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SoulenginE - Mind Colours CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 44 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Although the neo-progressive rock movement is most closely associated with British acts like Marillion, Pendragon, and IQ, Italy's The Watch has gained a reputation as one of the genre's more impressive outfits over the past decade. For this reason, many listeners may want to check out SoulenginE, which is a new act featuring ex-members of The Watch (guitarist Ettore Salati and keyboardist Fabio Mancini) as well as a tight rhythm section consisting of bassist Nando de Luca and drummer Giacomo Pacini. SoulenginE's 2012 debut Mind Colours may bear little resemblance to The Watch's theatrical and Genesis-inspired take on the progressive rock genre, but its satisfying mix of symphonic prog and fusion should certainly appeal to fans of the style.

The music on Mind Colours is largely instrumental apart from the hard-rocking "Down the Street" and the spacey ballad "Asleep", and most of the tunes rest somewhere between classic symphonic prog and seventies' fusion. Giacomo Pacini's jazzy drumming is usually what gives the music a Return to Forever or Mahavishnu Orchestra-oriented vibe, although Fabio Mancini's keyboard palette contains plenty of Rhodes tones that wouldn't have sounded out of place on a seventies' fusion record either. Lots of symphonic textures and mildly heavy organ and guitar sections round off SoulenginE's sound, and I ended up being quite surprised with the level of originality that this ensemble managed to achieve while staying within the confines of retro prog; although very little is offered here that wouldn't have been possible in the seventies', the band's charming mix of different styles makes for an entertaining listen every time.

In terms of songwriting, Mind Colours also satisfies, with the wildly complex "No Way Out" and the epic symphonic closer "Challenge to an End" standing as my favorites. This is simply a quality product from nearly all fronts, and although the production sounds a bit rough around the edges, I think most listeners should be able to overlook the mediocre sound quality and enjoy this great offering of modern progressive rock.

J-Man | 4/5 |


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