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Marchesi Scamorza - La Sposa Del Tempo CD (album) cover


Marchesi Scamorza


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.67 | 25 ratings

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4 stars Boy, did Italian band Marchesi Scamorza and their debut album `La Sposa Del Tempo' give our RPI group some trouble! Not so much a case of confused identity, rather a new band incorporating a large range of genres and styles all worked in together on their promising debut album, for all the standard RPI features such as classical grandeur, charismatic Italian vocals that weave through the music, wild acoustic elements and darkly gothic leanings, there's endless Neo-Prog and Symphonic touches throughout as well. The sound of Genesis, Camel and Pink Floyd frequently pop up to sit alongside Banco and PFM. Yet somehow the band have managed a very successful first album, with a number of truly great tracks, that only suggests even better things to come.

After an eerie floating ambient intro with pulsing electronics and fragments of voices, the forceful mid-tempo electric `Sentieri di Carta' kicks in. Listen to it's skillful mix of the Symphonic and Neo Prog genres made even more interesting by the addition of typical fiery RPI acoustic guitars and call-to-arms heartfelt Italian vocals. It moves through grand Genesis-like majesty with ghostly Mellotron, racing acoustic playing and charismatic vocals while maintaining classical Italian grandiosity.

The highly dramatic `Lo Schiavo di Babilonia' is even better, with plenty of Banco-like tension ingrained throughout. The piece constantly snaps at the listener, speeding up and slowing down throughout. The gentle gothic fairytale elements that permeates a lot of the album starts to show up here. First it's present in the somber piano that darts around much of the piece, then it really hits home in the striking middle section with a very Fish-era Marillion influenced guitar solo from Lorenzo Romani that tears through the bombastic classical majesty. It's quite a schizophrenic piece that has hints of that aggressive energy and recklessness that all great Italian progressive rock bands should have.

`L'uomo Dall'ombra Lunga' opens and ends with achingly beautiful electrical guitar work that sounds just like the hazy psychedelic tones of early 70's Pink Floyd/David Gilmour and nicely romantic vocals. The middle throws in an obtrusive Neo-prog styled harsh organ run with wailing guitar soloing that kind of detracts from all the dreamy atmosphere set up in the beginning. Shame the band didn't restrain themselves on this one, it was fine just the way it was!

What a fascinating mess `Un Passo Ogni Parola' is! A odd mix of racing IQ-styled keyboard/bass/drum snappy sections, spacey keyboards, wild acoustic/piano moments, crooned vocals and a surprisingly upbeat and joyous chorus that's really catchy! It doesn't hold together too well, but all the individual ideas are really rather good.

Here the album hits a run of more purely RPI pieces, although Neo/Symphonic fans will find much more for them a little nearer the end again! The strident `Quelle Volte' reminds me a lot of RPI band Il Cerchio D'oro, and it works really well for not diverting in a dozen directions. Uplifting guitar soloing, commanding synths and a memorable melody overall make for a very pleasant track that serves as a break from all the complex pieces. More of this cohesion and simplicity would be greatly appreciated on their next album!

What a stunner bombastic classical `Il Castello Delle Stagioni' is! It's got everything - A moody acoustic guitar/Mellotron flute intro, whirring synths, dazzling piano, background noise/sound effects all set to a manic Banco-like aggression. There's a heavy gothic unease all the way through, with nasty brooding guitar soloing and singer Enrico Bernardini sounding better than ever. Overall the band shows so much much talent and conviction on this one, and they really earn their RPI stripes for it. They should really look to this track to see what worked so well and focus on that for future releases. Top stuff.

The gothic drama carries on into the restrained `Nelle Notti Piu Lontane', a sad and haunting classical piano/vocal piece with. Again the relative simplicity works exceedingly well here, and it's a deeply moving and reflective pause from the longer epics.

`Autumno' is a schizophrenic conclusion for a great album, once again we're reminded of Banco with alternating crooned/boisterous lead vocals, swirling keyboards and wild guitar/church organ passages with an odd quirkiness that comes of nowhere every now and then too. The very final passage is a Neo/Genesis styled galloping keyboard melody with plenty of showing off from bass player Paolo Brini - mix him even louder next time, fellas! This last section really ends the album in a very positive and upbeat manner that's appreciated.

The album is far from perfect. In some spots there's probably too many vocal sections, and Bernardini occasionally has a monotonous and flat range. Sometimes he nails it, other times he's a bit strained, but it shows a refreshing honesty and says a lot about how the band support eachother. I have no doubt he will keep improving, because on his best tracks here he's extremely effective. Some listeners will find the mix of different genres a bit frustrating, but most likely their next release will hopefully focus a little more on one particular style and really offer us more on an idea where they're headed. But I also have a feeling some will really love the diversity and range the band has shown here and greatly enjoy the album.

To my ears (and despite being part of the Prog Archives RPI team, this is coming from a purely unbiased opinion), the album and band achieve far better results in their RPI stylings than the Neo/Symphonic sections, and it's here they sound most at home and convincing. But for now, this is a very worthy and impressive release that shows a band with plenty of charisma and talent to make them one to keep an eye on.

By the way, take a look at that beautiful album cover - pure prog rock surreal beauty. Marchesi guys, please put this one out on vinyl!

Three and a half stars for a great new band and album - but the four star rating makes it look better!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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