[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
Tracklist: 1. Lead 9:29 2. Hatred 7:42 3. Anniversary 8:58 4. Bistury & Withered Rose 9:17 5. Deinococcus Radiodurants 5:42 6. Obsession 4:50 7. Children's Eve 5:47 8. Negation of Becoming 8:00 9. Dreams' Slayer 7:43 All music & lyrics: by Alessandro Seravalle, except 8: words by Camillo Calleluori. All arrangements: by A. Seravalle & C. Calleluori. Line-up: Alessandro Seravalle - vocals; electric & (12-string) acoustic guitars, guitar-synth Camillo Colleluori - drums & percussion Pino Mechi - bass guitar Raffaello Indri - electric & (6-string) acoustic guitars Guest musicians: Simone D'Eusanio - classical & electric violins Alex Stornello - electric guitar With: Christian Rigano - "aural intruder" Produced by Alessandro Seravalle. Recorded, mixed, & mastered by Marco Artolozzi at "GEM" studios, Vicenza, Italy.
Prologue. In fact, this album should have been released in the end of 1999 by the same "Music Is Intelligence" label that all the previous Garden Wall albums were released through. (Though at that time, the album had a different title and there were only seven tracks on it.) Unfortunately, soon after the release of Garden Wall's only mini CD "Aliena(c)tion" (1999), which included four tracks from the upcoming full-length album, the label went bankrupt. During 2000 and 2001, while drummer Camillo Colleluori was looking for a new album, the former, leader, and the main mastermind behind Garden Wall, Alessandro Seravalle, has completely rearranged all the contents of that album and, in addition, composed two new songs. To read the Overall View on all the previous Garden Wall albums, click >here.
The Album. Above all, the music that is presented on "Forget the Colours" clearly shows that, unlike most of the contemporary Progressive Rock performers, Garden Wall continue to transform their style well into the 2000s. So, the mighty Garden Wall are back with an album, which, both stylistically and structurally, is different from any of the band's previous albums that, in their turn, are in many ways different among themselves as well. However, "Forget the Colours" is radically different from anything that was created by the band before. This time, these very talented Italians discovered a new area of Prog-Metal where only Alessandro's expressively aggressive and theatrically dramatic vocals can be recognized (not always, though). In short, the best definition of music that is presented on this album would probably be a blend of Prog-Metal and Fifth Element. Really, a new Prog-Metal by Garden Wall is so unique that, IMHO, it is impossible to squeeze it into the framework of Classic Prog-Metal of any sort. Have you ever heard Prog-Metal, most of the compositional canvas of which were based on the laws of Avant-garde Academic Music with its very unstable structures, seemingly dissonant arrangements, atonalities, etc? All of this, being, in addition, mixed with the elements of Techno-Metal, Art-Rock, RIO, Jazz-Fusion, Waltz, and even some of one quaint Folk music, is present on the new Garden Wall album. This is an extremely intricate music. Most of the songs on the album are marked by the constant development of both the instrumental and vocal arrangements, kaleidoscopic changes of tempo, tone, and mood, very complex stop-to-play movements, and the complete absence of even meters. (I don't know what a method was used when composing some of the episodes of this album. However, it was not even a 12-tone scale.) As well as all the other Garden Wall albums, "Forget the Colours" is a concept album, created within the framework of a unified stylistics, which, overall, I have already described. However, there are many of the quiet and completely 'non-metallic' arrangements on the album as well. Furthermore, each of the nine "forgotten colours" contains a few 'lyrical' parts, all of which, though, sound either dark or dramatic. Most of you, profound and adventurous Prog-lovers, know that in the new millennium, a number of classic RIO bands (Finnegan's Wake, Thinking Plague, 5UU's, to name a few) moved towards a heavier sound, which, in fact, is much heavier than "your typical" RIO sound. (Instead of calling the most innovative RIO and RIO-related bands "RIO-freaks" because of their new music doesn't fit any of the four 'chief' progressive genres, including RIO, but in order to distinguish them from "your typical" RIO, etc, performers, I 'discovered' the Fifth Element genre.) Now, when the "Forget the Colours" album is part of Garden Wall's discography, I see the band as a Prog-Metal counterpart of those ex-RIO bands that currently play a blend of RIO, Prog-Metal, and Avant-garde Academic Music. Really, various interplay between the virtuosi solos of guitar-synth (that, by the way, sounds not unlike an electric piano or synthesizer) and intricate passages of violins, acoustic, and semi-acoustic guitars that are featured on several tracks of this album, are in the vein of RIO rather than Symphonic Progressive. The parts of drums are incredibly diverse and complex on this album. The world of Prog-Metal doesn't know any example of such a mind-blowing drumming that is featured on "Forget the Colours". This is undoubtedly an hour of triumph of Camillo Colleluori, who, in my view, is now one of the best drummers on Earth. However, all the members of Garden Wall have demonstrated a fantastic mastership on this album. As for Alessandro Seravalle, I realized that he is one of the most innovative and brilliant composers in the history of Prog several years ago.
Summary. On the one hand, it's obvious that the new Garden Wall album "Forget the Colours" won't have more or less a broad audience because of its compositional structures that are not only extremely complex, but also rather rough. On the other hand, all those who are open-minded and adventurous enough to appreciate the creation of such bands as Thinking Plague and Watchtower, Mekong Delta and Happy Family, Doctor Nerve and Finnegan's Wake, etc will love this album to death. Finally, I'd like to say the next. If only most of the serious contemporary Prog performers were free of their daily job, they would be able to release new albums almost every year, despite the fact that the progressive creation is currently by no means as profitable (to put it mildly) as it was in the 1970s. Of course, saying so, I imply Garden Wall as well.
VM. June 10, 2002
Garden Wall's official homepage: >http://www.progressor.net/garden-wall/
The "Mellow Records" web-site:
[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]