Liquid Bless then sounds like coming from the prospering US band Umphrey's McGee being at their best. As for the mellower parts, for example when Rudy Zilio fetches his flute or saxophone, they are close to the likes of Big Big Train.

Diverse unpredictable moves are to notice, which after some time qualify as genius compositional skills, you bet! Hence I'm on the way now to make sure that the closing song Sweet Silent Oblivion will remain anything but this, what the title may provoke, for whatever reason. My favourite excerpt, Luca Brighi in best shape, as one aspect. This one covers so much, I would say all their skills at once! A highly entertaining album, disappointment solely will come up when this is running out. But there's a chance for a retake anyway, yeah, no problem! Awesome production. This year's session starts very very promising, just let me declare the first masterpiece in 2019.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Mad Fellaz is an Eclectic Prog band from Italy founded in 2010. The band has seen some changes in it's line up, but for the most part, remains the same. Currently, the regular line up consists of 8 members; Paolo Busatto (guitars), Marco Busatto (drums), Ruggero Burigo (guitar, sitar), Carlo Passuello (bass), Enrico Burnelli (keyboards), Rudy Zillio (flute, sax, synths, backing vocals), Lorenzo Todesco (percussion), and Luca Brighi (vocals).

Over the course of the past decade, the band has released 3 albums, the first one was all instrumental, and for the 2nd album, they added a lead singer (Anna Farranato). For this album, "Mad Fellaz III", they have a new vocalist in Luca Brighi. This album consists of seven tracks with a total run time of 43 minutes, with tracks lasting from under 2 minutes to over 10 minutes.

"Es/Frozen Side" starts off the album with the first part of the track acting as an introductory section. It is a powerful instrumental with complex rhythm, some great guitar and organ. The sound is somewhat heavy and every changing. It finally settles in to a simpler rhythm and vocals come in around 3 minutes. The vocalist is powerful and dynamic and has a good voice. The middle section gets dark and more pensive with spoken, whispery vocals. After this, there are several meter and tempo changes as the band shows off it's progressive side. This is a great opener.

"Leaf" begins on a more settled theme, quite a bit softer with a guest saxophonist. Even though it is softer, the melody still is more complex than the standard fare, and the musicians make sure you know they are in this for the progressiveness. The track moves from quasi-folk to heavy progressive, so there are a lot of styles in this one track, hence the Eclectic Prog designation. The sax solo in the middle is catchy and complex just like the track, but it stays clean and allows for the flute to come in also.

"Liquid Bliss" starts out immediately with a progressive riffs interspersed with soft responses, a sudden chaotic passage, and then settling to a main theme sounding like something from "Umphrey's McGee" with a lot of playfulness between the vocal melodies and the instruments. There is a progressive jazz fusion feel to this, and an amazing guitar solo that approaches the sound of "UK"s Alan Holdworth at one point.

There is a short 2 minute track up next with the instrumental "Fumes from the Ruins". This is a surprisingly stately track led of with keyboards and then a nice, heavier guitar theme. Just like the longer tracks, there are a lot of mood and musical changes throughout. Another relatively short track follows with "Under These Clouds". This one is led off with a single acoustic guitar and vocals, later joined by keys and flute. The vocalist's vulnerabilities stand out quite a bit on the softer track.

Turning back to longer tracks again, "Frost" has a bit more of a symphonic edge to it at first, but strengthens as the passionate vocals start in. After a few verses, we go right into a jazz style guitar solo on a mid tempo beat that later gets disrupted by a more experimental phase before the mellotron sweeps things up and then a really fast moving section takes us into a new vocal theme which flies along at a good clip. Progressiveness ensues with another complex instrumental break, much heavier this time. Continuing with constant change, things go pastoral before the vocals come back again.

The last track is the longest and is called "Sweet Silent Oblivion". This one features a small orchestra consisting of some strings, French horn, oboe and a 12 string acoustic guitar, all of these played by additional guests. After playing a somewhat pastoral lilt, the vocals start with a complex theme and very lyrical content. The music stays on the softer side as the small orchestra drive things forward. On the first instrumental break, the guitar gets to play a nice solo, then things get a bit more complex as the meter gets a bit tricky here. More vocals, then a real rousing guitar solo until the keys and synth take over for their own bit of showing off. This goes on for a while, then the music turns a bit psychedelic and experimental while the drums play a complex march rhythm, and what results from this when the guitars and the ensemble take over is excellent and results in a very impressive finale that you wish went on for at least another 5 minutes.

This band and this album is surprisingly good. The music is complex, yet mostly accessible, the musicians are quite impressive, the music is highly progressive, and the lyrics and vocals are all top notch. I have to say that I was not expecting anything near as good as this album was.

