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Mad Crayon

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Mad Crayon Diamanti album cover
3.30 | 33 ratings | 6 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. La Ballata dell'Uomo Nudo (4:49)
2. Deserti (6:38)
3. Glorioso Destino (5:52)
4. Pioggia di Fiori (5:53)
5. Diamanti (4:37)
6. L'Allegra Brigata (11:37)
7. Principe delle Maree (7:53)
8. Alchimia di una Leggenda (2:27)

Total Time 49:46

Line-up / Musicians

- Daniele Agostinelli / keyboards, vocals
- Luca Clari / acoustic & classical guitars, electric guitar (1)
- Alessandro Di Benedetti / piano, synthesizers, vocals
- Federico Tatti / electric guitars, saxophone
- Daniele Vitalone / bass, electric guitar

- Stefano Crudele / drums
- Simone Durante / Hammond organ
- Eleonora Ricci / vocals

Releases information

CD Mellow Records - MMP 342 (1999, Italy)

Digital album (May 15, 2015)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MAD CRAYON Diamanti ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (55%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

MAD CRAYON Diamanti reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
3 stars Well despite of being in alignment with its predecessor, talking about its inspiration, this rather recent issue (relesead in 1999) by the young Roman group is not bad once again, and probably it should deserve another half star...I know that if you were attracted by their melodic debut album your expectation could be diverse: don' t get me wrong, as usual this Neo-prog band have created another good melodic work, without any peek of invention and often in the vein of "Locanda delle Fate", in their light moments (by adding a certain "Jadis mood",for which I don't get crazy...), but perhaps you could think of an improvement.Instead the compositions are in the same vein, in comparison to their debut album, even though this light prog music is pleasant and sometimes enriched with good harmonic breaks through as well, which make it appreciate among several fans of the Italian Neo-Prog in Europe (in Holland above all). Moreover its compactness, regarding of all the instruments together, is remarkable...think of the melancholic "L'allegra brigata" and you could stand listening to it with satisfaction, cause of its good lyricism!! Certainly their "cousins" from the same city (Ezra Winston and Banco in their quite moments) are another thing (and in another world as well!!),but it never minds cause this "Diamanti", with its eight "airy" and pleasant compositions -49 minutes long-, can satisfy your "less involved" moments!!
Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars Their debut CD "L'ultimo miraggio" (1994) was a fine progrock CD with hints from early Marillion. Here's the successor entitled "Diamanti", released in 1999 so we had to wait five years! On this CD Mad Crayon sounds tight, fluent and convincing, their compositions are tasteful featuring lots of pleasant changing climates, from dreamy to bombastic. The band contains two keyboardplayers and three guitarists, this culminates in many soli. The best moments are in "Deserti" (dreamy first part, then a saxophone solo, sparkling piano, a moving guitar solo and great interplay between violin and piano) and "Glorioso destino" (many fine musical ideas and strong soli). The progrock from Mad crayon doen's sound original or complex but they deliver very melodic, harmonic and pleasant music. FORZA ITALIA!
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I quite enjoyed this modern Italian band. I was reminded of GENESIS several times, especially during the first two tracks.

"La Ballata Dell'Uomo Nudo" doesn't do a lot for me although the chorus has such a feel-good vibe to it with some nice guitar to follow each time.Synth solo after 2 minutes. "Deserti" really reminds me of GENESIS around the "...And Then There Were Three" album. This one is pastoral with acoustic guitar and soft vocals to begin with. Drums and a fuller sound a minute in. The contrast continues. Sax before 2 1/2 minutes with a more aggressive sound to follow. Back and forth it goes. "Glorioso Destino" is a guitar led, uptempo track with a fusion flavour. The tempo does shift throughout though with some sax 4 1/2 minutes in. "Pioggia Di Fiori" features acoustic guitar and dual reserved vocals including female guest vocalist Eleonora. Flute and light drums after 2 minutes. A guitar solo after 3 1/2 minutes and again later after 4 minutes. Piano 5 minutes in.

"Diamanti" is the title track and an instrumental.This one sounds great with acoustic and electric guitar and a mellow sound to start with. Violin 2 minutes in with piano is replaced by a full sound of guitar and drums. Lots of tempo changes to follow. "L'Allegra Brigata" is by far the longest track at 11 1/2 minutes. Gentle guitar to opens as fragile vocals enter. A full sound arrives suddenly after 2 minutes. A GENESIS feel to this one especially with the synths.The sound changes after 5 minutes. You can eventually hear the sea gulls and waves.Vocals return 7 1/2 minutes in. An almost spacey soundscape 10 minutes in to the end. "Principe Delle Maree" opens with riffs, then synths join in as a nice guitar melody replaces the riffs. Vocals a minute in. I'm not a fan of this section but it does get better after 4 minutes when it turns mellow before picking back up. Spacey synths to end it. "Alchimia Di Una Leggenda" is mellow with flute, light drums and spoken female vocals.

