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Track List: 1. Crosstalk 7:02 2. Underworlds 7:27 3. Smells Like Winter 4:49 4. Cruise Speed 7:33 5. Gaze Deep 6:59 6. Fading Warmth 4:05 7. The Hug of the Few 5:10 8. Strange Attractors 7:33 All music: by Montrucchio, except 4: by Fasanelli. All lyrics: by Montrucchio & Fasanelli. All arrangements by The Far Side. Line-up: Simone Montrucchio - vocals; basses; keyboards, programming Lorenzo Fasanelli - guitars; backing vocals Davide Guidoni - drums & percussion Produced by The Far Side. Artwork & design: by Guidoni. Engineered by R. Mosci & M. Ruscitto at "Elefante Bianko", Rome. The Far Side: http://spazioweb.inwind.it/far_side/home.htm
Preamble. "Parallelebiped" is the debut album by Italy's The Far Side, though the band - under different names - has existed since 1989. Before, these guys released a couple of MC (cassette) albums, though, according to them, "Parallelebiped" is that album, which initiated the formation of their real discography.
The Album. Each of the first four tracks on the album features quite an intricate music where the band's own and highly original ideas met those influenced by Rush (in the first half of the 1980s) and Fates Warning (on "Perfect Symmetry", etc). So, while listening to tracks, located on the first half of the CD, I was almost sure that "Parallelebiped" is an album of a unified stylistics that can be defined either as a heavy Art-Rock or a soft Prog-Metal. Which, in this case, is certainly doesn't matter much. (Those who are familiar with the creation of Rush and Fates Warning well know that the border between both of the said genres is literally erased on most of the albums by these bands.) On Gaze Deep (5) however, the band has unexpectedly and quite radically changed the musical direction. The only instrumental on the album and both of the following tracks, Fading Warmth and The Hug of the Few (6 & 7), are free of any influences, and stylistically, they're about a pure Symphonic Art-Rock, which is both complex and interesting, as well as the album as a whole, though. The lush passages and bright solos of synthesizers, varied interplay between them and the fluid solos of electric guitar, the parts of bass, drums, and those of acoustic and semi-acoustic guitars are typical for all them. The excellent piano passages are present on Fading Warmth. Only the album's title track, which is the last track on it, determined the predominant stylistics of this parallelly biped musical entity. Musically, Parallelebiped is in the same vein as all four of the first tracks on the album. Finally, I think it should it be mentioned that with the exception of The Hug of the Few, all the contents of which are of a romantic character, all of the other tracks on the album have a distinctive dramatic feel to them.
Summary. I heard a lot of bands, the music of which is about something average between Classic Art-Rock and Prog-Metal, and The Far Side is certainly better than many of them (including Cobweb Strange - just for instance). Since there are much more of the band's own ideas than those influenced by Rush on any of the five tracks, representing the album's predominant stylistics, let alone the other three tracks, I can easily call The Far Side the most talented followers of Canadian legend that I've ever heard.
VM: February 12, 2003
The Far Side:
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