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MANGALA VALLIS

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Mangala Vallis picture
Mangala Vallis biography
Founded in Reggio Emilia, Italy in 1998 - Still active as of 2019

MANGALA VALLIS is a new progressive rock band from Italy, whose members are three well-experienced musicians: Gigi Cavalli Cocchi (drums), Enzo Cattini (keyboards) and Mirco Consolini (guitar and bass). Completely in love with the sound of the early 70's, MANGALA VALLIS is influenced by the music of that golden era, even if its music is filtered through its own taste and vision. Some symphonic prog lovers will notice that they mix styles of vintage GENESIS and GENTLE GIANT, while adding some Fish-era MARILLION and SPOCK's BEARD influences.

"The Book of Dreams" is dedicated to the memory of writer Jules Verne, and each track has lyrics based on one of his classic books (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in 80 Days, & A Journey to the Center of the Earth). Joining them are three great vocalists that reminiscent of Peter GABRIEL and Neal MORSE to name a few. All instruments are vintage and gives the overall sound a more classic feel rather than a retro sound. In closing, "Book of Dreams" is both a great debut and welcomed addition to any symphonic prog lovers collection. Don't miss this JEWEL !!!

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MANGALA VALLIS discography


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

3.60 | 68 ratings
The Book of Dreams
2002
3.63 | 72 ratings
Lycanthrope
2005
3.78 | 81 ratings
Microsolco
2012
3.04 | 16 ratings
Voices
2020

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

MANGALA VALLIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.13 | 6 ratings
Intergalactic Video Archives
2009

MANGALA VALLIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MANGALA VALLIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

MANGALA VALLIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Voices by MANGALA VALLIS album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.04 | 16 ratings

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Voices
Mangala Vallis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by robertprog

3 stars Its been a long time since Microsolco. Great work. Musically maybe their best. But i missed yet then the spectacular vocals of their former voices. Quite operatical ( simmilar to the ones of other great prog italiano band. Locanda delle fate) I remember with nostalgia his great performance in PFM Chocolate Kings Album

Actual vocals are very Good Specially to nowadays style of pop rock of the band Songs are all very Good. Solid music.

But this is not a very inspired prog rock album of a great band.

This music is simmilar to most of the american oriented rock creations ,for more massive audience

If i have to evaluate pop prog rock 4 stars. Maybe 4,5 stars.

But If i compare with their last rock progressivo italianoalbums , 2,5 to 3 stars

 Voices by MANGALA VALLIS album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.04 | 16 ratings

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Voices
Mangala Vallis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars It has been some years since I last heard a new album from Mangala Vallis. Back in 2005 they released their second album 'Lycanthrope' with ex-PFM singer Bernardo Lanzetti, and I was fortunate enough to interview them at the time. It took seven years for them to return with their third album, 'Microsolco', during which time they had been through considerable line-up changes. There has now been another long gap until their fourth, 'Voices', however, this time around there has been just a single change in line-up, which consists of Roberto Tiranti (vocals), Gigi Cavalli Cocchi (drums), Mirco Consolini (electric and acoustic guitars, bass, backing vocals), Niky Milazzo (electric guitars) and 'new boy' Gianfranco Fornaciari (keyboards, backing vocals).

Whereas 'Lyncanthrope' was a trip back to the Seventies, this is far more fresh and in your face with modern keyboards combining with guitars in a way which has far more in common with crossover and even neo prog than it does with the RPI movement with which they are more commonly associated. This is fresh and inviting and is incredibly easy to listen to and Tiranti is a great singer with unaccented vocals, and with all lyrics in English this is a really enjoyable romp without ever setting the world on fire. For some reason there is the feeling of a lack of depth, and I would liked to have heard the band present with more dynamics and passion, as there is the impression that in some ways they are holding back. It is not as if the band is going through the motions, but there is little in the sense of exploration and it is almost as if they are working to a formula. The musicianship is good, but again the band feel restrained and there is little in the way of virtuosity or dynamics, and the result is something which is quite bland in many ways. Personally, I prefer my food to contain a range of spices, herbs, and flavours, and the same goes for my music. This is something I have enjoyed, but there is the impression it could have been so much more.

