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Ingranaggi Della Valle - In Hoc Signo CD (album) cover

IN HOC SIGNO

Ingranaggi Della Valle

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.02 | 276 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 556

Ingranaggi Della Valle is an Italian prog band from Rome created with the goal of evoking the sound and atmospheres of the historical prog rock of the 70's, creating their own music open to fusion, ethnic and jazz-rock influences. The project was born in the end of 2010 with Flavio Gonnelllini, Mattia Liberati, Edoardo Arrigo and Shanti Colucci. The band began playing jazz fusion and funk/rock evolving their style moving to a new way of composition who binds vintage prog and jazz with a new and personal style. Marco Gennarini joined the band and, searching for a front man with great voice and theatrical skills, the band found Igor Leone. So, Ingranaggi Della Valle music vein could be created.

Their debut studio album is the representative manifesto of their music and philosophy. The band entered in the studio for the recordings using exclusively vintage instruments as Mellotron M400, Hammond B3 Organ, Mini Moog Voyager, Electric Piano and Elka Synthex. Mattias Olsson from Anglagard gave the band some arrangement suggestions playing also a track as special guest and the great David Jackson heard the demo and was enthusiastic to play flute and sax as guest in the final track of the album. "In Hoc Signo" was analog recorded for a vintage sound with fresh and new ideas.

So, "In Hoc Signo" is the debut studio album of Ingranaggi Della Valle and was released in 2013. The line up on the album is Igor Leone (vocals), Flavio Gonnellini (backing vocals and electric and acoustic guitars), Mattia Liberati (Hammond B3, Mellotron M400, Fender Rhodes MK II, Mini Moog, Mini Moog Voyager, Korg MS20, Elka Synthex, Jen SX1000 and Clavia Nord Stage Revision B), Marco Gennarini (backing vocals and violin) and Shanti Colucci (drums, percussion, nagara, Tibetan bells and vocalese. The album had also the participation of Angelica Saupret Scutti and Beatrice Miglieta (backing vocals), Luciano Colucci (Indian speech), Fabrizio Proietti (classical guitar), David Jackson (saxophone and flute), Marco Bruno and Edoardo Arrigo (bass), Simone Massimi (fretted, fretless and upright electric basses) and Mattias Olsson (drums, percussion, synthesizer and noises).

"In Hoc Signo" is a conceptual album set in the First Crusade. Musically, the album is mainly focused in two types of prog music. First we can see the influences of the music of the Italian classic prog rock bands, especially Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Le Orme, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Area. Second we can see influences of the jazz-rock fusion style of foreign classic prog acts like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever, Weather Report and Allan Holdsworth.

"Introduzione" is a short atmospheric introductory piece. "Cavalcata" has a hard edged fusion sound. It's an energetic and powerful jam piece. As the piece evolves it gets fast, paced and powerful. Keyboards open "Mare In Tempesta". This is an energized piece with an instrumental movement that's got a lot of fusion in the mix. "Via Egnatia" starts with a space rock sound that builds gradually with fast changes. Then it explodes out into a jam that turns out into a retro sounding jazz segment. "L'Assedio Di Antiochia" takes on some Celtic hints. Then it shifts to harder rocking music in the mix. Vocals join over a fast paced progressive rock jam. "Fuga Da Amman" starts mellow and melodic and builds out to a high energy prog rock jam very tasty. There are dramatic shifts towards the music and a powerful instrumental interplay that continues all over it. "Kairuv'an" takes us through several shifts and changes. It's a pure fusion piece. Some hints of rock sound emerge. But, after a time, they work it out into full melodic prog rock. "Masqat" is mostly an instrumental piece. There's a cool bass groove with violin solos over the top, as the other instruments are add to the jamming. Then a melodic prog rock emerges. In "Jangala Mem" the atmosphere becomes darker, almost mystical. It has a melodic fusion jam where drums shine. It has a hard rocking guitar section with violin solos over the top. The piece keeps evolving and shifting. "Il Vento Del Tempo" opens with atmospheric tones. Weird vocals emerge and a bit of weirdness give way to a frantic prog jam. Several changes take over and a vocal section is one of the most effective movements of the whole album. "Finale" works out as a melodic prog jam. It takes us through a number of changes that turns it into a more melodic progressive rock. It has a restatement of some of the main themes to end the piece nicely.

Conclusion: I have always been a huge fan of RPI, and these guys have certainly brought together influences from the Italian classic prog bands with the incredible jazz/fusion style of many classic prog bands, to create something that has multiple layers and an incredible depth. But, especially for a debut effort, what Ingranaggi Della Valle have achieved here is really pretty impressive and it's virtually impossible not to recommend this album to those who revel in the styles in which this band is specialized. For being homogeneously consistent and brilliant, it's not worth highlighting tracks. Unusually deep and rich for a band's first effort, "In Hoc Signo" is simply one of the finest and best debuts for a progressive rock group in the most recent years. For all those who like the above mentioned bands this is a must have.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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