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Dropshard - Anywhere But Home CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.62 | 34 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Italy is a country that's always had a pretty strong prog metal scene, and Dropshard is now the latest addition to that list. Taking influences from the traditional American school of progressive metal and then adding plenty of influences from neo-prog and atmospheric rock, this band has definitely gotten off on the right foot with Anywhere But Home. The band was formed in 2007 and completed two demos before releasing their debut full-length, Anywhere But Home, in 2011. This is a strikingly mature and beautiful work of art that can be looked at as one of the best progressive rock/metal debuts in recent memory. People who enjoy progressive metal with touches of ambient and a neo-prog flavor will definitely want to check out this top-notch band. This album took a few listens to really "grab" me, but it was certainly worth every single one.

Anywhere But Home is an album that doesn't seem too original on the surface, but, in reality, Dropshard's sound is quite unique. Taking the atmosphere of Marillion's masterpiece that was Brave and seamlessly blending it with the sound of progressive metal legends like Dream Theater and Pain of Salvation, Dropshard has successfully created an album that significantly distances itself from the seas of Dream Theater clones. The music itself is highly enjoyable, and filled with memorable compositions, instrumental prowess, and beautiful harmonized vocals. Picking a highlight is difficult since the album (aside from the final bonus track) forms a conceptual story that feels more like one piece than 8 separate tracks. In terms of musicianship, I especially have to give a nod to Enrico Scanu for the terrific vocals. The atmospheric keyboards from Marco Zago are also impressive; his playing style can often be compared to Mark Kelly (of Marillion fame). The guitar playing from Sebastiano Benatti is pretty diverse - he can transition from metal riffs to Gilmour-influenced solos in the blink of an eye. The rhythm section isn't too shabby either; the bass playing from Alex Stucchi drives the band perfectly, and Tommaso Mangione's complex and refined drumming is also noteworthy. Overall, this band sounds professional and experienced. It's almost hard to believe that they're so young, and that this is only their debut album.

The production is also very professional, while maintaining a raw and clean sound throughout. This is the perfect sound for virtually any progressive rock/metal album.

Anywhere But Home really took me by surprise. Every now and again an obscure modern group will pop up on your radar that really has something special; Dropshard fits this description like a glove. Although I'm confident they will improve even more as time passes by, this is certainly a far-above-average album well deserving of 4 shiny stars. People who enjoy bands like Marilion and Pain of Salvation should definitely give this promising Italian act a spin - you won't regret it.

J-Man | 4/5 |


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