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Panther & C - L'Epoca di un Altro... CD (album) cover

L'EPOCA DI UN ALTRO...

Panther & C

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.00 | 6 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Not much is known about the background of Italian group Panther & C at this point, but one thing instantly certain is that they've released a highly enjoyable modern Italian prog debut that will prove to be a reliable listen for lovers of symphonic prog. A difficult addition to the RPI category of the Prog Archives site, Panther & C borrow substantially from English symphonic groups such as Genesis and little elements of the Neo-Prog acts, but the purer traits of theatrical vocals, classical piano, racing flute and wilder noise that came to be associated with many of the vintage Italian groups frequently reveals itself, with the band carefully delivering their own original and personal sound in teasing little passages.

`L'Epoca di un Altro...' is a collection of unrelated works with shorter pieces in-between two lengthy epics that begin and close the disc. Eleven minute opener `Conto Alla Rovescia' rumbles with atmosphere and energetic bursts, an extended instrumental introduction full of racing scratchy guitars, huffing flute and piano that moves between doomed romance and dazzling prettiness. It soon introduces a twinkling addictive synth line in unison with a catchy and powerful repeated chorus (perhaps one of the best to appear on a recent Italian prog disc!) with intricate and warm harmonies, and a pretty flute solo will instantly remind RPI listeners of the romance of Locanda delle Fate. The two-part `Mariam' is sweeter with fleeting near lullaby-like moments of dreamy chiming guitars before prancing into an all-instrumental Genesis-like regal pomp of Moog- driven dashes, lush Mellotron veils and gliding electric guitar soloing, and the dramatically vocal heavy `Dik' is wistful with twisting guitar-work.

But best of all is the almost thirteen-minute closer `La Leggenda Di Arenberg' where Panther & C embrace their Italian prog heritage more fully. It offers boisterous group vocals, constant drifting flute darting in and out of the piece that is reflective one second, huffing and wild the next in the true RPI manner, with thick upfront bass murmuring seductively, extravagant drumming rattling with purpose and sleek PFM-like synth runs racing to the finish. With plentiful and constant instrumental passages weaving around some of the strongest vocal moments of the disc (plus some surprisingly funky passages and reggae-like diversions!), the piece is the most original, lively and spontaneous track here, so hopefully the group offer even more like this on their next album!

Some might be a little disappointed at the brisk 37 minute running time (but it should be noted that the shorter length calls to mind plenty of compact vintage Italian prog works from the Seventies!), but Panther & C perhaps might prove to be a good `gateway' group for listeners wanting to look into the exciting range of true RPI-flavoured Italian groups but who feel intimidated not knowing where to start. Panther and C bridge the gap between the English Symphonic Prog bands and proper ravishing RPI groups, and `L'Epoca di un Altro...' is a stylish and professional first musical statement from a promising and highly skilled new group.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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