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S91

Progressive Metal • Italy


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S91 biography
S91 was born in 2006 from the meeting of the bass player Giacomo MANFREDI and the guitarist Alessandro BAGGIANI at Montecarlo (Lucca's Country). They decided to create a band playing rock music with a Christian message. Afterwards the two singers Tania PETRONE and Sefora BONACCORSI joined in the band, and then Francesco LONDINO (keyboards) and Maria LONDINO (as third singer).

The band worked for some years writing songs, and then in 2009 the lineup was completed with the new guitar player Francesco ROMEGGINI. That year they released the first Ep called Sto Per Tornare, followed by a number of live gigs. The music style moved into progressive metal-psychedelic rock. In 2010, the founding member and guitar player Alessandro BAGGIANI left the band. One year later, on 15 July 2011 the first full-length album was released: Volontā Legata. The album was more metal then the debut, with long and complex songwriting.

Bio provided by the band, edited by Bonnek

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3.66 | 4 ratings
Volontā Legata
2011

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Sto Per Tornare
2009

S91 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Volontā Legata by S91 album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.66 | 4 ratings

BUY
Volontā Legata
S91 Progressive Metal

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars From the streets of Montecarlo

After years poring through hundreds of Italian rock bands in the grasp of a most wonderful musical addiction, the last couple years have been spent listening to a wider range of things for sure. Still, when the chance arises I love to return to my adopted musical homeland. And when I find a band from a small town I love to tour their home on google maps to get an idea of their possible inspirations. Not often have my tours been any more rewarding than checking out S91's hometown of Montecarlo, in Tuscany. Could I use a summer in this gorgeous little village of thin streets, homey estates, and 14th century history in the air? Oh yeah.

S91 formed in Tuscany in 2006 and profess influences of Shadow Gallery and Stream of Passion, progressive rock, metal, and pop. Somewhat unusual for a metal band is that they are fronted by not one, but three female vocalists, and two of them, Tania and Maria handle the lyrics. The music is written by Frank and Franz, keyboardist Francesco Londino having played piano since he was a child. The members of the band have been friends and this camaraderie comes through in the music. It appears there have been some personnel changes since this work, we shall see once their upcoming second full length is released.

While advertised here as a metal band, S91 take a more balanced approach, their "metal" element on the lighter side of the spectrum. What I appreciate about them is that unlike the somewhat cold "mechanical" sound of some prog-metal bands who seem so hung up on intense heaviness, S91 has equal parts softness, human emotion, and obviously a heavy dose of the feminine. Being Italians, whether intentional on their part or not, some of their appreciation for RPI bands like PFM and Orme can be heard on the last two songs primarily. The blend of symphonic grandeur with metal intensities and RPI infusion make for an exciting aural adventure of modern and traditional elements, with plenty of unapologetic humanity shining through.

"What I appreciate about Volonta Legata is how it brings enough over the top progressiveness to appeal to those whose tastes range from Neal Morse to Pink Floyd to Shadow Gallery to Dream Theater and all things in between....you will encounter enough complex songwriting and maze like twists and turns to keep most progressive aficionados interested for time to come...it grew on me with repeated play." -Andrew Rockwell, AngelicWarlord.com

In a world so heavy with despair and misguided madness I find the band's Christian inspiration to be no problem, and in fact uplifting. Worry not, there is no browbeating of the audience here, just a band inspired particularly by Psalm 91 from which the band name originates. It would be foolish to let the Christian tag alone stop you from investigating this music, though no doubt some will. The vocals are a mix of English and Italian, naturally the Italian vocals work much better for this RPI fan.

Early tracks were engaging and energetic to be sure, but the highlight is the 18 minute centerpiece "The Seal of the Living God." A nice array of modern keyboard textures with some piano meet excellent guitar work. Sudden diversions and tempo changes along with a bombastic attitude set the table where lovers of "epic" tracks shall dine. There are breaks for both guitar and keys solos and both are beautiful and inspired--the guitar solo just slays me! The track begins with gruff male vocals before the instrumental breaks, then moves to lovely female harmonies and piano, and more killer lead guitar work. The closer "Spazio inconcepibile" just gets even prettier with acoustic guitar behind melodic piano and vocal harmonies. The songwriting in general is very melodic and appealing, shred never becoming more important than the listening pleasure.

