Sunday, 18 March 2018


Alessandro Evangelisti is a young, classical trained keyboardist and composer from Rome, graduated at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory. In 2017 he recorded and self-released an interesting debut album entitled Disincanto (Disenchantment) gathering around him a line up featuring Francesca Palamidessi (vocals), Andrea Di Pasqua (guitar), Lorenzo Chiarantini (guitar), Leonardo Giuntini (bass) and Umberto Maria Lupo (drums). The result of the recording sessions is a colourful mix of progressive rock and strong classical influences where delicate piano passages alternate with hard, frenzied electric guitar riffs and dark organ waves. 

The opener “A picco sul mare” (Overlooking the sea) begins by an ethereal, dreamy atmosphere, then the tension rises conjuring up a sense of impending tragedy. The operatic soprano vocals soar high to the stars to tell in a poetical way a sad story of loss and broken dreams… Once upon a time, in a dark a stormy night, a crippled little girl was thrown into the sea by his father. The sky heeded the prayers of her desperate, crying mother and transformed the unfortunate girl into a siren… 

“La metamorfosi dei sogni” (The metamorphosis of dreams) is a wonderful instrumental full of dark energy and mystery that every now and again reminds me of the adventures of a penguin called Murple... Then comes “A Breath Of Fate” where we find the guest female singer Serena Stanzani who provides vocals and lyrics for an emotional song in the vein of Kate Bush. 

The following “Meditazioni inattuali” (Outdated meditations) is another good instrumental track that leads to the Middle Eastern echoes of “Gaza”, a piece about the never-ending Palestinian conflict. Here the charming voice of Francesca Palamidessi invites you to set your mind free from every idea of superiority in your relationship with other people for a real change while the music could recall the atmospheres of Abash’s beautiful album Madri senza terra

“Lo specchio dell’essere” (The mirror of being) is a melancholic, dreamy piece about the contrast between reality and an ideal world where peace and fantasy rule. Here the music and lyrics draw the picture of a city where children could play before a merciless war. What is left of that city is nothing but ruins, abandoned toys and burnt books. You can see dark reflections coming from the crumbled down buildings and hear the voices of the ghosts from a past that you can’t forget... 

The closer “Resti” (Remains) is a short, evocative instrumental track for piano solo, a perfect end for a short but well crafted album that is really worth listening to. Have a try! 

You can listen to the complete album HERE 

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Friday, 2 March 2018


The Screams Empire is the second album by the Milanese band Silver Key. It was released in 2015 on the independent label Ma.Ra.Cash with a renewed line up featuring Yuri Abietti (vocals, acoustic guitar), Roberto Buchicchio (guitars), Ivano Tognetti (bass), Davide Manara (keyboards, synthesizers) and Viviano Crimella (drums, percussion). Despite the line up changes, the band confirm here their good creative vein and all the good qualities of the debut album. Their neo-prog sound every now again veers to AOR, but you can hear also more experimental parts and jazzier passages while the lyrics deal with a social science fiction plot set in a dystopic future loosely inspired by the works of writers such as Philip K. Dick, George Orwell or Isaac Asimov. 

The committed opener “Screams Behind The Whispers” is a melodic track with a strong leaning to AOR. It’s a warning against the power of media and the false appearances they conjure up, the music and lyrics invite you to look behind the curtains and to fight against the serpents huddled in the backstage of an unscrupulous political world… 

Then comes the dreaming “Stargazing” that could recall Marillion and depicts in music and lyrics a strange gathering of cats on the city roofs and their mysterious concert to the stars… For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities… The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten... (quote from The Cats Of Ulthar by H.P. Lovecraft). 

Silver Key 2015

The nervous “A.S.I. (The Singularity)” is a bitter-sweet reflection about God and technology where a new omniscient, mocking creature rises from silicon and circuits like in a video-game. Then it’s the turn of “Event Horizon” where the music and lyrics try to describe the moment when you have to face your ghosts right in the eyes. It’s the point of no return where space and time get blurred in the event horizon of an irreversible change in your life... Neo prog with a nice, jazzy middle section and a pinch of drama! 

The long, complex “The Screams Empire” is a suite divided into four parts (I. Random Frequencies, II. The Arrival, III. A Quest In Time and IV. Resistance). It tells about the invasion of the Earth by peculiar alien beings, cruel reptiles that take control of the human race in a new empire where you have to scream louder than everyone else to rule and gather followers. The beautiful art work by Daniele Aimasso should give you an idea of the content of this interesting piece... 