 Voices by MANGALA VALLIS album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.04 | 16 ratings

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Voices
Mangala Vallis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by alainPP

3 stars MANGALA VALLIS releases his 4th album at the beginning of the year for a renewed sound, pop rock atmospheres a little used that made the happiness of our radio stations some time ago. They enjoy composing in harmony with sounds that seem to please them. "The Centre of Life" opens the album with a warm title, almost rocky voice and pop-prog-FM air, synth well present for an energetic rock with bass emphasis, then a well-placed solo that defines the sound well. "No Reason" continues with a more FM radio tune, both in tone and rhythm; the English voice is so pleasant to hear that there are no markers on Italian origin; after a few gentle choruses, the second part is very gradual with development around the synth and guitar solo also rhythmic, its well in the atmosphere of the 90's, catchy title. "Get It While You Can" follows with a warm piano and guitar arpeggio, all surrounded by Roberto's sensual and deep voice; alternating FM moments languorous style ballad and breaks more incisive with percussion well in place allows to give an airy and less intimate dimension, the guitar solo of Niky and the synth base of Gianfranco turning the ball in a beautiful way until the piano returns. "The Voice Inside" also begins with a piano and drum rhythm, and a high voice, reminiscent of what was done in the 80's and 90's, good but without any real novelty; here again, it's the guitar that saves the composition a little with notes that tear the air and make a little go in three times; FM solo par excellence , then return of the agreed chorus. "An End to an End" pushes the nail even further with this title pulling on new wave sounds with synths giving electronic rhythm; one is limited here on a pop-rock ballad to listen to in car and open windows or convertible, the air slide guitar limit country giving a little more in the genre with a battery of a shot highlighted, the end with an orchestral break almost symphonic . "Demon" arrives, energetic with synths again forward, it reminds from afar of the constructions of SAGA where synth turned the ball with the guitar during a verse; it's energetic, a bit of the GENESIS of the 80's or the MARILLION in fact, but without the voice here too garish, too acute; fortunately as since the beginning of the album, the title starts on a different tune, a second drawer in the middle of the course giving more sensitivity, more warmth to the development of the title well rock in fact with his guitar solo well placed; the last drawer returns squarely to a rock FM sound of the 80's with the invasive voice on a last solo. "Sour" for the 7th and final track of this short album for the romantic ballad centered on the beautiful voice of Roberto, impeccable English; it's sweet, languorous, not melancholy, just the ideal slow a little out of phase at the beginning of 2020; the guitar solo is there purely enjoyable, we imagine the lighters light up at the end of the concert (yes before the laptops, it was lighter!) MANGALA VALLIS has finally released an album, far from the sounds of the start, far from the neo-prog that characterized it, in a more modern and rock musical framework, but not metal, not jazzy as is often customary for some time. This album is at the crossroads of the 80's whether in the neo movement or in the new wave, more in fm rock. "Voices" is supposed to represent what is inside us, our voices and our thoughts about our advancing age and which actually requires synthesising the music we love. Hence the idea of freeing themselves from their roots and their reference groups from the start; the flaw because there is lack is the lack of imagination of this album that would be perfect in 1980, pleasant during the 90's, but which here is sorely lacking constructive energy and progressive clean. In fact, despite the touching voice and well-ordered sounds, it lacks the momentum of madness that characterizes the musical creations of the moment; a good album certainly, especially for this magic guitar during solos, but an album too common in fact, and that perhaps goes too far off the beaten track.
 Intergalactic Video Archives by MANGALA VALLIS album cover DVD/Video, 2009
4.13 | 6 ratings

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Intergalactic Video Archives
Mangala Vallis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars "FIRST REVIEW OF THIS DVD"

Recently the Dutch music venue De Boerderij (in Zoetermeer) is voted as the second best, after the legendary Royal Albert Hall in London. That is a huge award for concert planner Arie Verstegen, he is not only the one who took big names like Kansas, Steve Hackett, Ange, Uriah Heep and UK to Holland, but also the Italian progrock, from Le Orme, PFM and The Watch to Moongarden and ... Mangala Vallis. Their gig is partly used for this live DVD (6 tracks), a registration of the 2006 European tour. It also contains 2 concerts in Italy (2 tracks in Milan and 3 in Fidenza), along some interesting extras.

