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(53:57, MaRaCash Records)
The Italian band SOULENGINE was formed in 2009, with Ettore Salati and Fabio Mancini (formerly of The Watch) as the core part of the band as far as songwriting is concerned. Following contributions to some of the projects instigated by the Finnish Colossus organization the band decided to record and release material for their debut album. The end result became "Mind Colours", released by the Italian label MaRaCash Records towards the end of 2012. Musically, we're dealing with a band fond of 70's progressive rock in general and the symphonic variety of it in particular. They have opted to hone in on the gentler, melodic variety of this latter style in general, with Mellotron aplenty and careful guitar soloing runs as central features, utilizing the organ when in need of movements with more of an impact and supplementing with darker toned guitar motifs to add contrast and a harder edge. Mostly instrumental, and especially at the beginning of this disc with quite a few forays into more of a jazz rock oriented sound too. Impeccably performed instrumentally, but at least to my ears just a tad too nice and pleasant in execution. A few exceptions aside, like the at times brilliant No Rewarding, these mostly instrumental pieces just don't manage to captivate my mind. Pleasant music, but just a bit too anonymous for my personal taste. If you truly love the sound of 70's progressive rock in general and the gentler side of symphonic progressive rock from that era in particular, Soulengine is a band that warrants an inspection. This mostly instrumental affair won't appeal to all and sundry, but those in love with the instrumental aesthetics from this era should find plenty to enjoy on this disc.
Olav M Bjornsen: January 21, 2014
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