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(79:44, Fading Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Intro 2161 2:06 2. Ouverture 2:03 3. Contro Luna e Luce 4:11 4. La Suite dei Tre Pianeti 17:43 5. Avenoth 8:12 6. La Festa 3:59 7. Antico 2:29 8. La Deportazione degli Avenothiani 9:55 9. La Rivolta - Il Massacro dei Terrestri 12:55 10. Perduto Avenoth 5:48 11. Reprise (Speranze Distorte) 10:23 LINEUP: Fabrizio Marziani - vocals, guitars, flute Roberto Bucci - guitars, vocals Jimmy Bax - Hammond organ, Mellotron, ARP Prosoloist, synths, piano, vocals Massimo Di Paola - piano, keyboards, synths, vocals Guglielmo Mariotti - bass, Moog Taurus, guitars, vocals Ivan Marziani - drums, percussion
Prolusion. Italian band LA BOCCA DELLA VERITA was formed back in 2001, originally intended as a strict covers badn performing classic from Italian and British prog, but from a few years into the band's existence the desire to create something themselves appeared strongly as well. Developed over more than a decade, their debut album "Avenoth" was released by Italian label Altrock Productions in 2016, through their Fading Records imprint.
Analysis. La Bocca della Verita is the type of band that will please the greater majority of the old guard of progressive rock fans, as well as a decent number of younger fans. This due to the band heading straight into the heartland of the progressive rock universe, opting to take on vintage era symphonic progressive rock and exploring it pretty much in the same manner as one of the giants of old would. So this is, in many respects, a trip back in time. To the age where monumental creations were adored by the many rather than the few. In between shorter pieces and atmospheric interludes we are treated to a small handful of epics here, each of them exploring symphonic progressive rock in a proper manner. To the point of the band including two keyboard players to keep it all up. And this is a band that includes just about everything as well as the vintage kitchen sink. Themes and alterations galore, delicate pastoral interludes and majestic, almost overblown layered constructions. Harder edged passages where the organ and guitar bash it out as well as gliding, romantic interludes and more mysterious ones where the Mellotron and Moog are used to good effect. If you treasure vintage era symphonic progressive rock of any kind, chances are good that you'll discover some familiar sounding details and elements here and there. While the band is Italian, have Italian lyrics and an undeniable Italian sound to them at times, this isn't your completely typical Italian prog band however. The lead vocalist opts for a clean, melodic delivery without the Latin theatrical common among many similar Italian bands for starters, which in my book is a good thing. The band also incorporate some nifty, atmospheric laden passages that are closer to the likes of Pink Floyd in style, while many arrangements have more of an English than an Italian touch to them. The band aren't strangers to shift off into a harder edged expression either, with the guitars leading the way. This is all combined into a behemoth of an album, clocking in at just under the outer limit of a CD as far as playtime is concerned, and material that is both sophisticated, challenging and well made. Until you get familiar with this album, a concentrated listen is a bit like a mental boxing match: A lot is going on, and you'll most certainly feel the strain.
Conclusion. "Avenoth" is an album that took a decade to be properly developed, and that is easy to understand when you listen to this album. Almost 80 minutes filled to the brim with challenging, complex symphonic progressive rock, and for those who know Italian there's a concept story to be enjoyed as well. If you are among the ones that feel progressive rock should be of the symphonic variety and that they never made it better than in the 1970's, this is a band and an album that merits a good few listens.
Progmessor: April 29th, 2018
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