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Alex Carpani Band - 4 Destinies CD (album) cover


Alex Carpani Band


Symphonic Prog

3.72 | 41 ratings

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4 stars This one has taken me a long time to really get a grip on. At first its jazziness captivated me. But then the more I listened to it I was hearing the GENESISness of it--and the PETER GABRIEL-like voice and vocal stylings. Then, more and more the imitativeness of GENESIS and other early prog masters like VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR came forward. Now I don't know how well I like this one.

1. "Silk Road" (12:58) is very much like a heavier THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE song made to excel by its constant morphing into a wide, wide variety of styles and tempos: awesome Italian singing parts, classical and jazzy piano parts, chunky bass, bouncy organ play, breathy flute soli, Gabriel-era Genesis background vocals, 70s era synths, 70s-sounding drums, and many tasteful solos. The continuous shape-shifting, however, does take its toll: It detracts from allowing this song to form an identity of its own; in the end I am left with the impression that this song was made to be a show piece (of the artist's skills). (8/10)

2. "Time Spiral" (13:22) opens like an old GENESIS song--one that was left off of Selling England by the Pound. It then settles into Neo territory--very imitative with plenty of melody but really with nothing new or innovative. But then the third minute seems to shake the mold with some more modern--no. (Fourth minute) Just my imagination. It's Neo. Pleasant enough stuff. KNIGHT AREA comes to mind. Unlike the album's first song, this one seems to want to plod along at the same pace, with a very predictable form and structure. The blatant GENESIS rip off beginning at 8:21 a bit is disappointing. Luckily it is soon followed by a jazzier KC/VDGG-like section. A Steve Hackett solo tries to fit in at the ten minute mark. ERIS PLUVIS anyone? Nice work. Again the singing in Italian may be the song's saving point. (8/10)

3. "Sky and Sea" (13:53) opens with a delicate weave of GENESIS-like instruments including 12-string guitars and clarinet. The Gabriel-era GENESIS vocal that joins in completes the song's obvious GENESIS reference. The B Sections move, again, into more VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR territory, until at 2:45 an amorphous bridge moves back into GENESIS territory with mellotrons and organ. The vocalist's likeness to Genesis-era Peter Gabriel is truly extraordinary. I guess the presence of Genesis-imitator THE WATCH's guitarist and VDGG's David Jackson throughout this album could also have something to do with its Genesis and VDGG sounds. The soft almost-spoken vocal part in the eleventh and twelfth minutes sound much like Fish-era MARILLION. This is probably my favorite song on the album--if you can get past its obvious roots and influences. (9/10)

4. "The Infinite Room" (14:17) opens with some untempoed piano and saxes--very VDGG- like. As the soundtrack feel builds a tempo seems to solidify until at the two minute mark drums and guitars take over to provide a foundation for a Richard Wright-like echoed synth solo. Mid-tempo Rock tempo is established for the vocal (again very Genesis-era Peter Gabriel-esque). At 3:55 a very COLLAGE Moonshine-like section begins, but it eventually morphs back into the vocal part--which turns from English to Italian at the end of the sixth minute. Dracula is mentioned just before the Richard Wright synths are let loose again. Grand piano takes over with the advent of the seventh minute before a more RPI familiar section takes over. Solos from multiple instruments are being traded until TONY BANKS' Arp synth (think "Colony of Slippermen") takes over. Grand piano then supports a Broadway-like vocal before David Jackson's sax supplants Steve Hackett for the solo on a section taken straight out of "Fly on a Windshield"--which then morphs back into "The Colony of Slippermen." I guess the Infinite Room may be just next to The Waiting Room! The song is pleasant listening--especially if you can get past the familiarity of so many sections--especially some lifted straight out of other classic 70s prog. (8/10)

It is very difficult for me to come up with a rating for this album. I don't do well with Neo-prog in general as the sounds, structures and formats are often too overwhelmingly lifted from favorite or familiar songs from my already prog rich and prog happy past. This is well done. It is well composed and well performed. It is pleasant to listen to. It isn't bad. I guess I'd recommend it to others so that you can make your own opinions. It is in my opinion more pleasant to listen to than most Neo-Prog--for me, moreso than Marillion or IQ--and certainly mores than The Watch or Citizen Cain. But "excellent addition to any prog rock music collection"?? Hmmm . . . I think I'll let you decide.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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