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PROWLERS

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Prowlers biography
From the band's MySpace page:

Prowlers was an Italian prog rock band. this is a short story of our band and our music. thirteen magic year.... In 1985 Laura Mombrini (vocals), Gianni Radici (Guitars) and Roberto Biglioli (drums) met Fabio Deh˛ (bass) and Alfio Costa (Keyboards) and took the decision to play Great Music !... Strange Music!.. with passion and fun! Prowlers were born! In the beginning the band was influenced by blues-rock, hard rock and the early Pink Floyd (Syd Barret era). In 1989, after many live concerts in northern Italy, Prowlers were well known and record their first demo with new drummer Giovanni "Giana" Vezzoli.

After some years, with the new band members Stefano Piazzi (guitars) and Marco Premoli (bass) the band records, with an old Fostex eight tracks recorder, a demo tape called "Morgana". This was their first progressive and psychedelic work (just a demo tape..), but it will be released by the Italian label Mellow Records in 1994 as the first Prowlers' album. "Morgana" had a great success in the "new-progressive world" (but the quality of the recording isn't too good.) and sold out. In 1994 Flavio Costa (Alfio's younger brother) joined the band and with two guitarists, Prowlers recorded "Mother and Fairy" a double studio album, mixed by Ciro Perrino (Il Sistema, Celeste etc.), a great Italian musician. This second album was more "progressive" than "Morgana", with some long tracks full of keyboards and guitars duels, and Laura's voice, so beautiful that many people called her the "Italian Annie Haslam".

Unfortunately, it being a double album, its price was too high, so it didn't have a great success. So Stefano Piazzi and Marco Premoli left the band. In 1995 Alan Ghirardelli, a young bass player and a friend of Flavio's, joined Prowlers. Alfio started to write a colossal rock suite about the story of the band. He was influenced by the Italian seventies progressive and especially by The Trip, Osanna, Goblin, Balletto di Bronzo and PFM. In 1995 Mellow records started to produce some tribute records to some great progressive names: Gentle Giant, VDGG, Camel .. Prowlers play and record "First Light" for the Camel tribute and "Ultima ora / Ode a Jimi Hendrix" (by the Trip), for the "Zarathustra's Revenge, the Italian seventies progressive tribute". In 1996 Prowlers play live in some important Italian prog Festivals (Vigevano Prog Fest, Trento Greem Pop Fest etc.).

In 1997, after three years and many har...
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Prowlers official website

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PROWLERS discography


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PROWLERS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Morgana
1994
3.05 | 6 ratings
Mother & Fairy
1995
3.08 | 3 ratings
Sweet Metamorfosi
1997
3.24 | 12 ratings
Sogni in una goccia di Cristallo
2011
3.78 | 8 ratings
Mondi Nuovi
2014

PROWLERS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
ProwlersLive
2013

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PROWLERS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mondi Nuovi by PROWLERS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.78 | 8 ratings

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Mondi Nuovi
Prowlers Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Italian progressive group Prowlers seem to find themselves in a precarious position of not garnering very much interest within the prog community, in fact not all that much talk among the RPI fans about them either! Their 5 album discography is basically unknown, with few reviews. It is a pity, as there is some very serious talent at hand, namely in the person of Alfio Costa, a tremendous keyboard player who has a thrilling band with his pal and drummer Davide Guidone called Daal, which has been busy drawing rave reviews worldwide. His work with Daal is perhaps more modern and sophisticated using a fair amount of experimental effects and sounds. With Prowlers, Alfio bivouacs with the more traditional keyboard stylings associated with neo or RPI genres, to weave massive symphonic coloration instead of being in the spotlight. Bassist Bobo Aiolfi is one of those masters of the 4 string monster who is valiant in his upfront approach, concocting fascinating flurries of notes that provide both foundation and melody. Original guitarist Stefano Piazzi returns to the fold, adding some crunchy riffs and licks as well as acoustic guitar flashes when called upon. Drummer Giana Vezzoli provides all the percussive propellant one would hope for. Singer Laura Mombrini has a fine earthy voice, some daring even to anoint her as the "Italian Annie Haslam", not as highly technical but very emotive which means she can easily adapt to the modern score.

New worlds indeed, as "Mondi Nuovi" scoots into earshot, Alfio's sparkling piano at the helm, as the roaming Aiolfi bass takes the spotlight (a brilliant technical player who has dexterity down pat!). The melody is spectacular, a fabulous opener, egged on by a 'dirty' guitar style that I particularly enjoy, rekindling memories of that amazing one shot 1996 RPI wonder Foglie di Vetro (who sadly, got little love from the community). "Viva Ancora" features the same scenario, the intrepid bass carving a masterful path for the others, flirting with the hard blues-stained guitar of Stefano Piazzi and winking at Alfio's various ivories, be it organ, piano or synths. Laura modulates her voice in fine fashion, showing off some great pipes.

Things get appropriately spooky (a trait well m mastered with Daal) and more developed on the longer "Guardando dentro Te", a nearly 8 minute bubbly joyride that has everything sparkling like vintage Prosecco. An astonishing melody, an extraordinary vocal that takes the jugular firmly and some seriously addictive atmospherics all reign supreme, again led by that fluid bass and slick guitar licks. The strings add a huge orchestral depth that clashes nicely with the tingling guitar motifs, while the piano outro seals the deal. Classic track.

A tribute to Mother Nature, "La Danza di Matre Natura" follows right in the preceding track's genius, with an effect-laden background of warbling birds and Laura's spangled voice, multiple mellotron flashes where it matters most (which is often) and a mature coalescence of ensemble playing, the adventurous bass is always a delight to follow. Alfio whips out his dynamic synths in order to deliver some sweeping flurries to the mix, then switches over to shimmering Hammond organ as the e-guitar provides backbone. Another great one. The pastoral "Melaquadro" is more concise, a medieval acoustic guitar adorning the canvas, Laura's light nasal delivery becoming even more appealing as one gets used to it. A whistling melody is the crowning moment. Simple.

"Giovane Falco" is a more brooding affair, armed with a Jon Lord-like organ passage, though very far from "Space Truckin'", the piece is way more redolent and gentle than any Purple song. The suave, slow-handed guitar solo brightens up the piece with deliberate finesse and a promise for another loop around the track. The big revelation is the singing Native American cameo that defies description and again saves the track from an otherwise predictable outcome. "Capriccio in A" is the accompanying keyboard spot, showing off Alfio's classical heritage.

Things revert to melancholia on the spectacular "Ultima Notte", slowly building up to a raging guitar fest , with little winks at Clapton's "Layla" and Laura's ongoing vocal expertise, the feel resolutely more blues-based with little dabs of psychedelic fervor. Piazzi does some tough work on his axe, Alfio enjoying his piano immensely. The last few minutes incorporate faraway thunder and a circus-like dirge, slamming door and bizarre street noise.

The epic 10 minute+ "Disordinaria" represents the high-point here, as there is little haste in building up the main theme, a simple riff that has Gothic appeal, binary drums and a ghostly sheen. The piano and the cello congeal as a masterful union, a definite eerie feel, especially in the stark guitar lines and the somber fret-less bass furrow. The following searing axe solo is intense, volcanic and expressive to the max. This is a clear masterstroke, a dream within a dream, a sonic voyage that keeps its feet on the ground as the head soars among the clouds. In my humble opinion, the disc should have ended with this masterpiece.

The album is finished off by a tired soldier ("Soldato Stanco"), essentially a voice and piano duet lamenting the pain of life and death, highly expressive orchestrations enter the fray as well as a spastic guitar splash before reverting to a mid-tempo piano-led ballad. The explosive guitar solo catches you by surprise, full of verve and spite as the reverb slithers out of range. This is a tasty album that has a few outright winners and a few lesser gems, certainly not a classic RPI album but a great addition nevertheless.

4 Modern worlds

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 Mother & Fairy  by PROWLERS album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.05 | 6 ratings

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Mother & Fairy
Prowlers Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars In 1995 Mellow Records released Prowlers' second album ''Mother and fairy'', actually a 2-CD prog output.Was the band so prolific to write and perform over 2 hours of music just after a year from the ''Morgana'' release?Apparently not, and the liner notes take the listener back to 1992/93, at some point Alfio Costa's brother Flavio had joined the band for the recordings of the first CD titled ''Mother''.A year later Stefano Piazzi had quit from his activities and Flavio Costa was the only remaining member to handle the guitars.During the second half of 94' the remaining quintet recorded a full-hour of music, presented in the album as the ''Fairy'' CD.

Prowlers' remain one of the oddest bands to come out from Italy during the 90's.They sure had this familiar Italian taste of romantic arrangements and symphonic underlines in their music, but their execution was definitely darker than more of the period Italian groups.''Mother'' continues from where we left the band in ''Morgana'', the music is somewhere on the line between Neo/Symphonic Prog and retro Psychedelic Rock, featuring lots of nostalgic organ, sinister synth experiments, poetic female vocals but also some heavier symphonic parts and more contemporary Neo Prog qualities in the more melodic parts.Consider this as a modern version of the French CATHARSIS or even GOBLIN minus the jazzy influences, the material is fairly-organ driven with piano and electric guitars support and some synth bursts here and there, again performed in slow-tempo arrangements, which are quite long and full of instrumental passages.One year later Prowlers had made a slight turn towards a more conventional Neo/Symphonic Prog sound, as revealed in the work on ''Fairy''.The tracks are still lengthy with extended instrumental interludes, but the music has become slightly more refined and a bit faster with more pronounced use of synths, while a few tracks contain beautiful Italian lyrics.To my ears now they sound extremely balanced between Symphonic and Psychedelic Rock, because the psych material wasn't actually gone, and the music is very original, more upbeat and even more convincing, eventually featuring strong tempo and stylistical variations in a very genuine form.What hasn't actually changed at all is the lust for a muddy, vintage production.

An EARTH & FIRE meet CATHARSIS kind of album.While not all tracks are succesful in composing terms, which is pretty reasonable for a 2-hour album, this work is usually intelligent, very atmospheric and musically flexible to satisfy fans of old or new Prog, symphomaniacs and lovers of darker listenings.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Morgana by PROWLERS album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Morgana
Prowlers Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Among the more well-known bands, which helped for the revival of Italian Prog during the second half of the 80's, there were a few infamous ones, which contributed to the movement to a lesser extent.Prowlers from Bergamo are one of these cases, initially started as a Hard/Blues Rock act and found in 1985 by Laura Mombrini (vocals), Gianni Radici (guitars) and Roberto Biglioli (drums), Fabio Deho (bass) and Alfio Costa (keyboards).The first demo though was recorded with Giovanni Vezzoli behind the drum kit.Another demo was recorded by the band in early-90's with newcomers Stefano Piazzi (guitars) and Marco Premoli (bass), entitled ''Morgana''.In 1994 Mellow Records decided to release it as the first official Prowlers recording.

So, by early-90's Prowlers had fully transformed into a nice Psych/Progressive/Art Rock band, fronted by a decent female singer and a talented company of instrumentalists as listened in ''Morgana''.And the opening ''Day after'' with its dreamy, delicate and lyrically intense mood is not actually representative of Prowlers' early stylings, sounding too accesible and inflexible.However this is followed by four long tracks, three of them clocking at over 11 minutes, with rather cliche titles but very impressive musicianship at moments.These are characterized by low-tempo arrangements split between long, spacey and quite psychedelic vocal deliveries, supported by hypnotic rhythmic parts and dreamy synths, and passionate guitar explosions with fascinating solos and grooves with limited vocal interruptions and a very haunting atmosphere overall.The combination works extremely well and the shifting changes between spacey textures and guitar-driven energetic passages is almost fascinating.On the other hand the album suffers from the typical problems of a demo release: A mediocre production, an unacceptable mix and some false-sounding vocal lines prevent ''Morgana'' from being an essential album.

This is one of the releases I simply love.Underground Progressive Rock from Italy, performed and executed during Prog's darkest ages, but offering a bunch of well-crafted and semi-personal compositions.Warmly recommended despite its low recording quality.

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 Sogni in una goccia di Cristallo by PROWLERS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.24 | 12 ratings

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Sogni in una goccia di Cristallo
Prowlers Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The comeback album from this Italian band.

Prowlers is listed as a Rock Progressivo Italiano band. This album does not have the typical retro Rock Progressivo Italiano sound though. It also has a very contemporary sound. The world has moved on since the 1970s and so has this band. The light female vocals (by Laura Mombrini) here also sets Prowlers a part too. The music feels like it has been built around Laura's vocals. The sound on this album is therefore rather light and flowery. No heavy guitars and no heavy keyboards cascades. Prowlers whispers where most other Rock Progressivo Italiano bands screams.

The sound is great. But the lack of any really great songs here is a major problem and this album's undoing. The music is too pedestrian and does not offer that much variation either. This is still a good album, but nothing more than that. Those who likes Rock Progressivo Italiano in the vein of Pink Floyd will appreciate this album more than I do, though.

3 stars

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 Mother & Fairy  by PROWLERS album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.05 | 6 ratings

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Mother & Fairy
Prowlers Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Delightful, melodic, and intimate

Honestly, I did not expect to be knocked out by Prowlers, an Italian band singing primarily in English and leaning well into Neo-prog territory with this release. Nothing wrong with those traits but they typically are not my thing. But playing "Mother and Fairy" they won me over with a combination of heart and ambition. This work is a carefully crafted labor of love, a 2-disc double album filled with long, dreamy songs and gorgeous art design. Prowlers were born in 1985, possibly the lowest ebb in the progressive rock timeline, but they persevered. Fans of hard rock and Barrett-era Pink Floyd, the group would toil many years developing their sound before Mellow would release their demo in 1994. In 1996 came "Mother and Fairy" where they had the honor of working with producer Ciro Perrino, a legend in the RPI field for the classic Celeste group. The material is almost exclusively composed by keyboardist Alfio Costa (later of Tilion) and features the warm, unique vocals of Laura Mombrini. (Strange, the booklet credits Costa but the back panel says all songs by G. Vezzoli, so I'm not sure who wrote the songs-maybe they will write to me and clarify). Flavio Costa (also of Tilion) handles the guitars and the band is rounded out by Marco Premoli (b), Giovanni Vezzoli (d), and Stefano Piazzi (g). Other listed band influences, all which make perfect sense after hearing M&F, are Pink Floyd, Renaissance, Jefferson Airplane, Iron Maiden, Sandrose, Circus 2000, Goblin, Osanna, and The Trip. The band lasted until 1998, when Laura and Giovanni had finally had enough and decided to leave. If my understanding of the web interview I read is correct, Costa as much as said that Mombrini was the heart of Prowlers and without her there was little point in continuing. They folded the band and the Costa brothers would re-emerge a bit later in Tilion, which continues to this day.

Let's get the negative stuff out of the way first. Reading Stefan Ludmann's review of M&F [from Progressive Newsletter, 1996] I was amazed at how different my feelings were. Stefan just savaged this band in his review, ripping the playing, singing, songwriting, production, and artwork. I won't quote him because the auto-German translator may not be "quote accurate" but I believe he actually stated that the recording was not worthy of the natural resources used to make it. Now, I can understand some of his criticisms and believe some people would share them. Even with Perrino helping, this album does have production issues. It often sounds a bit thin or muffled in places, though not to any degree that forced me off the road. Next, as much as I adore Laura's singing, both she and the male leads are capable of sounding out of tune occasionally. Last, while the playing is very competent the Prowlers will never be confused with Crimson or Mahavishnu Orchestra to be sure. Still, given the above criticisms, I come to a VERY different conclusion that Mr. Ludmann. For me "Mother and Fairy" is simply a joy that pleases me more with every listen. While I enjoy quality sound and production as much as the next guy, I am much more interested in what the music does for me. If I am moved by what I hear I can usually forgive sound issues. "Mother and Fairy" is not an album for listeners who require their music to sound as "professionally perfect" as Porcupine Tree or the like. This is music for people like me, who appreciate good melodies and intimate recordings by folks who don't have months of studio time at their disposal to make every aspect immaculate. In fact, I can state in no uncertain terms that I prefer Prowlers to many of the super-polished bands adorning the Neo-prog subgenre (or other genres for that matter.)

"Mother and Fairy" is a large collection of 5-12 minute songs that float and bounce on the synths of Alfio Costa as the primary anchor of the sound. The modern (circa early 90s) synth sound was chosen by Costa here (though he does play some piano as well.) Along with the smooth and melodic guitar lines the sound is closer to neo-prog than traditional symphonic or RPI. Premoli and Vezzoli back them up with an active and interesting rhythm section, never allowing the tracks to stagnate the way I've heard others do. Laura Mombrini's vocals are the signature crown on the Prowlers package and the Prowler's bio calls her the "Italian Annie Haslam." While not as pitch-perfect as Haslam I can understand the reference. Laura's voice is intimate and appealing with a mournful, searching quality to it. I actually prefer Laura's singing over Haslam who has always been too stuffy for my taste. Mombrini handles most vocals although the boys do take a few leads as well. Occasional acoustic guitars are brought in to lend a more classical or renaissance vibe to a few tracks. The Prowlers can rock without question, but their bread and butter is really the slower paced atmospheric sections where the beauty of the melodies and Laura's singing are allowed time to fully play out. The near 13-minute "Awakening of Mother Nature" is a good example of the formula, but every track is consistently appealing and strong. It builds into a climactic rippin' guitar solo before returning to the sad acoustic verse. Another section of pure, amazing beauty is the keyboard passage from 4:23-4:50 of "Emotions" where the bass is just bubbling over Costa's gorgeous moonlit sky melody. Sadly most of the vocals are in English rather than the lovely Italian language but Mombrini seems to have a good handle on it, unlike other Italian vocalists who sometimes slaughter the usage/emphasis. The second disc was recorded in later sessions and perhaps is a bit more adventurous while the first side perhaps a bit more sentimental. There are far too many tracks to dissect in detail here but you can count on many enjoyable moments of warm and accessible progressive rock, a true gem left us by this group of longtime friends.

I think fans of down-to-Earth, melodic neo-prog or symphonic would enjoy "Mother and Fairly" quite a bit and recommend it to those fans. This is two hours of passionate music that shoots for the moon throughout-and despite the noted imperfections on the technical side, it will win your heart over if you let it. I love it and I thank the Prowlers for dreaming big here. 7/10

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 Sweet Metamorfosi  by PROWLERS album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.08 | 3 ratings

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Sweet Metamorfosi
Prowlers Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by elpprogster

3 stars Well, just another interesting release from one of the most proficuous countries in progressive rock: Italy. This band is led by the actual Tilion band keyboard player, Alfio Costa and several influences can be found here: from the hammered symcopaded drums and keys at 2.00 on or so on the 1st track, making us remember ELP┤s Tarkus, to the psychedelic sessions on the other tracks reminiscent of Pink Floyd, and still a bit of Renaissance (obviously due to the female singer) and even Marillion.

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