The focus is on legendary singer Bernardo Lanzetti who was a member of Acqua Fragille that recorded two albums in the early seventies. But he also joined the legendary PFM, between 1975 and 1978 Bernardo made three albums with PFM. I was pleasantly surprised that this prog rock veteran decided to join Mangala Vallis, in those years a new and promising band. Lanzetti sang already on the debut album The Book Of Dreams (2002) with a guest role on one track. Then he was asked fort he entire, very strong second album Lycanthrope (2005). Another big name (from the last two decades) is multi-instrumentalist and producer Christiano Roversi, his calling card includes Submarine Silence, The Watch, Moongarden, John Wetton, David Jackson and he made the album Quasi English with.. Bernardo Lanzetti.

Watching this DVD I notice that Lanzetti adds an extra dimension to the pleasant blend of symphonic rock and neo- prog that the six-piece formation Mangala Vallis deliver. He has not only a distinctive voice, but he obviously adds a theatrical element with his Peter Gabriel -inspired gestures, facial expressions and the phrasing of his vocals. However, he is not the only one who has an important role in the sound of the band. I also enjoyed the lush vintage sound of the keyboards from Christiano Roversi : the violin, flute and choir sounds of the unsurpassed Mellotron (on a Roland U 20 keyboard), the Mini Moog sound (on the Nord Lead synthesizer) and the sound of the Hammond (on the digital Hammond-Suzuki XB-2). Especially on the highlight The Boy That Howls At The Moon it's vintage keyboard time, but the composition A New Century also features lots of Mellotron! The guitarists use 'a small vintage guitar museum', I noticed: a Gibson ES 345, Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster and a Fender Telecaster, both legends in the history of the electric guitar. In the track Call Me Alias one of the guitarists plays on a Fender Stratocaster with delicate use of the bottle neck and in the track Days Of Light we can enjoy a guitarist playing on a red and white Fender Stratocaster. For me these are almost magical elements! The songs Lycanthroparty/Hum/Animal (in The Netherlands) and Cosmotraffic Jam and The Journey (both in Fidenza) are embellished with animations, a fine visual element on this DVD just like the two interesting bonus video clips entitled Lycanthrope Ducalis: The Boy That Howls At The Moon and The Mask. The 'Milan session' was recorded live in the studio, a nice feature.

To complete my review I have to mention that this DVD also contains an interview and concert excerpts including PFM's composition Impressioni Di Settembre. The total running time of this DVD is 143 minutes, so there's plenty to enjoy.

 Microsolco by MANGALA VALLIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.78 | 81 ratings

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Microsolco
Mangala Vallis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This progressive rock band from Italy has certainly gained my attention. Mangala Vallis is a prog rock band in the vein of neo-prog, and thus showcases lots of melody, synth, and eerie atmospheres. Their new album, 'Microsolco', is a solid album with tons to offer.

First off, the theme of the album is the fast pace at which we live today. It discusses a longing for simpler, more naturalistic times by introducing us to a hacker that has created a virus that will destroy all the world's digital memory on 21/12/2012. It's an interesting concept that I certainly relate to, but I must point out that this album would probably not be possible without the very things the band is decrying. In fact, the band has a Facebook page! I know it's just a concept, but I found it to be somewhat shallow.

The music, however, is anything but shallow. Their music certainly has some influences, such as Pink Floyd and Marillion, but I think the most obvious one is Spock's Beard. In fact, there are times on this album where I thought I was listening to a Spock's Beard album: They are very similar in many respects. With the silky smooth vocals and the outstanding synth solos, 'Microsolco' comes to life with impressive clarity. Every instrument is used to great effect and virtuosity, but I think that the synth towers above them all. The synth solo in 'Gods of the Xii Century' is pure gold, and I do believe this is the best track on the album, too. Every track on this album, however, is superbly crafted and always interesting and soulful.

Mangala Vallis has offered up a great album that, while not topping lists by any means, will certainly be an album that grows and grows on the listener. It has everything I could ask for in a neo-prog album, and I hope this band sees some publicity this year.

