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(46:12, MaRaCash Records)
Italian composer and musician Alessandro FARINELLA started out as a member of a neo progressive rock band in the early 90's, moved on to study piano based jazz for a few years and has later performed acoustic versions of Genesis on stage. He made his debut as a solo artist with "Momo" in 2008. "Road to Damascus" is his second full length production, and was released by MaRaCash Records in the summer of 2012. Careful, melodic progressive rock is the territory explored by Farinella on his sophomore effort, and of a variety that does incorporate elements from all of his stated musical past. Occasional keyboard motifs and melodic guitar solos both reference his neo progressive roots from the 90's, as does the use of darker toned, dampened guitar riffs which make frequent appearances throughout. The almost constant presence of wandering, free flowing piano motifs, while not really jazz oriented, do reference back to the general approach of this type of music, while the almost ever present acoustic guitar documents an artist well versed in performing acoustic material. The heart and soul of the compositions on this disc are the dynamics and contrasts between guitars and piano, however: be it as interwoven acoustic guitar and piano constructions or in somewhat more majestic and subtly dramatic guitar riffs and piano contrasts. Rhythms, bass and keyboard mostly have supplemental and subordinate roles, although the latter is given a dominating position on occasion too, then replacing the piano as the main interaction point with the guitar motif at hand. A pleasant if somewhat unassuming CD is the end result, of the kind that should appeal to those with a soft spot for the less elaborate parts of the neo progressive realm or with a general interest in light toned, melodic art-rock in general.
Olav M Bjornsen: December 10, 2012
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