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TRACK LIST: 1. Prime Substance 7:56 2. Wizard 6:14 3. Farewell Chant 4:57 4. Radio Sahara 5:43 5. Mercury & Sulfurus 7:32 6. Dove sci 6:32 7. Levati in volo 4:21 8. Alle prime luci del mattino 5:36 All tracks: by Guerrioero, except: 1, 2, 6, & 7: by Guerrioero, Picciau. LINE-UP: Alessio Guerrioero - vocals; guitars & bass Andrea Picciau - keyboards & piano Roberto Diomedi - drums & percussion Produced by Yleclipse. Engineered by S. Sanna at "The Bunker", Italy.
Prolusion. As well as in the case of the other two Italian bands whose albums I reviewed this week, "Prime Substance" is the debut of The Yleclipse.
Synopsis. As if according to the band's name, which is somewhat the derivative of English and Italian senses of eclipse, one half of the songs on the album are with lyrics in English (1, 2, 3, & 5), and another with those in Italian (4, 6, 7, & 8). And while the very melodious Italian language suitably fits this music, as well as most, if not all, of the kinds of music in general, Alessio Guerrioero's singing in English is also very good. "Prime Substance" is an album of a completely unified stylistics, in the basis of which lies a highly original combination of both of the classic and Neo manifestations of the two classic progressive genres: Symphonic Art-Rock and Prog-Metal. Indeed, originality is one of the main hallmarks of the music of Yleclipse, and Prime Substance (1) is the only track here that contains some traces of influences - those of Marillion with Steve Hogarth. The alternation of heavy and mild arrangements is another significant aspect of this album and is typical for each of the eight songs on it. While on the whole, this music is not of a high complexity, it features a wide variety of so-called progressive ingredients, including frequent changes of a musical direction, complex time signatures, etc, and the band plays easy and tastefully throughout the album. Vocals, riffs and solos of electric guitar, passages of semi-acoustic guitar, solos of synthesizer, and those of bass and drums are present on all of the songs here, no less than the half of which though, feature also the parts of piano, Hammond, and a string ensemble. "Prime Substance" is by all means an even work, and only a couple songs here distinguish from the others by some distinctive features. Farewell Chant (3) is notable for the anthem-like vocals, and Dove sci (6), which is probably the best composition here, for great orchestral arrangements.
Conclusion. "Prime Substance" is certainly one of the most original Neo Prog albums that I've heard for the last two years, at least. Being both accessible and very interesting, it should be liked by thousands people from a few different Prog-lovers' circles.
VM: July 12, 2003
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