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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 Promenade are a young band from Genoa with a solid classical background and a deep love for progressive rock. Formed in 2010, after a long, painstaking work and a good live activity on the local scene, in 2016 they released an excellent debut album entitled "Noi al dir di Noi" on the independent label Altrock/Fading Records with a line up featuring Matteo Barisone (vocals, keyboards), Gianluca Barisone (guitars, backing vocals), Stefano Scarella (bass, sax, backing vocals) and Simone Scala (drums, percussion). Some guests such as Damiano Baroni (violin), Francesco Bagnasco (violin), Gigi Magnozzi (viola), Giacomo Biagi (cello), Giovanni Aquilino (flute) and Jacopo Bagotti (bassoon) gave their contribute during the recording sessions and the result is powerful and fresh, a perfect blending of symphonic influences in the best Italian tradition (Maxophone or PFM come to mind) and Mediterranean jazz rock in the vein of Arti e Mestieri. The lyrics do not tell stories but are more like pastel touches of colour on the musical canvas and with the wonderful art work by Libero Ruglio they help to conjure up a magical world where imagination rules.

The long, sparkling opener 'Athletics' is an amazing instrumental track where virtuoso passages and good musicianship give free rein to pyrotechnical explosions of positive energy while avoiding the traps of self-indulgence. It's a kind of manifesto where the members of band feel free to showcase all their inventiveness and ability to create dreamy music landscapes.

On 'Il secondo passo' (The second step) the band describe in music and words all their love for a music that can draw you in a fantastic world of notes and dreams where daily acts become just still images of a rite with no beginning nor end. Inspired notes fall down like touches of colour on a white canvas creating a beautiful tableau that drop after drop comes to life lightning the senses...

'L'albero magico' (The magic tree) is a dreamy, ethereal piece that combines melody and jazzier passages. In some way here the music and words celebrate the magic of the nature and the strength of its elements. In your dreams you can get lost by diving in deep water circles, burning your identity or following the scent of a flower like a swinging, coloured butterfly... Every now and again the music of this piece reminds me of Maxophone.

The following 'Roccoc' is a brilliant divertissement that blends rock and baroque music with a funny, ironic touch. The music and lyrics evoke the calm of a castle and its court where you can feel safe and free from distress and worry, almost achieving a state of ataraxia. You are free too play the music you prefer and in the meanwhile there's somebody else who cares for you and even thinks for you. Eventually you're nothing but the prisoner of a fairy tale and your autonomy is lost...

Then it's the turn of 'Kernel' a nice piece that could recall PFM from their "Passpart'" period. The title refers to a software that is the core of a computer's operating system while the music and words evoke the dangers of internet addiction. You can imagine the riders of the cubic table chasing a dummy with cables in the head between nets and connections...

'Pantera' (Panther) is jazzy and sensual. It deals with the painful memories of a past love, the sense of void that leaves a broken romance and the faded colours of a solitary life in the company haunting ghosts and fragile dreams under the moonlight. You're still looking for a thought that could touch the soul in the vain search for a love that's sliding away'

The melancholic final track, 'Crisantemo' (Chrysanthemum), is a beautiful piece where music and lyrics evoke the sense of dismay and incompleteness that you can experience in front of the mystery of death. A silent night, burning candles, pale smiles, promises written in the wind, fresh tears, forgotten heroes, abandoned children, broken hearts, uncertain steps' In the dark you can see nothing but the burn out sparkles of a merciless dream.

On the whole, I think that this is an excellent album that should find a place in the collection of every Italian prog lover!

andrea | 5/5 |


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