Friday, 4 May 2012


Quasar Lux Symphoniae come from Udine and have been active for more than thirty years. The band began life 1976 on the initiative of Roberto Sgorlon, Umberto Del Negro and Stefano Vallan. After a first immature demo recorded in 1977 featuring psychedelic influences, The Dead Dream (later re-recorded in 1995 and finally released in 2012) and some line up changes, in 1984 Quasar Lux Symphoniae released a debut album, more hard rock oriented, Night Hymn. The nineties were the most creative period of the band that released albums such as Abraham (1994), The Enlightening March of the Argonauts (1995) and MIT (1999), more influenced by classical music. In 2009, after a long hiatus, Quasar Lux Symphoniae released a new album, “Synopsis”, with a renewed, extended line up featuring Paolo Paroni (keyboards, piano), Fabio Giacomello (acoustic guitar), Elvio Tavian (lead guitar), Marco Filippo (rhythm guitar), Mauro Chiapolino (bass), Fabrizio Morassutto (drums), Ulisse Tonon (keyboards), Annalisa Malvasio (vocals) and Luca Vigneri (vocals). They were helped by two founder members, Roberto Sgorlon and Umberto Del Negro, who contributed to the song-writing: the first composed the music along with Paolo Paroni while the latter wrote the lyrics of most of the songs.

“Synopsis” was conceived as a kind of homage to the different styles the band went through during its long history and is the result of two years hard work in studio. The result it’s excellent, the overall sound is strongly influenced by opera and classical music but maintains a well balanced sense of melody and a pulsing rock background. All the members of the band showcase a great musicianship, especially the two singers, although in my opinion the choice to sing in English could be penalising with this kind of repertoire.

The excellent instrumental opener “Rhapsody and Fugue” is a complex four-part fugue in baroque style: It’s an amazing, well-crafted piece that combines rock and classical music in a perfect way and if you like works such as New Troll’s “Concerto Grosso” or Il Rovescio della Medaglia’s “Contaminazione” I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Next comes the dreamy, melodic “Arcano”. It begins with a delicate piano pattern and soaring male vocals.... “They move and then they wait / The world tomorrow, the dark today...”. Then operatic female vocals follow backed by the other instruments... “Sky is crying on me / Illusion is giving me life...”. Well, to be honest the lyrics are not the strength of this piece.

The claustrophobic “Snake Dream” is a homage to the band’s hard rock period. It begins with a powerful church-like organ introduction, then vocals and some good electric guitar riffs come in. The theatrical, operatic voice of Luca Vigneri is quite inspired when he invokes to be released from the fogs of a nightmare... “I feel a strange sensation, different / While in this dream, a snake rolls herself around me... I’d like to go out from here my old friend... What a fog, it’s oppressing my mind...”. A very good track!

“Flighting Thoughts” is built upon a Fabio Giacomello’s acoustic guitar arpeggio and recalls the atmospheres of the album “MIT”. The mood is almost mystical... “The flight became so difficult / While air of mystery is around us, we are the light / Giant thoughts in our time... While we exist you will dream / In every place you will be like the old stones / Hopeful and alone...”.

“Oblivion” is a tribute to the early psychedelic period of the band. The music every now and again could recall Pink Floyd but with a strong classical flavour, while the amazing voice of Annalisa Malvasio invites you to follow her in another dimension, looking for new colours... “Follow me, I will be / I will be your king / Surrounding me, Oblivion...”.

The melancholic “Islemind”, is another melodic piece where interact male and female vocals... “People fade into the sea / As me in my world, tricking this time... I wish to feel love / I’d like to run away...”.

The long, complex “Moses”, is a kind of short rock opera that recalls “Abraham”, the rock opera released by the band in 1994 on a double album. The vocal parts are excellent, Luca Vigneri interprets in a heartfelt, melodic way the feelings of Moses who is planning to leave Egypt... “Pharaoh! You’ll burn with innocent blood! / And nothing will save you... / Between the door’s pain and the moon...”. An excellent finale for a very good album!

Quasar Lux Symphoniae: Synopsis (2009). Other opinions:
Vitaly Menshikov: This music will please any connoisseur of the art-rock genre, unless someone is exclusively into its highly-complicated variants, like Yes’ “Topographic Oceans” or “Brain Salad Surgery” by ELP. Highly recommended... (read the complete review HERE)

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