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Enima biography
Enima are a female fronted Italian progressive rock band formed in Tuscany, Florence in 2003. Led by vocalist Ilaria Boero and guitar player Mauro Strozzieri, this early version of the group was later joined by session musicians Federico Ottati (drums), Giacomo Cipriani (bass) and Stefano Sciolè on keyboards in 2008. Rehearsal sessions and an intense schedule of live concerts in famous Tuscan clubs saw the band start performing a careful selection of progressive rock cover songs from the 80's and 90's in addition to their own original music, and this gave them focus and the direction to move in next. This lead to a self-titled demo in 2009, and prepared the band for their first official album, `Inconsapevole Viaggio' (Unconscious Journey) in 2012.

The debut album `Inconsapevole Viaggio' combines melodic accessible vocal driven rock with ambitious symphonic, Neo and vintage RPI arrangements. The vocals instantly link it to bands with similar intelligent female singers such as Karnataka, Magenta, Materya and Flamborough Head, while the Neo flavours sometimes align them with both eras of Marillion. A work of great variety, highly recommended for those who appreciate bands with modern and vintage elements well balanced.

Biography by Michael Hodgson (Aussie-Byrd-Brother)

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4.00 | 4 ratings
Inconsapevole Viaggio

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 Inconsapevole Viaggio by ENIMA album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 4 ratings

Inconsapevole Viaggio
Enima Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Formed back in Tuscany, Florence in 2003, female fronted Italian prog band Enima finally released their proper debut album `Insonsapevole Viaggio' in 2012. With a title that translates to `Unconscious Journey', this album certainly travels through a number of different styles and sounds, frequently full of colour and a range of emotions. Comprised of symphonic/Neo prog, melodic rock and some RPI-styled compositions based around strong vocal melodies with carefully implemented tasteful instrumental passages, there's a frequent positivity and upbeat quality throughout that's balanced perfectly with a gentle melancholy that never turns depressing. The secret weapon of the band is lead singer Ilaria Boero. She's not merely some pretty window dressing singer (although she is lovely to look at!), instead she is a singer with real character in her voice, and a welcome purring snarl to give the music a little more edge! Thankfully she sings in Italian, allowing her true personality to shine.

Bravely, the band open with the most accessible and straight-forward piece. `Frammenti di Specchio' is an atmospheric adult pop/rocker in the vein of Karnataka and Materya, an appealing tune with a warm vocal, catchy chorus and pleasing harmonies. It's the most undemanding piece on the album, but the lightly unravelling sax solo in the finale hints at the proper RPI flavours to come later on. Little traces instantly reminding of early Marillion and the Neo Prog bands start to emerge throughout the next several tracks. `Alpha Ursae Minoris' opens peppy and up-tempo, with a dreamy vocal, atmospheric ringing guitar strains and a gutsy confident chorus to follow. `Il Sogno' brings a surprising heaviness, Ilaria welcoming the chance to deliver a more baying vocal around hard guitars and Stefano Sciolè's ice-cool synths with a whirring Moog finale. There's a lingering sombre atmosphere that permeates `Notte nel Deserto', with moody narration, thoughtful piano and glistening keyboards weaving together again reminding of Fish-era Marillion, while the soaring extended electric guitar solo from Mauro Strozzieri in the finale instantly calls to mind Jadis.

The band deliver in their own self-titled track with `Enima', a lovely and beautiful romantic instrumental. A gliding melody takes flight with upbeat piano, trilling Moogs and cooling synths, the second half taking a more driving guitar turn. They then raise the intensity for the delicious `Intuizioni', dark slinking grooves powered by Giacomo Cipriani's thick pulsing bass and Federico Ottati's dominating and punishing hypnotic drum patterns, a lustful biting vocal from Ilaria and wild guitar wailing to finish on. To close the album, the band finally deliver a proper RPI epic in `Motore Immobile'. With eleven extended minutes, the group challenge themselves to stretch their music here, and that means plenty of the symphonic bombast and drama of vintage Italian progressive music. Spirited acoustic guitar strums, glistening classical piano, lively saxophone, dazzling synth runs and Mellotron waves weave around Ilaria's ravishing vocal, the piece unwinding in numerous unhurried direction changes. It's the absolute highlight of an already strong album, and the band they should definitely further explore pieces like this on future albums!

Enima have their influences, but they don't merely lazily recreate past artist and sounds, instead offering great spirit and a distinctive modern musical personality all their own to truly stand out, with plenty of variety as well. There is so much potential with this band, a winning mix of a charming vocalist, talented musicians playing with taste and restraint, and most importantly strong material, and it will be exciting to see where the band head from here. `Insonsapevole Viaggio' is a very pleasant surprise to discover, so make sure to catch up with this band!

Four stars.

Thanks to aussie-byrd-brother for the artist addition.

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