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TRACK LIST: CD 1 1. Back to You 7:30 2. Coffee in Neukolln 8:32 3. Save Your Soul 6:26 4. Fool's Epilogue 8:54 5. Inside My Dreamer's Eyes 11:22 6. Un Altro Mondo 6:41 7. Duellum 8:45 8. Los Endos 6:44 CD 2 1. Overture 3:54 2. Gold 8:38 3. Roadkill 6:28 4. Skyline 11:01 5. The Silence of Our Wake 10:50 6. The Longest Sigh 8:37 7. My Silent Sea (Studio Track) 9:15 LINEUP: Luca Pancaldi - vocals Marco Mazzuoccolo - guitars Luca Zabbini - piano, keyboards, guitars, vocals Francesco Caliendo - bass Eric Ombelli - drums
Prolusion. Italian band BAROCK PROJECT was formed back in 2003, and ever since they started to release their own music in 2005 they have grown in popularity and stature, to the point of being on the verge of becoming a household name in the genre these days. The have half a dozen albums to their name at this stage, of which five are studio albums. "Vivo: Live in Concert" is their sole live album so far, and was released through Italian label Artalia in 2016.
Analysis. It is easy to understand the charms and the qualities of this Italian band when you listen to this live album. This is a band that, pretty much, have taken on the vintage era approach to progressive rock and given it a 21st century makeover. Those fond of the giants of yesteryear will hear plenty of familiar sounding details, but given the sound and mood of a band from this day and age. A task not too many others out there are able to accomplish. The piano is something of a key instrument throughout, and I wouldn't be all that surprised oif that instrument is the one where a lot of the foundation for all the band's compositions are worked out. While not ever-present, that instrument has a dominant role in parts of just about all the songs here, and is used to emphasize some of the key characteristics of the music explored. I'll straight away state that Barock Project is a symphonic progressive rock band at heart. They use plenty of vintage era symphonic backdrops for starters, and some of the aforementioned piano motifs also refer back to classical music. That they also expand the boundaries by including atmospheric laden keyboard arrangements with more of a neo-progressive tinge to them doesn't take away from that as a matter of fact. Like the bands of old they are also fond to include some details from other genres, in this case jazz being the genre of choice. Again with the piano as an instrumental part of providing those details, but here also with some help from the rhythm department. A further dimension tucked in to many of the songs explored on this live album is folk and folk-rock, and the opening parts of Skyline in particular indicates rather strongly that this is a band that know their way around the vintage era Jethro Tull albums. These striking influences, and without a doubt a few less overt an up front, are blended into songs with a strong focus on moods, melodies and harmonies, and set up and performed in what I'll just reference to as a contemporary manner. This is a live album from 2016 that sounds like it has been made from a band active that very year, and given the style of music and the likely stated influences that is quite the accomplishment. Another bonus for this band is that they have a very good lead vocalist, with a powerful voice, delivering controlled but strong vocals that suits these landscapes perfectly. As far as live recordings go, this album also strikes me as a very well made one. The band is on form through and through, and if any missteps have occurred they have been minor ones. A good representation of what this band is about, and it comes across as a good quality introduction to the skills and charms of this band in general. One of many albums I have encountered where the word solid pretty much is a good summary.
Conclusion. Live albums can often be a hit or a miss, depending on a number of factors. This one will be more likely to be a hit than many other I have listened to, as it documents the skills of a high quality modern day symphonic progressive rock band that are as good on stage as they are in the studio. And with a long studio track tucked in as a bonus feature, existing fans get a nice little boon for buying this album as well. A live production well worth investigating if well made, symphonic progressive rock is a style of music you tend to enjoy.
Progmessor: January 29th, 2018
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