Thursday, 10 May 2012

PARALLEL VISIONS

Juglans Regia is an Italian band from Sesto Fiorentino near Florence. They started their activity in 1992 as a metal band under the name of Raising Fear, influenced by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but their style changed along the years and, according to Massimiliano Dionigi, founder member and bassist of the band, nowadays their favourite album is Biglietto Per L’Inferno’s eponymous one, a classic of the Italian progressive scene of the early seventies. Juglans Regia’s debut album, “Prisma”, was self-produced and self-released in 2002 and it featured in the line up keyboardist Lapo Martini, who left the band in 2003. The present members are Alessandro Parigi (vocals), Antonello Collini (guitar), David Carretti (drums) and Massimiliano Dionigi (bass). In 2005 they released “Controluce”, another self-production with good ideas but with an overall poor sound quality and where some pieces seem suffering the lack of keyboards. In 2008 they released “Visioni parallele” (Parallel visions), their best work so far, featuring an improved sound quality and some guest musicians on keyboards and back vocals that helped to enrich the sound. In my opinion the result is good...

Juglans Regia in 2005

The opener “Dentro... il Palazzo” (Inside... The Building) is just a short “soft” instrumental introduction before the sudden burst of energy of “L’ultimo respiro” (The last breath)... “Time flows away relentless / And I’m standing still, observing the pointers / That are running an endless game...”. This piece was one of the best tracks (along with the epic “Il vento”) on Juglans Regia’s previous album “Controluce” and here it comes to a new life.

The dark, introspective “La sera” (The Evening) is more straightforward and in my opinion not completely convincing (every now and again it could recall a raw version of the Italian rock band Litfiba) while the following “I colori nell’aria” (The colours in the air) is better. It begins softly, with a singing bird and the sound of mother nature in the background, then the electric guitar takes the lead. The lyrics invite you to open your eyes to discover the nuances of the colours of the world around you, you have to respect the different opinions of people around you and their contradictions... “I haven’t opened my eyes for a long time / Everything is broken, lost and has no identity...”.



“Il volo” (The flight) is another good track. It features an interesting bass groove and an apocalyptic atmosphere. The lyrics are about a waning civilization, there is nothing but floods and destruction everywhere, the only way to survive is flying away... “Wings of gold and silver / Uncomfortable is the legacy of timeless lands / That nobody will forget...”.

“Lacrima nera” (Black tear) is a heavy, straightforward piece about the sense of history and the need to learn from the errors of the past to build up a better future... “There’s blood on the pavement / The flag is waving / A wall is crumbled but another one will be built...”. Next comes “Così vicino...” (So close...), a visionary warning about the dangers of technological progress where roofs of plastic and walls of acrylic glass enclose ideas and the quest for a “clean, safe energy” drives to death and destruction.

Juglans Regia's logo


The excellent title track “Visioni parallele” (Parallel visions) is more complex and features sudden changes in mood and rhythm. The introspective lyrics describe a labyrinth, a metaphorical, timeless city that threatens the freedom of the protagonist. The only way out is self-respect and a continuous compromise between ideals and reality. Listen to this track HERE!
Well, on the whole “Visioni parallele” is not flawless but in my opinion it’s an album full of energy and with some very good moments!


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