Thursday, 8 December 2011

MYTHS OF CORAL

Coral Caves are an Italian prog band from Palermo, Sicily. They started their activity in 2001 on the initiative of Pietro Saviano and of the first drummer of the band Stefano Bartolomei as a tribute band dedicated to Pink Floyd. After some line-up changes they managed to shape a more personal sound blending in an original way influences swinging from the Italian prog masters of the seventies to hard rock, psychedelia and neo prog. The current line-up features Pietro Saviano (vocals, bass, flute), Dario Gallotta (guitars), Luciano Gallotta (guitars), Salvadores Arcoleo (keyboards) and Massimiliano Vacca (drums). After a demo in 2006, in 2008 the band released an excellent debut album, “Mitopoiesi”, on the independent label Mellow Records.


The opener “Mitopoiesi” (Mythopoeia, the making of myths) sets the atmosphere of this work... Waves of keyboards, sharp guitars, a pulsating rhythm section and evocative vocals drawing interesting melodic lines... “I want to skate on the thin ice of life / To be astonished by the crack under my feet... I’m looking for a shell in a coral cave / With the symphony of the sea inside... I want many illusions / With risks and disappointments / I want a burning fire in my heart...”.

“Sorridi” (Smile!) starts with drums and bass in the forefront and alternates quiet, dreamy atmospheres with faster parts... “Even the fastest car sooner or later stops / And if an usurer as the years go by wants to buy your gaze, your pride, your heart... Just smile and turn down that offer!”.


In “Cliff Of Moher” the band blends symphonic prog with Latin rock. A strange journey to Ireland indeed. Romantic lyrics describe a beautiful landscape, the sea and the sky that you can see from the Cliff of Moher while your thoughts are flying away, towards someone that is difficult to forget...

On “Senza di me” (Without me) Pink Floyd influences are stronger while the band tries to describe in music and words the melancholic feeling of being in a boat carried away by the current, without oars. But then, someone calls you and gives you hope for a return to reality... “What am I today? / I should look at my past / What will be tomorrow? / I was hoping it would be better than me...”.


“Ricordi” (Memories) is another introspective track. It starts with a flute solo, then the electric guitar comes in and leads the way... The song is about the memory of past friends losing themselves between disappointments and broken dreams.

“Torno a casa” (I come back home) is a kind of celebration of the “backpacker way of life”. It’s about the need to travel, the taste of discovery, the charm of exploring new countries, meeting new people, learning new languages. Acoustic strummed guitar and keyboards bring a positive, joyful feeling.

Then, a martial marching beat introduces “Tenochtitlan 1521”, a reflection about the behaviour of the conquistadores of Mexico where the band compares the cruel rites of the Aztecs and the cruel rites of the Spanish who, the in name of God, used to send non-believers and heretics to the stake. People don’t learn from history... “Despite time elapsed / Despite civilization, progress and freedom / Every day a new Tenochtitlan falls...”. The final guitar solo recalls Neil Young...


“Eterno ritorno” (Eternal return) is a beautiful, poetical track about the eternal circle of life, one of the best moments on the album, where acoustic folkloric suggestions are perfectly blended with prog. Calm passages featuring flute and acoustic guitars alternates with sparkling keyboards and a joyful rhythm section.

The long, complex final track “Il dolce canto della terra” (The sweet song of the Earth) is about the need to live in harmony with mother nature. Its calm, serene and solemn pace concludes an album that is really worth listening to...

From the book Rock Progressivo Italiano: An introduction to Italian Progressive Rock

You can listen in streaming to the complete album HERE

Coral Caves: Mitopoiesi (2008). Other opinions:
Raffaella Benvenuto-Berry: Though Coral Caves may not score very highly in terms of authentic progressive content, they do instead as regards melody and accessibility. Their music, never overly complex or demanding, has an easy flow that will appeal to those listeners who do not shun more mainstream genres. "Mitopoiesi", while clearly not breaking any new ground, it is nonetheless a well-crafted debut from a talented new band, which will please fans of both Italian music and classic rock. Prog fans will find enough progressive elements to please them, as well as solid musicianship and more than adequate singing... (read the complete review HERE)
Jim Russell: The players seem far more interested in the melody, atmosphere, and the emotional impact than they do in technical wankery or anything else for that matter. The compositions are beautiful and authentic and original despite the band's love of 70s rock, they succeed in taking the great elements of their influences without falling into the trap of worship. They sound fresh and modern in their presentation... (read the complete review HERE)

Read the interview with Coral Caves on Progarchives, click HERE

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