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(62:01, MaRaCash Records)
The Italian band CONQUEROR has been around in one form or another for more than 20 years, and while they were formed as early as 1994, they didn't release any material until 2003. Since then new albums have appeared a few years apart. Their most recent release "Stems" was released in 2014 through the Italian label MaRaCash Records. Symphonic progressive rock is the chosen territory for this Italian band, and they do have their own particular take on it. Calm, almost ethereal passages with careful textures alternate with jubilant, vintage-oriented sections, sporting organ or keyboards as the driving instruments, while elegant plucked guitars supplement just as often as darker, toned down guitar riffs. A touch of Camel here and Genesis there, occasionally heading out into landscapes closer to the likes of Eloy. These movements are paired off with sparse, elegant sections, at times with more of a singer/songwriter touch to them, providing ample space for the elegant lead vocals of Simona Rigano. Wandering piano motifs have their natural pace especially in the vocal sequences, and there, as well as in some of the more toned down instrumental intermissions, the band also adds a nifty, elegant jazz tinge to the proceedings, towards the end of the disc also adding some room for sections with more of a defined nod towards the blues. First and foremost, this is a symphonic progressive rock production though, and an elegant, well performed and well produced specimen of it's kind to boot, with high class female lead vocals as the icing on the cake. A quality production from beginning to end.
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