 Microsolco by MANGALA VALLIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.78 | 81 ratings

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Microsolco
Mangala Vallis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Gallifrey

4 stars Mangala Vallis - "Microsolco" 13/20

43rd place album of the year 2012

"Microsolco" is the latest album from Italian band Mangala Vallis, and their first full-length in 7 years. Judging from the lyrics, referencing the year and even the 2012 apocalypse, it is clear the band intended this to be released in 2012, in fact releasing it on the very first day of 2012. Despite often being lumped into the Italian Symphonic (RPI) subgenres, Microsolco contains a significant amount of neo-prog tendencies, as opposed to straight symphonic.

The entire album, musically, is fantastic. The melodies are strong, the solos are inventive, but I feel it's the entire instrumentation of symphonic prog that pulls it back here. The retro instruments are actually a hindrance to any atmosphere, and often sound comical. Anyone could take the music here and make some truly beautiful stuff, which sometimes happens, like in the latter half of "Easy Empire", but the primary focus of symphonic arrangements pulls back most of the album, the same problem I find with artists like Neal Morse.

The more neo-prog sounding parts of the album are the nicest, in my opinion; with "Gods of The XXI Century" containing the obvious synth solo, but never loses its atmosphere because of it. "Plastic Paradise" is my personal favourite on the album, also devoid of the 'retro' sounds, with a really fantastic chorus.

Now, to the REAL reason I don't like this album as much as the music dictates I should. The lyrics are atrocious. Absolutely horrible. The album writes about something to do with the apocalypse and "everyone believing it would happen". A really weak topic for an album, especially considering everyone had forgotten about it come June. And it seems the band specifically waited for 2012 to release it, because of these lyrics, which seems like a bit of a waste.

The music on this album is great, very good choruses and solos, excellent use of time signatures, especially the 13/8 one in "Welcome to the New World", but the old-fashioned sounding instruments and awful lyrics mean that after a few listens you're very sick of it. Definitely worth a listen, but maybe not much more.

Originally written for my facebook page/blog http://www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

 Lycanthrope by MANGALA VALLIS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.63 | 72 ratings

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Lycanthrope
Mangala Vallis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars In 2003 the Mangala Vallis trio had expanded to a solid quintet with the permanent addition of Bernardo Lanzetti on vocals and Riccardo Sgavetti on bass.Lanzetti became also the lyricist of the band and Mangala Vallis begun writing material for a second album.''Lycanthrope'' saw the light in 2005, originally a product of Tamburo A Vapore, with a few guest musicians on guitars and choirs, among them Mr. David Jackson from Van Der Graaf Generator, who adds saxes in a pair of tracks.

The sound of the band has not changed a bit compared to the very good ''The Book of Dreams'', the only difference is Lanzetti's vocals, which are all over the place this time.Mangala Vallis insist on playing nostalgic Symphonic/Progressive Rock with strong GENESIS and PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI influences with endless bits of Mellotron throughout and very solid guitar work.The arrangements are very nice with a great balance between instrumental and vocal parts, mostly with a symphonic approach, where Enzo Cattini shines with his work on organs, Mellotron and pianos, while Consolini delivers a good number of sensitive guitar performances.There is also some nice switches between rhythmic keyboard-driven themes and more atmospheric soundscapes, while Lanzetti's presence adds the GABRIEL-esque voice of a veteran, who knows how to sing.The smoother moments remind a lot of his days with PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (''Chocolate kings''-period) with nice acoustic textures to surround him.The overall performance of the band is professional, confident, without any serious flaws, but the album lacks the killer track or the personality to make an instant impact.

Definitely an album, which will end up among the favorite ones of Symphonic Rock, Italian Prog, Retro Prog or Classic Progressive Rock's fans.But also anyone who has a leaning towards the modern scene should give Mangala Vallis a chance for the good mix of melodic guitars and clear production with analog keyboards.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 The Book of Dreams by MANGALA VALLIS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.60 | 68 ratings

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The Book of Dreams
Mangala Vallis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The label says Italy and Rock Progressivo Italiano. My taste buds says Symphonic Prog and USA.

The debut album from Mangala Vallis is one of the notable albums from the recent Rock Progressivo Italiano revival. It is also one of the more untraditional albums too. Untraditional because of it's sound. A sound that takes me to USA. But I will not repeat myself (like I always do).