3 stars is fitting as this is good but not essential.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The good response of ''Ultimo Miraggio'' helped Mad Crayon sign a contract with Mauro Moroni's Mellow Records and the band covered the Pierrot Lunaire track ''Sotto i ponti'' for the 97' ''Zarathustra's Revenge'' compilation.Next came the preparation of the new album with drummer Stafano Fabiani out of the picture.He was replaced by Federico Tatti on guitars/sax, while the band was helped by Stefano Crudele on drums, Simone Durante on Hammond and Eleonora Ricci on additional vocals.''Diamanti'' was recorded at SoundonMusic Studios in Rome and released in 1999.

Do not get fooled by the weak opener ''La ballatta dell'uomo nudo '', which sees Mad Crayon experimenting with rock, funk and prog sounds with a questionable result.The rest of the album follows the same line as ''Ultimo Miraggio'', though this time the whole effort is sung in Italian.The band's style is firmly rooted in the vein of GENESIS, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI and BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO,adding a breeze of fresh air in contemporary Italian Prog and standing next to bands like NOTABENE, ARCANSIEL and RANDONE.The excellent melodic guitar lines are alive and well supported by the massive use of keys with romantic piano lines, symphonic synthesizers and fiery organ on the forefront.Vocals are decent though they were never Mad Crayon's strong point.This is definitely the ability of the band to switch from soft melodic textures to dynamic parts with dominant solos always with a sense of harmony around.The long instrumental parts are now given an extra dimension with the addition of saxes and the acoustic passages remain well-crafted and very sensitive.Though the album lacks a really stand-out composition, it is well-crafted from the start to the very end.

While Mad Crayon's ''Diamanti'' has not really anything new to add to the modern prog scene, the high level of musicianship, the memorable melodies and the nice arrangements make it worth adding in a prog collection.Fans of Italian Prog should definitely check this out.Strongly recommended, maybe a bit less inspired than the debut of the band...3.5 stars.

Review by andrea
4 stars "Diamanti" is the second album by Mad Crayon and was released in 1999 on the independent Mellow Records label with a renewed line up featuring Alessandro Di Benedetti (keyboards, piano, vocals), Daniele Agostinelli (keyboards, vocals), Federico Tetti (electric guitars, sax), Daniele Vitalone (bass, electric guitar), Luca Cleri (acoustic and electric guitar) plus Stefano Crudele (drums), Simone Durante (Hammond organ), Monica Ward (vocals) and Eleonora Ricci (vocals). In my opinion, it confirms all the good qualities of the debut work and even marks a step forward for the band. This time all the lyrics are in Italian and the vocal parts sound more confident while the music tries to explore new territories with original compositions, a great sense of melody and fresh ideas...

The nervous opener "La ballata dell'uomo nudo" (The ballad of the naked man) describes in music and words the feelings you can experience in a restless night where darkness steals your breaths, unveils your silences, turns up your cards and undresses your soul without mercy, leaving you in front of a light that shows your nakedness. All you have to do is heeding the call of fantasy and follow its course heading up towards the sky...

The reflective, melancholic "Deserti" (Deserts) tells in music and words about an inner desert that the protagonist carries inside him everywhere he goes and evokes distant voices dancing on the horizon, mirages of love and painful memories...

Then it's the turn of the beautiful instrumental "Glorioso destino" (Glorious destiny), a dynamic piece full of positive energy that leads to the dreamy "Pioggia di fiori" (Rain of flowers) where delicate acoustic guitar arpeggios and soaring melodies invite you to leave behind fake smiles and ephemeral pleasures to embark on a boat and sail through a calm sea, over the clouds, under a soft rain of flowers. An old man smiles at you... Welcome on board!

The excellent instrumental title track, "Diamanti" (Diamonds), blends romantic atmospheres and more aggressive passages and leads to "L'allegra brigata" (The merry brigade), a long, complex piece dedicated to all the friends of the band. It starts softly as the story comes to life from the ashes of reality and takes off on the wings of fantasy while the music and lyrics conjure up a fantastic voyage on a ship sailing across an unknown sea in search for the treasures of youth with a merry crew always open to adventure...

"Principe delle maree" (Prince of the tides) is a kind of celebration of the power of music and the healing force of singing. You have to set your heart free and follow the rhythm of the tide, then you'll take off on an imaginary flight across mysterious lands and Oriental landscapes leaving behind the daily problems of a hostile reality... The short, evocative "Alchimia di una leggenda" (Alchemy of a legend) ends the album with a kind of tribute of the art of cinema. Narrative female vocals raise questions about the greatness and the righteousness of a man who conceives kingdoms of death and boasts his victories in front of those who cry, a man under the rain looks for shelter... Director, do not stop, please!

On the whole, a very good album full of melody and dreamy atmospheres.

Latest members reviews

4 stars an excellent must have cd for italian prog lovers. this is very melancholic i hear soem heavier moments of banco in hear but more of locandaa delle fate. awesoem piano arrangemnts with kick but keybords in it. an really good album heavy and mellow whith all the hooks in it that neo has an ... (read more)

Report this review (#41356) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 2, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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