Review by patrickq
4 stars Mad Fellaz III is unselfconscious, professional, and very musical eclectic neo-prog from Italy. And did I say 'eclectic?' Definitely eclectic. The only Mad Fellaz I'd heard before was the fun, groovy instrumental 'Banda Scavejoni' ('longhair band' or 'hippie band') from their 2013 self-titled debut, so that's where my expectations were for this one. But halfway through my first listen, I had Mad Fellaz III pegged as a heavy-prog album, even if 'Leaf' was a little mellower. Certainly ''Es" / "Frozen Side" and "Liquid Bliss" were heavy, but it wasn't until later that I recognized how 'Liquid Bliss' signaled that this album would have a decidedly jazzy aspect as well - - even if that jazziness would be integrated with some near-metal riffage, as on 'Frost' and over the last two minutes of 'Sweet Silent Oblivion.' On the whole, if 'eclectic prog' is by definition an approach rather than a genre, I'd classify the album as 'neo-prog,' especially since there are some of the symphonic touches (such as on 'Under These Clouds') that often mark that subgenre. But here's an unusual case where I think 'eclectic' is the best label.

I've struggled with choosing between three and four stars for this album. Generally, to decide on a rating, I think about an album's performances, production, and compositions. The performances on Mad Fellaz III are top-notch, the sound quality and production are great, and the compositions are quite good, but good enough for four stars? Who knows - - I may change my mind in the future. But I've erred on the side of four stars because of how well the eclecticism is carried out - - specifically, how smooth the transitions are from one style to the next.

In a nutshell, Mad Fellaz III is a fun album. Its running time of three-quarters of an hour is perfect, its energy is palpable, and musically, the playing is very tight but not at all uptight. I'd suggest that any fan of prog rock give this one a listen.

Review by andrea
4 stars "Mad Fellaz III" is the third album by Mad Fellaz and was self-released in 2019 with a renewed line up featuring Paolo Busatto (electric and acoustic guitar), Marco Busatto (drums), Ruggero Burigo (electric guitar, electric sitar), Carlo Passuello (bass), Enrico Brunelli (electric and acoustic piano, synthesizers, Hammond organ, Mellotron), Rudy Zilio (flute, sax, synthesizers, backing vocals), Lorenzo Todesco (percussion) and Luca Brighi (lead and backing vocals) plus some guests such as Luca Ardini (sax), Davide Baratto (12 string acoustic guitar), Jacopo Mazzarolo (oboe), Mattia Marangon (French horn), Sergio Orso (violin), Louise Antonello (violin), Elena Ceccato (viola) and Rolando Moro (cello). During the recording sessions they were helped by producer Fabio Trentini (Moonbound, Le Orme) and the result is a rich, colourful and refined sound that emphasizes the skills of the musicians. In some way this work can be considered a concept album telling the story of a man who tries to fight against his madness. All the pieces follow a thread and the artwork by Marco Tosin could give a clue of its musical and lyrical content...

The opener 'Es / Frozen Side' starts by a frenzied instrumental section, then the mood becomes dark as the music and lyrics evoke the inner voices haunting the protagonist, invasive ghosts tormenting him, sneaking into his dreams in the frozen side of his brain. He can't stand it any more, he tries to escape but there's no way out, his inner demons want to take control of him and surround his consciousness suggesting to surrender with soothing words... All in all, madness is a friend!

The melancholic 'Leaf' describes the protagonist wandering around like a leaf lost in the wind, a broken man waiting for his chance but with no master plan to escape... Then the following 'Liquid Bliss' with its Latin rock influences and an electric guitar solo that could recall Santana conjures up subtle, diabolical temptations... Have a drink and relax! But alcohol addiction or the use of other chemical substances can't save the protagonist from his inner ghosts...

Next comes 'Fumes From The Ruins', an excellent short instrumental track with a melancholic, dreamy atmosphere that leads to the folksy 'Under These Clouds', a beautiful piece that begins by a soft acoustic guitar arpeggio, then soaring vocals and a good flute work depict a growing inner emptiness that makes the protagonist cry and feel terribly bad... He's stuck under grey clouds of sadness, his world seems nasty, he left behind his memories, he lost everything, and now there's no one that can rescue him...

The dramatic 'Frost' begins with a mysterious mood and an Oriental flavour, then the pace accelerates as anger blurs the sight... The protagonist wants to escape but he can't. A softer, dreamy middle section follows but the dream soon turns into nightmare and the rhythm rises again, faster and faster, he's falling down, breaking down. When the rhythm calms down he realizes that we're all passengers on a train that somebody calls life. Now he feels cold, he can't tell anguish from happiness, all the bridges have been burnt and now he's alone and cries his eyes out because he doesn't want to die...

'Sweet Silent Oblivion' starts by acoustic guitar and flute. The mood is dreamy, memories fade away. The protagonist got out of control, his mind opened to the evil waves and he was dragged down... Then the rhythm rises announcing a last desperate struggling to survive but a spectral marching beat leads to a finale where you can guess who the winner is... 'Monsters are real. Ghosts are too. They live inside of us, and sometimes, they win...' (quote from Stephen King, "The Shining").

On the whole, a very good work!

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