The sound is as big as the Mid-West prairies. The music is also very big with a lot of lush classic symphonic prog'ish melody lines. Plenty of mellotrons and other vintage tangents is dominating the airwaves. They are supported by some really good vocals, guitars, bass and drums. References is many of the US symphonic prog bands, a bit of pomp rock and the final two Genesis albums with Steve Hackett.

The quality is very good throughout. Although this album has some great melody lines, there are no real killer tracks here and that is the difference between the stars for me. I am not fully embracing this album. But it is nevertheless a very good album well worth checking out.

3.5 stars

 Lycanthrope by MANGALA VALLIS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.63 | 72 ratings

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Lycanthrope
Mangala Vallis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

3 stars Other members of the site have beaten me to the punch with their reviews of this album so I'll keep my comments short if not sweet. ''Lycanthrope'' contains some nice tunes but it's just a tad too derivative. If it's not the seemingly ubiquitous Dave Gilmour slide guitar then it's the Chris Squire bass, and if it's not the Emerson-inspired Hammond organ flourishes then it's the unashamed references to ''Watcher Of The Skies''. Mangala Vallis aren't the only Italian band to have borrowed from this song of course, but come on, not on three of the opening four tracks on an album. And they don't so much borrow from Genesis as rob them blind.

Now all that would be bad enough but the coup de grace arrives courtesy of singer Bernardo Lanzetti, whose gruff vibrato makes him sound like a heavily accented Roger Chapman. The difference with Chapman is that his voice suits Family's blues-inflected brand of music. Furthermore, the daft wee voices that Lanzetti occasionally uses make it seem that Mangala Vallis simply wants to be taken for a Genesis tribute band.

Plus points? The elegiac ''Call Me Alias'', despite its lack of originality, features some exquisite Mellotron (think of Crimson, circa ''In The Wake Of Poseidon''). Actually, the album features shed-loads of Mellotron, real or otherwise, and that's always a bonus in my book. These guys are apparently working on their third album and, given that this one is even more of a Genesis clone than their debut, they're certainly setting a worrying trend with their releases. If their next album is to be anything other than a pastiche of the seventies giants then a change of direction might be in order, but I'm not holding my breath on that particular score.

 The Book of Dreams by MANGALA VALLIS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.60 | 68 ratings

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The Book of Dreams
Mangala Vallis Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

3 stars Neat Neo. Ropey RPI.

Mangala Vallis are a modern Italian band whose 2002 debut album was inspired by the father of modern science fiction, Jules Verne. The French author's novels have influenced other progressive artists of course, such as Rick Wakeman and Genesis; the Charterhouse alumni themselves provide the main musical inspiration for ''The Book Of Dreams''. Analogue keyboards and 12-string guitar are very much the order of the day with bassist Mirco Consolini doubling-up on guitar and keyboardist Enzo Cattini deploying a variety of analogue instruments, namely Hammond organ, Mellotron and Mini-Moog. The album is in fact a real Mellotron fest, with the machine's strings and choirs dominating all but the brief opening instrumental track ''Ouverture''.

Mangala Vallis don't have a regular singer and instead rely on several guest vocalists, with varying degrees of success. All the vocals are in English and here is the disquisition. While English-language vocals in themselves aren't an issue, when they are combined with the style of music here then Mangala Vallis' RPI credentials might be on a bit of a shoogly peg.

''The Book Of Dreams'' is certainly a highly polished, albeit highly derivative, slice of seventies flavoured prog. Take for example the middle section of ''Is The End The Beginning?'' which sounds like Genesis' ''Apocalypse in 9/8''. Then there are the Yes- inspired vocal harmonies of the title-track, while ''The Journey'' features slide guitar that has me thinking of Pink Floyd. Returning to the vocals, Bernardo Lanzetti's accented singing doesn't fit with the other guest vocals although fortunately he only sings on one track. Matteo Setti and Vic Fraja, who sounds a bit like Fish without the East Coast of Scotland accent, seem more suited to the style of music. Actually, I have to keep reminding myself that these guys are Italian.

If you are looking for an alternative to your usual Genesis or Marillion fix then this just might be right up your alley, whereas those expecting the typical Italian shenanigans will probably be disappointed. Mangala Vallis undoubtedly have promise but the bottom line is that there's barely a ha'porth of originality on this album.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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