The final track “Adrift” is a heartfelt, melodic ballad that tells of the feelings of an astronaut lost in space, adrift on his starship. The music and lyrics here deal with regret and nostalgia and depict the lost words from a haunting, overwhelming past that come up riding the waves of the thoughts of the protagonist. For this piece the band shot an evocative video directed by Marcella Savino… 

You can listen to the complete album HERE 

More info:

Monday, 19 February 2018


Dollaro d’Onore were formed in 2012 in Pistoia as a rock tribute project to Spaghetti Western films original soundtracks and it wasn’t until 2015 that they started working on original composition in the same style. The name of the band refers to the Italian title of Rio Bravo, a 1959 American Western film produced and directed by Howard Hawks and starring, among others, John Wayne. Having honed their skills with a good live activity on the local scene, in 2017 they finally self-released an excellent debut album entitled Il lungo addio, featuring four covers and six original compositions where the band try (in their own words) to revive the classic Spaghetti Western original soundtracks undertones in a modern rock-oriented fashion... relying on a Progressive Rock approach. The current line up features Lorenzo Pinto (keyboards, piano, Moog, bandoneon), Gennaro Alfano (guitars, banjo), Francesco Pellegrini (bass) and Alberto Buti (drums) but during the recording sessions many guest musicians contributed to enrich the sound. The result, in my opinion, is a mature work in the vein of bands such as Goblin, La Batteria, Strato’s or Calibro 35...

The very first notes of the opener “E lo chiamarono Giustizia” (And they called him Justice) could recall The Shadows, then whistles, choirs and a brilliant rhythm section take you right into the scene of an imaginary Spaghetti Western film… For every original track on this album you can find in the booklet a kind of screenplay, a short story written by Luca “Tuco Ramirez” Capponi to describe the musical content of the piece. In this is case the music try to evoke a scene where a man in a coach acts against two rascals to defend a female passenger. For this piece was also shot an interesting video that sets the scene in the present, in a school bus... 

The screenplay of the melancholic “Il lungo addio” (The long good-bye) tells about the last moments in the life of a fugitive gunslinger. Deadly wounded, he bids his last farewell to his sweetheart Mary, the queen of the local brothel... Then comes the first cover, “Il mucchio selvaggio” (The wild bunch) by Ennio Morricone, from the 1973 Spaghetti Western comedy film My Name Is Nobody, directed by Tonino Valerii and starring Terence Hill. The Dollaro d’Onore’s version of this piece is excellent!

The following “Duello al camposanto” (Duel at the graveyard) begins by a piano pattern and the sound of a trumpet, then the other instruments come in bringing tension and an impending sense of tragedy. The screenplay describes a scene where a man escapes by chance and bravery from the hands of his evil enemy who was torturing him in a graveyard...

“L’estasi dell’oro” (The ecstasy of gold) is a good cover of a piece by Ennio Morricone from the soundrack of the 1966 epic Spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. Then it’s the turn of another cover, “I giorni dell’ira” (The days of wrath) by Riz Ortolani from the 1967 film Day of Anger, directed and co-written by Tonino Valerii and starring Lee Van Cleef and Giuliano Gemma.

The disquieting “The Buried Gun” features the guest Simone Salvatori on vocals and is the only sung track on this album. The music and lyrics portray a man who struggles with the ghosts of his violent, adventurous past and can’t get accustomed to the routine of an ordinary man. It reminds me slightly of a song by the Australian band Augie March entitled This Train Will Be Taking No Passengers...

Dollaro d'Onore 2017

The screenplay of the dark, tense “Un’oncia di piombo nel cuore” (An ounce of lead in the heart) tells of a terrible crime. A child kills his wicked, drunken father who was beating his mother to the pulp. Well, sad story but magnificent music… The following track is more relaxed. “C’era una volta il West” (Once upon a time in the West) is a cover of a famous piece by Ennio Morricone, from the 1968 epic Spaghetti Western film of the same name, based upon a story by Dario Argento, co-written and directed by Sergio Leone and starring Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale and Jason Robards.

The final track, “La mano sinistra del diavolo” (Devil’s left hand), is an original piece dedicated to the memory of the Italian actor Bud Spencer. The screenplay describes a duel between a big bearded man and an impulsive gambler looking for troubles… Another great track and a wonderful finale for a very interesting work!

You can listen to the complete album HERE

More info: