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LEVIATHAN

Neo-Prog • Italy


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Leviathan biography
It's very common to find Italian Symphonic bands, but no so much when we are talking about Italian Neo Prog bands, it's no usual, so when I noticed I had to write again the LEVIATHAN bio, I placed special interest in them, to see how they blended their traditional and peculiar melodic sense with the strength and modernity of Neo Prog.

LEVIATHAN was formed in 1985 by three very young Italian musicians, Alex Brunon in the vocals, Franco Pezzella in the keys and the drummer Alex Brunon. Inmediaytely the band started to work in their first demo "7% Solution" which saw the light in the same year. This demo has two long tracks, but sadly and because the distribution was limited, there are very few available copies today. But the point was made, they caught the attention of the critics due to their particular sound.

In 1987 LEVIATHAN recruits Sabdro Wlderk (Guitar) and Giorgio Carana (Guitar) their definitive lineup was complete. Soon they release their official debut called "Heartquake" which for many is the first Neo Prog Italian release. Being that this experience was new, the band starts a long and successful tour to support the album, which is widened outside the Italian peninsula in 1988.

"Heartquake" presents clear influences of GENESIS. MARILLION and PENDRAGON, but with a clear respect to the lyrical and melodic roots of Italian Symphonic bands like PFM or BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO.

In 1989 Pezella leaves the band and is replaced by the classically trained keyboardist Andrea Amici and they start the recording sessions of their seconf album "Bee Yourself", which was released by the Koreal label "Jigu Records" in 1991.

The album was a great success among critics and fans, it presented a 25 minutes suite, that gave them the chance to perform not only in Italy, but also France as well as the epic presentation at the "Teatro Olimpico di Roma"

In this occasion the Neo Prog tendencies are blended with an exquisite Jazz background which makes of "Bee Yourself" arich and versatile album.

In 1993, Musea Records gets interested in the band and releases a CD version of "Heartquake" with a previously unreleased bonus track, but it wa the beginning of the end, successful changes and internal problems, leave the band almost in a Sabbatical untuil 1998, when they release their third album "Volume", which was the first one to be produced exclusively in English, not like the previous one which combined material in Italian. ...
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LEVIATHAN discography


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

3.16 | 13 ratings
Heartquake
1988
3.42 | 22 ratings
Bee Yourself
1990
2.78 | 9 ratings
Volume
1997

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LEVIATHAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Bee Yourself  by LEVIATHAN album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.42 | 22 ratings

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Bee Yourself
Leviathan Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 1988 a long period full of concert begins for Leviathan.The result of this heavy promotion was the group to become known not only in their homecountry, but also in Germany, Holland, Japan, France and The United States, achieving some very good sales.In July 1989 a new member joins the group, keyboardist Andrea Amici, who replaced Franco Pezzella and a second album, entitled ''Bee yourself'', is recorded and released in 1990 on Contempo Records.

Very good Neo Prog of the MARILLION/DEYSS school of Prog is the name of the game for another Leviathan release, who deny any evident links with the Italian Prog movement for a more British-styled Progressive Rock, relying on melody, bombastic keyboards and sensitive vocals, all delivered in the English language.The sound of Leviathan remains emotional and very atmospheric with nice vocal harmonies, catchy tunes, interesting guitar work ala STEVE ROTHERY and 80's-flavored keyboards with symphonic orientations, which nevertheless suffer from a thin quality, as most of the bands of the time.''Bee yourself'' contains less tracks than Leviathan's debut, clocking though at the same length, and the reason is the addition of the 20-min. title track, the most ambitious effort of the group.This is definitely the most 70's-inspired composition of the album with a deep, symphonic sound akin to GENESIS and laid-back guitar work in the vein of PINK FLOYD.Lots of Classical influences, dramatic instrumental lines, theatrical, diverse voice performances and qualitive melodies appear in a well-structured piece with numerous shifting moods and even some complex keyboard themes, although the weak keyboard sound seems to be again a negative factor.

Typical product of 90's Italian Prog with English lyrics.Musically interesting, containing a combination of accesible and advanced ideas, fairly symphonic along the lines of the groups of the 70's, but always held down by a mediocre recording quality.Still recommended, especially if you are a MARILLION fan.

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 Heartquake by LEVIATHAN album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.16 | 13 ratings

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Heartquake
Leviathan Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Another entry by an 80's Italian band,but this time with a very British sound.LEVIATHAN were formed in mid-80's in Rome by singer Alex Brunori, keyboardisy Franco Pezzella and drummer Andrea Moneta and the same year they even recorded a demo entitled ''7% solution'',distributed in a few copies, enough for the band to gain some wide recognizion.In 1987 with the arrival of Wldrek Sandro on bass and Giorgio Carana on guitars LEVIATHAN enter the studio to record their debut ''Heartquake'',released the next year and re-issued on CD by Musea Records five years later.

It is rather a surprise that the band's sound has nothing to do with any group related to the Italian prog movement of the 70's.Obviously influenced by the new prog movement of UK, LEVIATHAN produced some exciting melodic prog.All tracks are sung by Brunori in English:an emotional,clear and non-accented voice,who supports the band's style very well.The album is filled with the nice playing of Carana,who's distorted guitars are all over the place,delivering sensitive solos, great breaks and catchy grooves.The synth work of Pezzella ranges from colorful supporting roles to grandiose,almost symphonic passages and resembles more than anyone to IQ's Martin Orford.However I find their sound to be a hybrid between ''The wake''-era IQ and early PALLAS in the most bombastic and intense tracks,yet each one is played with great lust and inspiration.

Neo prog followers will love this album,the rest of the progheads will have some pleasant time spent,I think, if listening to ''Heartquake''.Warmly recommended.

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 Volume by LEVIATHAN album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.78 | 9 ratings

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Volume
Leviathan Neo-Prog

Review by ekaton

2 stars An at best mediocre album all in all. Fans of Italian Prog can easily find dozens of groups who are superior to Leviathan. The song writing isn't very exciting, the keyboard department sounds boring and pretty sterile. Some good guitar soli, at least...

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 Bee Yourself  by LEVIATHAN album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.42 | 22 ratings

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Bee Yourself
Leviathan Neo-Prog

Review by Progbear
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A surprisingly enjoyable neo-prog release from Italy. These guys have a real knack for melody, and moments from "Red Moon" and "Endless Hunting" have a knack for putting a tune on your lips and a smile on your face. Keyboards are used in a subtle manner, and luckily for us these guys understand "subtle" doesn't mean "just stick to the same, boring DX7 presets". As a result, this disc has aged a lot better than a number of others of its era.

The 19-minute title suite that closes out the disc does so with grace and style, shifting tempos and moods well and incorporating the tunefulness that is the band's strongest suit. Unfortunately, this is also where the main weakness of the band shows through: the vocals. Alex Brunori is actually a fine vocalist, who puts across the melodies superbly. But he should have sung in Italian; his English diction is absolutely deplorable and he mispronounces a lot of words. It would have been disastrous even had the lyrics not been...rather silly. Which they are, particularly on the suite, which is about the denizens of a beehive.

Still, for all its shortcomings, Leviathan manage to come up smelling like a rose with this recording in the end. For a (sub-)genre as frequently derivative and risible as neo-prog, that's actually quite a remarkable achievement.

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 Bee Yourself  by LEVIATHAN album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.42 | 22 ratings

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Bee Yourself
Leviathan Neo-Prog

Review by Fishy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Second and best album from this Italian progressive rock band. I would describe the music of this album as neo-progressive with influences from jazz. Listening to this album I noticed influences from Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Genesis, Marillion and IQ. This album was released in 1990 but it doesn't sound dated today at all, probably thanks to the seventies and eighties sounds. The highlight of the album is the title track, an epic of 20 minutes which tells the story of a society of bees and the most important moment in the life of one male bee in peculiar. This masterpiece is based on a very beautiful piano melody that returns every now and then, interrupted by many changes in mood and rhythm. I never thought 20 minutes could end so soon. The Hackett-like guitar on this album is lovely but it's obvious that the keyboards take the leading role in all of the songs. But also the bass-player and especially the drummer are extremely talented. The voice of Andrea Amici (it's a boy) is typical for an Italian band, he reminds me of Francone Mussida the singer of the famous Italian band PFM when they released "Chocolate kings". No weak tracks on this album. Too bad there's just 40 minutes of music on this cd. If you ever get the chance to listen to this splendid album, do it !!!! You won't regret it.

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