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Alex Carpani Band - Waterline CD (album) cover


Alex Carpani Band


Symphonic Prog

3.99 | 44 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Yesterday's afternoon I received a demo copy of "Waterline" by ALEX CARPANI BAND and can't be more satisfied, being an Italian Symphonic fan, there's no way this excellent album couldn't please me, it's simply a breeze of fresh air in the 21st Century.

The surprise was bigger when I found that the legendary Aldo Tagliapietra from LE ORME was the lead vocals, but at the same time I had the fear that the album would be a futile display of nostalgia and an attempt to recreate what other bands did in the 70's; luckily I was wrong, even when the references to Italian Symphonic, GENESIS and even ELP are present, the sound is extremely original and with a modern approach I could hardly expect.

Of course there are Mellotron sections a la Banks and organ passages that remind of Keith Emerson, but it's only that, an echo from the past, respectful enough to keep the attention of Classic Progheads but modern enough to sound new and original.

The concept of the album is simple, the thin line of water that divides the emerged world and the submerged, a dual concept that Aldo Tagliapietra must have loved being that reminds a bit of the duality between Felona and Sorona.

The composition and arrangements by Alex Carpani are simply perfect, it's evident we're before a musician who has very much to offer, every song, section and piece of the album links perfectly with the rest, which makes hard to believe it was written in three weeks.

The album opens with "The Siren and the Mariner", which starts with a medieval intro played by keyboards and drum which lead to a more aggressive section in which the song starts to develop into radical changes and musical explosions, but always keeping the peaceful atmosphere which is enhanced by Tagliapietra and Beatrice Casagrande's vocals. The track ends with a vibrant section in which the listener can enjoy almost everything Prog can offer, from aggressive guitars to soft keys.

"The Levees' Break, starts deep and dramatic with a GENESIS inspired keyboard section, the use of mellotron voices and guitar in Hackett's style make this reminiscence more evident, but from the start you can notice they are not copying anybody, the mood is more pastoral with that Italian touch so unique that we learned to love. Now the changes are soft and go step by step, when an instrument enters, the others take the supporting role, excellent work.

"In the Rocks" returns to the roots of Italian Symphonic but without loosing the mystery that describes the duality between two worlds, Tagliapietra's voice blends perfectly with the music as if everything was played by one and only ultra versatile instrument, this track flows gently from start to end.

"Reclaimed" piano intro is absolutely surprising, seems like we are going to be in front of a frantic track, but the GENESIS like atmospheres take the lead role to make the effect smooth. A distorted guitar takes the lead covered by a very accurate drumming and rhythmic bass section, but again a dramatic change takes us to unknown and unexpected territory, Alex Carpani simply gets mad with his keyboards, hitting us with all he has, the only word I can say is outstanding.

"Agua Claro" again begins with a piano intro that leads to a jazzy section in which flute and keyboard mix into a Baroque atmosphere that suddenly changes into an aggressive section with clear ELP references, the use of different keyboards is very tasteful, another high point.

"Starcurrents" is a harder song, melodic but dark and a bit haunting, probably because Aldo Tagliapietra adds that distinctive dreamy attributes only he can provide, some dissonant keyboard sections create a strange effect that breaks the peaceful atmosphere for the first time in the album, good change.

Well, what better time for a semi acoustic than after a frantic track, and Alex's timing is perfect with "Song of the Pond", a beautiful track that reminds of Focus, first in their Flemish style and then with a lighter and a bit funky jazz mood.

"A Gathering Storm" breaks the peace achieved by the previous track, again jazzy with a very efficient saxophone but with an electric guitar that provides a cheerful ambient enhanced by a background piano.

"The Waterfall" takes us back to classic Symphonic territory, vibrant well crafted keyboards covered by well structured rhythm section, probably the most unexpected track in the album, but as everything before has a role to play and covers it well. A beautiful Spanish guitar creates a new effect that combines with an almost psychedelic keyboard that jumps to dramatic moods.

"Catch the Wave" is another jazzy tune with psyche oriented keyboards, reminds of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, but to be honest it's the only song that doesn't impress me, not even in the vocals which make me remember of "Vulture Culture" with changes that are too predictable.

The album ends with an incredible arrangement of Johan Sebastian Bach's Prelude in C Min. (BWV847) hard to describe in words without taking the beauty of it, again outstanding.

Normally I don't rate the first album I listen from any artist with 5 stars and this will not be the exception, because I believe we're before a composer and a band that hasn't reach their peak, but any rating bellow 4 stars would be unfair.

An album that every Symphonic fan should enjoy from start to end as I do.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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