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SoulenginE - Mind Colours CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 44 ratings

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4 stars SoulenginE is a new instrumental kid on the sympho-prog block that just may make some huge inroads in the future, featuring 4 incredibly adept musicians formulating a tried and true style that actually sets new frontiers with wickedly tight playing, breakneck turn-on-a- dime contours and an overpowering sense of achievement emanating from the plastic. There are some trilling Hackettisms are on display here as guitarist Ettore Salati tortures his axe with frivolous disregard for normalcy. We are also witness to drummer extraordinaire Giacomo Pacini, who likes to shove the pieces along with deft bashing in a semi-jazz-rock style. Together they really excavate nicely on the opener "Polheim", a thrilling introduction to their sensational talent. Every single subsequent title will have its own idiosyncrasy, each well within its own sphere of sound, much to the listener's immediate delight.

Keyboard man Fabio Mancini's flamboyant piano decorates the romantic symphonic prog of "Third in Line", whilst being unafraid to churn the raging organ up a notch and incorporate it into the fire. Certainly the Genesis emanations are obvious but there is so much more at work here, with dabs of classic Focus, Greenslade, Banco, Billy Cobham, ELP, Colosseum II, DiMeola, RTF, etc?

Sterling bassist Nando de Luca organizes the rollicking "Rain Flower" into a tight jazzy groove, best exemplified by a bluesy guitar quiver from Ettore and waspish synths fluttering in the background. Change of pace with some magical mellotron moments and Boom! back into the groove with a whiplash guitar solo, loaded up with manic wah-wah and sustained notes, the delirium settles in.

"On the Other Side" keeps things initially sedate and dreamy, the suave Fender Rhodes electric piano (what a beautiful instrument!) braising nicely, showing equal amounts of grandiloquence and restraint, dazzling fretless bass rumbles and a genuine essence of creative release. The ELP-influenced "No Way Out" infuses intense turbulence, showing off their rather considerable chops, as if to show:"Hey, we can play with the best of them!", sizzling interplay, terrific soloing, crashing beat and rapturous speed quantify this little ditty.

"No Rewarding" is a tempestuous affair, very close to Colosseum II , in that it proposes a heavy form of jazz-rock that skirts the outside edges of insanity, clicking on all cylinders and evoking dense symphonic visions. All four musicians shine brightly and seemingly, effortlessly.

Two vocal tracks also adorn this album and they are, in my opinion, not as interesting as their all-instrumental work, the only weak tracks on the set-list. "Down the Street" has the Hammond heating up and some screeching English vocals and a harder, more classic heavy rock approach even though the instrumental mid-section is bloody glorious. "Asleep" is sentimental and somehow a bit at odds with the previous material, perhaps a little too simplistic for my ears.

The debut finalizes brilliantly with the sweeping 10 minute+ "Challenge to An End", perhaps the finest piece here, replete with tangible inventiveness and artistic genius that are elevated to the highest echelon, introducing some trembling flute (oh, how Italian is that?), spacious sonic realms and sheer elegance.

A magnificent and compelling debut, SoulenginE is a crew to follow, perhaps eschewing the microphone altogether and forging an all-instrumental future, proving once again the majestic artistic creativity emanating form the "boot". Perhaps the loveliest artwork cover in recent decades only adds to their charm.

4.5 psyche shades

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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