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(79:47, Musea Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Drowned Into Creation Stream-I 4:35 2. Drowned Into Creation Stream-II 3:11 3. Sinking in an Earthless Sky 4:47 4. Frail As a Star Light 4:46 5. From Your Deep Sleep 2:03 6. Linear Coil-1 4:02 7. Linear Coil-2 2:26 8. Whirling Haze 1:47 9. A Council of Ancient Fairies 4:55 10. Grand Dark Space 5:15 11. Little Paths in a Great Universe-I 2:00 12. Little Paths in a Great Universe-II 1:28 13. Little Paths in a Great Universe-III 1:45 14. Little Paths in a Great Universe-IV 1:48 15. Little Paths in a Great Universe-V 16. Little Paths in a Great Universe-VI 1:48 17. Es Sense-I 3:13 18. Es Sense-II 2:07 19. Es Sense-III 0:36 20. Es Sense-IV 4:55 21. Little Paths in a Great Universe-VII 1:52 22. Little Paths in a Great Universe-VIII 2:44 23. Little Paths in a Great Universe-IX 2:28 24. Pureline-I 2:27 25. Pureline-II 2:09 26. Pureline-III 3:48 LINEUP: Fabrizio Defacqz – keyboards; vocals Fabio Antonelli – guitar Alberto Callegari – bass Corrado Bertonazzi – drums Carlo Barezzi – oboe Nello Salza – flicorn Gianandrea Guerra – violin Andrea Bassato – violin Paolo Costanzo – violin Lorenzo Quero – viola Elena Castagnola – cello
Prolusion. The Italian outfit MINDFLOWER was formed in 1994 and issued its first album one year later on the Italian label Mellow Records. Since then one more album, “Mindfloater” saw the light of day – in 2002 – until the spring of 2009, when their third effort "Little Enchanted Void" was issued by Musea Records.
Analysis. If you read up on this band, you'll pretty soon come across some rather tantalizing information that the band’s latest effort was partially recorded at Peter Gabriel's studios and mastered at Abbey Road in England for starters. Names that don't say anything at all about the contents of this production, mind you, but familiar names that are bound to stir up some curiosity nonetheless. What we're served on this album is nothing less than an epic, close to 80 minutes long composition, divided into 26 parts where the criteria for splitting up the tracklist seem to be shifts in stylistic features first and foremost. Not that all the parts sounds totally different from one another, nor that the movement from one track number to the next indicates a sudden change there and then. But from the end of one sequence till the end of the next one a marked evolvement has occurred, and in most cases this will be due to a shift in stylistic expression. Many progressive rock compositions of epic length are creations with a great deal of variation from the moment the opening passage presents itself to the dying echoes of the last theme explored fades out. This is very much the case on this effort, although Mindflower does add a few twists to the epic progressive rock formula. The most noticeable one is that this venture is first and foremost a subdued, low-key affair. You won't find many dramatic, symphonic passages or harder themes with driving bass or energetic guitar lines on this disc. Richly textured orchestral arrangements and mellow wandering guitar movements are much more common features, as are wandering piano themes and sequences with relatively sparse instrumentation. When comparing this effort to more well-known acts, Genesis and Pink Floyd are the ones that I was most often reminded of. In between the classical and neo-classical parts, symphonic art rock with similarities to the mellow side, both these acts are the most frequent ones, aside from segments featuring one dominating instrument and vocals that is. The latter is frequently spiced with one or more space-tinged sound layers placed in the back of the mix, which add a space rock tinge to these particular parts of the CD. The end result is a gently shifting, varied affair, symphonic in overall style and dreamy in mood, very well made too. The name dropping opening this review does give promise of a high quality mix and production, and those promises are met.
Conclusion. "Little Enchanted Void" is an effort that should please mostly anyone looking for a really long art rock epic of a gentler nature than what's common for such things. And while not offering much to those looking for boundary-breaking efforts, the sheer length of this work does make it a taxing listen, even if the musical landscape is a gentle one. All in all, a good release, and while not an album that will interest anyone, it's an intriguing experience for those with an interest in epic, symphonic ventures.
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