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Promenade - Noi al dir di Noi CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.95 | 102 ratings

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5 stars There's obviously something in the water over in Italy, all these young bands, in their short time together making music, offering instrumentally skilled fresh albums well beyond their years with an enviable understanding and knowledge of so many of the defining Seventies symphonic groups from their country, but given a modern youthful approach as well! Alongside Ingranaggi della Valle, F.E.M and Il Paradiso degli Orchi (in addition to many others), we now have a fledgling band from Genoa called Promenade, formed in 2014, and their debut album, `Noi al dir di Noi', offers plenty of complex and romantic RPI-flavoured symphonic arrangements and light jazz-fusion diversions performed with honed precision, with a charismatic spirited vocalist, that fuses the fanciful majesty of a group like Premiata Forneria Marconi with an enthusiastic energy.

Right from the start, `Athletics (which might as well have been titled `Prog-Rock Gymnastics!') is one of the most attention- getting openers to appear on an Italian prog album throughout 2016, an almost eleven-minute schizophrenic instrumental that powers through an exhausting range of frantic themes, usually delivered with whirling sax, nimble jazz-fusion-flecked guitar races and dizzying keyboard runs! It sets a very high standard early on, but fortunately the vocal-driven pieces that follow are all equally superb, with the dreamy `Il Secondo Passo' given flight by keyboardist Matteo Barisone's breathy and swooning vocals, the warm romantic purr of `L'albero Magico' given a shimmering 80's King Crimson-era guitar sheen, and prancing violin themes, flute, sax and harpsichord-like effects dance through the sweet melody of `Roccoco'.

`Kernel' effortlessly jumps back and forth in tempo, loaded with jazz-fusion-styled trickling electric piano, Stefano Scarella's murmuring bass, Gianluca Barisone's electric guitar bite and Simone Scala's wild thrashing drum bursts. The final two pieces of the album are the longest since the opener, `Pantera' (again, offering that 80's Crimson chiming maddening guitar slickness) is gently grooving with ambitious multi-part vocal arrangements, especially impressing with emotional extended guitar and nimble synth solos in the finale, and the completely exquisite `Crisantemo' slows down for a more thoughtful closer, a softly melancholic near-orchestral reflection of aching violin and gloomier piano carefully revealing a lurking late-night jazzy playfulness.

Refreshingly vinyl length and also presented with superb covert art, `Noi al dir di Noi' not only showcases a young group offering a music debut of supreme maturity and great taste well beyond their years, but it's amongst the most endlessly melodic, unashamedly romantic, vocally rich and instrumentally sophisticated Italian/pure RPI discs of 2016.

Five stars for an essential modern release of Italian progressive music, well done Promenade!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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