Thursday, 23 April 2020

UNDER CONTROL

Third is the third album by Milanese neo-prog band Silver Key and was released in 2019 on the independent label Ma.Ra.Cash Records with a renewed line up featuring veterans Roberto Buchicchio (guitars, vocals), Ivano Tognetti (bass) and Davide Manara (keyboards, synthesizers) along with a new vocalist, Dino Procopio, who had the hard task to replace founder member Yuri Abietti. The guests Minin Yegnan Ndiaye (drums) and Helena Jansson (backing vocals) completed the team that recorded the album, a conceptual work loosely inspired by Schopenhauer’s philosophy and related to the search for freedom and to the necessity to get rid of our instincts to be masters of our lives, as pointed out in the liner notes by Barbara Parodi… To be honest, despite the good intentions, lyrics are not the strength of this album and the concept is a bit confused but the music is good and I’m sure that neo-prog lovers will enjoy it.


The aggressive opener “A Common Soldier” tries to express in music and words the will to react to the misfortunes of life by fighting adversities to escape from the black shadows of an ominous fate. In the first part the war against the destiny rages on while the second part is calmer and reflects some painful memories from the difficult childhood of the protagonist... Then it’s the turn of “V.R.”, a track with a strong synthetic sound that deals with virtual reality and the powers and dangers of unbridled imagination... 


Next comes “Ulysses” that begins by a dreamy piano pattern and soaring vocals before taking different musical directions. It tries to describe an endless virtual journey on the internet where, like Homer’s hero, the protagonist is tempted by deceiving mermaids and eventually gets lost, caught in a shining web made of tricky ads and other traps...  

The dark, nightmarish “I Wish” is about the insane, compelling instincts that sometimes drive evil doers and the impossibility to control them while the following “Last Love” is calmer and deals with the crazy addiction to a hopeless love...

Silver Key on stage 2019

The last track “Back To The Present” is a long, complex suite divided into five parts (A Rude Awakening – Back To The Present – Murder – Endless War – The Door Shuts) that resumes the story of a madman locked up in a psychiatric hospital. The first part, tense and full of dark energy, tells of the sudden awakening of the protagonist who can’t exactly remember what happened to him but still feels an uncontrollable rage and has to be sedated… The second part is calmer and completely instrumental, then on the third section theatrical vocals come back to dig out hidden memories. There’s the murder of a woman and probably it was not the first one… The fourth part brings up other painful memories like the moment when the protagonist was fired and lost his job and the loss of his mother… The last part closes the album with a short narrative part showing the satisfaction of the medical staff who are sure to have found the right cure for their patient and the way to control his instincts. Eventually, after a tense instrumental passage, you can hear again the desperate voice of the protagonist saying “I have no hope”.

On the whole, a good work with some interesting ideas. Anyway, have a try and judge by yourselves.

You can listen to the complete album HERE


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