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Mad Crayon - Preda CD (album) cover


Mad Crayon


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.86 | 41 ratings

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3 stars The next decade would be a transitional period for Mad Crayon regarding both their music and the personel.The band started adapting new elements and influences in their music and the seeds of their efforts can be heard in the 2002 demo ''Citta frontale'', which was a small taste of their upcoming album and the new direction.In the meantime they had a hard time replacing their previous drummer Stefano Fabiani, the attempts on live shows with newcomers failed and they decided to focus on the rehearsals for the third album.With also Luca Clari out of the picture Mad Crayon continued as a quartet, but kept composing music, as they were regular participants in various concept albums of the Musea label (''Kalevala'', ''The Colossus of Rhodes'', ''Dante's Purgatorio: The Divine Comedy - part II'').The recordings of the long-awaited ''Preda'' album were completed again with Stefano Crudele as a session drummer and the album was originally self-released by the band in 2009, reissued two years later by BTF.

''Preda'' marks a huge change in every aspect of Mad Crayon's sound.The band had two keyboardists, but the keyboards rarely become a centerpiece in this album with the main contribution coming from the guitars of Daniele Vitalone and Federico Tetti.In other words ''Preda'' sounds like a much more balanced work regarding the guitar and keyboard parts compared to the band's past, mostly GENESIS-influenced albums.Stylistically there is a bit of everything contained in ''Preda'', offered in mid-length, proggy compositions, a fact that partly hurts the consistency of the album but simultaneously shows the band's development over the years.Some tracks are dominated by spacey and mascular synthesizers, flavored by electronic samplers and featuring some very heavy guitars, reminding of OZRIC TENTACLES or QUANTUM FANTAY.Almost in every track elements from the more loose side of music are present, either this is called Jazz, Funk or Fusion, while the harder, guitar-driven material with the slight distortions in a rather psychedelic mood crosses the borders of the PORCUPINE TREE/PINK FLOYD principles.And there are even some pieces, which still retain some of the band's past stylings, like ''Sovrano dell'Illusione'' or ''Re Schiavo Reprise'', with their deep Italian colors, the sensitive melodies on musicianship and vocals and the charming keyboard and piano arrangements with the symphonic and jazzy underlines in evidence.I believe the second half of the album is stronger than the first, which is rather unoriginal and dominated by the new influences of the band.The second one is measured and more personal with a lovely combination and balance between Italian-spiced proggy music, intense spacey soundscapes and heavier moves.

So a new era begun for Mad Crayon with ''Preda''.The following year Stefano Fabiani rejoined the group, so we could expect another work by the band in the future.In the meantime this is some very daring work by the Italians, suffering a bit from the new direction in the first pieces, but eventually evolving in some very good, modern Progressive Rock on the way, keeping its Italian character alive.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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