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(36:43, MaRaCash Records)
The Italian act MANGALA VALLIS has been a fairly popular act ever since they made their debut back in 2002 with "Book of Dreams". Following a seven year long break as recording artists they returned with the album "Microsolco" in the fall of 2012, released on MaRaCash Records. Those familiar with the band will notice one fact straight away: the band has recruited a new lead vocalist. And in Roberto Tiranti they have found themselves a high quality singer, with a finely controlled and melodic delivery that suits this band's material perfectly. On the subject of sound, symphonic progressive rock is the name of the game for this conceptual creation. While they do employ their fair share of vintage elements, organ and Mellotron in particular, the overall style is closer to the kinds of bands often referred to as Neo-progressive on this occasion: pleasant, melodic material focusing on harmonies and accessible themes, with a spirited rhythms department as the main key feature besides the lead vocals. The compositions do suffer from being a tad predictable on occasion, but apart from that this should be a disc that should have a broad appeal. As far as recommendations go, I'd suspect that fans of bands like IQ will find this disc to be a worthwhile addition to their collection.
Olav M Bjornsen: March 14, 2012
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