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Aries - Aries CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.48 | 33 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 207

First of all I must confess that I'm not a great specialist in Rock Progressivo Italiano. When I began listening to albums of progressive rock in the distant 70's, as I can remember, I only knew a few albums from this sub-genre of progressive music. I mean 'Arbeit Macht Frei', 'Caution Radiation Area', 'Crac!' and 'Are(A)zione' from Area, 'Chocolate Kings' and 'Cook' from Premiata Forneria Marconi and 'Tilt' and 'Giro Di Valzer Per Domani' from Arti E Mestieri. However, and especially thanks to Progarchives, in this moment I have many more albums and I know much more bands from this sub-genre, such as Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Le Orme, Museo Rosenbach, Osanna, Maxophone, Biglietto Per L'Inferno, Semiramis, Submarine Silence, Locanda Delle Fate and this almost unknown musical project, Aries.

Aries is a personal light-symphonic project by the Italian bassist, multi-instrumentalist, essayist and composer Fabio Zuffanti which is very well known inside the Italian progressive rock scene. He worked and was also member of several Italian progressive rock bands like Finisterre, Hostsonaten, IaZona, La Maschera Di Cera, Quadrophonic, Rohmer, Aries, Buc-Ur and R.u.g.h.e, besides his musical career as a solo artist and other participations in some other projects.

However, I just have heard something about Aries on this site and I only bought their debut studio album a couple of years ago. But I don't remember why I bought it. Probably it was due from what I read about the band's biography here on Progarchives, because sincerely, I didn't know anything about this project or about Fabio Zuffanti's projects, either.

Aries is a duo made up by Fabio Zuffanti and singer Simona Angioloni and in 2005 both recorded the eponymous debut studio album 'Aries' proposing a prog rock folk influence. In 2010 they released their second studio album 'Double Reign' that moves the musical proposal towards to a more dark and electronic atmospheres than the previous one.

So, 'Aries' is the eponymous debut studio album of this Fabio Zuffanti's project and was released in 2005. The line up on the album is Simona Angieloni (vocals), Fabio Zuffanti (acoustic and electric guitars, bass and dulcimer), Roberto Rigo (keyboards), Fabio Centarini (lead guitar), Carlo Barreca (flute) and Pierpaolo Londo (drums). All songs has been written and arranged by Zuffanti with the exception of 'Crossing The Bar' with lyrics by Alfred Tennyson and 'It Struck Me Every Day' and 'When Night Is Almost Done' with lyrics by Emily Dickinson.

'Aries' has six tracks. The first track 'Morning Song' set the mood for the whole album, properly serving as an accurate taster for the listener. Simona's fragile and beautiful voice usher the beginning of the album and adds a join and a great excitement to a huge melody that sticks firmly into our heart. The second track 'Coming Back To Life' is a shorter track that takes the melancholy trend of the all album to a more overwhelming level, due to the clever use of languid keyboard layers and delicately sober and beautiful melodies. The third track 'The Eye Of The Storm' is one of the lengthiest tracks on the album. This is a more audacious track with an atmosphere evocative of the turbulence emanating, perhaps, from an agonizing winter in the end of a day. It's a song with great melodic lines that marries perfectly well with Simona's voice, progressively increasing in agony. The fourth track 'It Struck Me Every Day' is the shortest track on the album. This is a very seductive song with another exceptional vocal performance of Simona, talking about some of the things mentioned on the album, such as, fear, loneliness, the changing of night into day and the feelings that accompany these changes. The fifth track 'Crossing The Bar' shows the band from their most dreamy and introvert side with just singing, a mellow organ performance and an interesting drum beat. It has a nice and mellow flute work, too. The sixth track 'When Night Is Almost Done' is the other lengthy track. It enhances the melancholy that has been present in almost the entire album. The recurrent languid atmosphere includes another great vocal work of Simona. Her voice is really beautiful and charming. The song is nice and well performed, making of it a perfect ending.

Conclusion: Aries is a surprising Italian project. Zuffanti with his many projects can be considered as the progressive Italian mastermind of nowadays. Of all his works, 'Aries' is one of the most romantic, mellow, soft and delicate symphonic progressive efforts. Maybe musically isn't as rich as many others, but the strength of this album are based in the extremely beautiful melodies and in the stunning vocals. 'Aries' is a very surprising, mellow and beautiful album led by Zuffanti, a good and very talented Italian multi-instrumentalist musician and wonderfully supported by Simona with a fantastic and beautiful voice. I'm in love with Simona's voice. All the six musical pieces are great with nice piano moments, great guitar parts, beautiful flute sounds and splendid keyboard works led by a unique voice. The musical structure of the album is very delicate with an interesting mix between classical ethereal and atmospheric symphonic prog within more commercial parts as, mainly, in the feminine sad and beautiful vocal parts. It's highly recommended.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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