Some will point out that it has all been done before by numerous Dream Theater/Nightwish clones and I understand. But S91 have their own vibe and they appealed to me where those other have not. This album is kind of special in its blend of benevolence and personality.

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 Volontā Legata by S91 album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.66 | 4 ratings

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Volontā Legata
S91 Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars S91 from Italy was a nice discovery for me somewhere in summer last year while searching for some new bands to discover from bandcamp page. These italians really made an more then ok album, at least for me. This is the first full lenght album issued in 2011 named Volonta Legata, they had an EP released in 2009. So, what about the music, to my ears it sounds like a metalized version of italian symphonic prog, really inspired and complicated songwriting in many parts. The music is overall progressive metal not far from DT school or alike but is melted so well with symphonic prog passages, that in the end these two genres works very well. The band has two female voice working together or separatly + a male voice, all three integrated very well in this type of sound. Very solid musicianship, sprecially I like a lot the keyboards, pieces like title track or the mini epic The Seal Of The Living God clocking around 18 to me are quite excellent, even the origibality lacks. A band that gone under the radar in prog metal circles, this is a fairly good debut that must be praised little more, S91 has plenty of talent to go further and crating some even better album then Volonta legata. Since then to me is a 4 star album, nice art work, album available on their bandcamp page digital or CD.

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 Volontā Legata by S91 album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.66 | 4 ratings

BUY
Volontā Legata
S91 Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Volontā Legata' - S91 (6/10)

Progressive metal has been running strong ever since a band called Dream Theater released an album called 'Images & Words'; some might even argue that the style was up and going years before that, as well. Italian act S91 seeks to uphold the legacy of music by taking the sound and mission of progressive metal, and combining it with the signature sound of their country's monstrous prog scene. While this is a combination of sounds that sparks interest in me at first, the band's debut 'Volontā Legata' is faster to inspire a sense of indifference over anything else, despite demonstrating some solid potential throughout the course of this album.

'Volontā Legata' is not the first thing that S91 has recorded, but it witnesses a stark move towards more drawn out compositions, and somewhat heavier performance. As far as metal goes, S91 are actually quite conservative in terms of heaviness, and instead seek to flesh out their sound through harmonies and keyboard textures. Truth be told, it's a formula that has already been done to death, and S91 does little to juice the sound up into something new or fresh. What 'Volontā Legata' passes me as is a generic symphonic metal album, sans the symphonic aspect.. The female vocals only further the comparison to bands like Lacuna Coil or Delain. To their credit though, S91 have done something that I do not think I have heard much in progressive metal, that is to combine the sounds of Italian prog with the done-to-death Dream Theater formula. While the usual suspects that make up the progressive metal sound are certainly here in the sort of doses one might expect from a tame record of the sound, I am also hearing Premiata Forneria Marconi, and while this stylistic fusion isn't done with as much conviction as I would have liked, it is certanly a promising step that could see the band break out of their rather generic ground in the future.

Being a metal band, it should be mentioned that S91 revolves their music around Christian concepts, and some listeners may have a bone to pick with that. Being an English-speaking listener not (yet) fluent in the Italian language, I can only understand bits and pieces of what the soft voice of Maria Londino sings, and the phonetics of the language work very well all the same. Christian lyrics are usually not an issue- after all, if it's what inspires someone to create art, than it's as good as anything- and even if I could not directly relate to what is being sung here, it shouldn't deter from the listening enjoyment. There is some very good musicianship here, particularly a Petrucci-esque guitar solo on the album's centerpiece, 'The Seal Of The Living God'. S91 do not entirely impress me with this album, but they have enough promise as a group to keep me interested in checking out whatever they may release in the future.

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Thanks to bonnek for the artist addition.

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