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Silver Key - Third CD (album) cover


Silver Key



3.59 | 18 ratings

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Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars 'Silver Key' is a Neo Prog band from Milan, Italy that started out as a cover band for Marillion and Fish. Even though they officially formed in 1992, it wasn't until 2012 before they released their first album. Their new album, called 'Third', is their third album strangely enough, but, except for Davide Manara (keyboards and synths), none of the members that recorded the first album are still in the band's line up. Currently, the rest of the band consists of Dino Procopio on vocals, Roberto Buchicchio on guitar, Ivano Tognetti on bass and Mr Drummer on drums and percussion.

'Third' was released in April of 2019. The album consists of 10 tracks spanning a total time of 51 minutes. The first three tracks exceed 7 minutes. 'A Common Soldier' begins very atmospheric and spooky sounding, but soon moves to an upbeat track. There are some interesting harmonics and the vocals aren't too bad as they promote an intriguing theme. There are some good keyboard riffs spread out through the first part of the track. The instrumental break has some gunfire effects and a great extended guitar solo. At about 6 minutes, everything breaks down to a slow piano/vocal section, and the vocal, while remaining strong, still suffers a bit on the quieter passage, but there are some similarities to Fish's vocals. 'V.R.' continues using keyboards to produce Marillion style music, but to great effect. In sections of this track, there are some evil sounding spoken vocals against a funky guitar riff. Vocals are better again, though not exactly perfect, they adequately make the Neo Prog designation correct with their Marillion inspired sound. There is another great guitar solo in the last half before it returns to the vocal melody again. 'Ulysses' begins as a beautiful piano led track with a soft synth. Vocals soon join in, but seem to be much better with this quieter passage. Soon, the music gets more complex and progressive, the vocal theme gets much more progressive. There are some wordless vocals behind the main vocals that give the song an eerie sound. Meters change often in this track and the mood remains dark.

The excellent use of keyboards and guitar continues through the album, with an ever changing display of moods, meters, great effects and musicianship throughout. 'I Wish' has some really great mood changes and a killer synth solo. 'Last Love' is a swirling and romantic sounding track, but there really isn't much that is standard about it, which gives it a unique sound, especially for a track that is not as complex. There are places where vocals falter a bit, but this isn't very distracting. The atmospheric guitar solo in the 2nd half is absolutely exquisite.

The remaining 5 tracks are all under 5 minutes each and each track flows into the next one, just like a suite. 'A Rude Awakening' has a more straightforward rhythm and is quite accessible, that is until 2:30, when it shifts gears into a heavy sound and a dark vocal that shifts from the vocalists high range which is yelled out to a deep evil low register. This alternates back and forth and goes right into 'Back to the Present' which is immediately brighter instrumental with a synth playing the melody and a soft textural back ground and a moderate rhythm. In the second half of the song, the guitar takes over the solo. 'Murder' takes off right away with some off key vocals, but it's all meant to sound evil. I think they overreach a bit with this one, but it has quite a rousing guitar solo later. 'Endless War' continues with the dark vocals and a heavy tone. There are some strange harmonies here, but I think it is at least a bit better than the prior track. The last track is 'The Door Shuts'. It begins with an electronic spoken word vocal. After that finishes, the music goes into a thick electronic and symphonic sound and finishes up with a guitar improvisation.

The first 5 songs, which actually take up most of the album and consist of the longer tracks is the strongest part of the album. These tracks are full of progressiveness and inventiveness with a strong Neo-prog sound. The last 5 tracks are the shorter ones, and seem to be tied by as a suite. Its good these are shorter tracks as it is the weaker part of the album, but I don't think that it drags the album down too much because the first part of the album is that good. Anyway, this is easily a 4 star album and should be listened to if only for the first 5 tracks.

TCat | 4/5 |


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