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TRACK LIST: 1. Driving Rain 1:02 2. Promises 5:02 3. Happy to See You 7:36 4. One Day 7:23 5. Secret Therapy 5:36 6. Broken 9:06 7. Old Ghosts 4:07 8. Alone 3:11 9. Rescue Me 4:55 10. Twenty Years 6:04 11. Waiting 5:42 12. A New Tomorrow 7:44 13. Spies 7:25 LINEUP: Luca Zabbini - vocals, keyboards, guitars Marco Mazzuoccolo - guitars Francesco Caliendo - bass Eric Ombelli - drums, percussion With: Alex Mari - vocals Ludovica Zanasi - vocals Peter Jones - vocals
Prolusion. Italian band BAROCK PROJECT was formed back in 2003, and have been on a climbing trajectory ever since then, their name and reputation steadily surging upwards with their third album "Coffee In Neukolln" something of a breakthrough one for them. "Detachment" is their fifth studio production, and was released through Italian label Artalia in 2017.
Analysis. It is tempting to read the album title there as one that indicates a bit about what place this CD will have in the band's history. It is their first album following the departure of vocalist Pancaldi, their first album as a quartet, and their first studio album following the double live album "Vivo". It is also an album that see the band changing their style of music ever so slightly, and it might be tempting to see this in the context of what other progressive rock bands have done in their history. Rush comes to mind there, with their tendency to alter characteristic traits of their style following each live album, at least in their vintage years. Those who are already in love with the accessible sounds and distinct melodies of Barock Project will get their fill though, as that aspect of their sound haven't changed at all. This is still open, inviting and accessible progressive rock, where the melodies are firmly in focus and the songs easy on the ears and the mind throughout. Mainstream oriented progressive rock, at least on some levels, but the greater majority of the compositions also features plenty of twists and turns, ebbs and flow, alterations and developments. More than enough to mark them down as a bona fide and purebred progressive rock band. They have taken a slight move away from atmospheric laden keyboard arrangements of the neo progressive kind of this album though, and have something more of an emphasis on keyboard arrangements with strong and defined nods back towards classical music, be it symphonic or not. The neo progressive tendencies are still present, in a classic era Sylvan kind of way, but are by far as numerous as on previous occasions. In my view this is more of a modern day symphonic progressive rock album in that context, but one that bows it's head back to classical music primarily, without including all too many of the characteristics of the vintage era symphonic progressive rock bands. But some spirited keyboard runs and a liberal amount of organ details here and there is a kind of musical tip of the hat in that direction too one might presume. The major change I find in Barock Project as of 2017, besides the change in vocal style, is that the piano isn't quite as central anymore, or perhaps not quite as dominant is a better description. Possibly as a result of that, the jazz-tinged details in the compositions are much less prominent than before. In addition I note that electronic effects have been given more room, while the folkier instrument details appears to have been decreased ever so slightly, or at least replaced by acoustic guitar details with more of an acoustic rock basis. Just like the other albums I have encountered by this band the albums as such is a solid production through and through, and while it doesn't take my breath away there are no weak or even lackluster moments present either. This is a solid production on all levels, without any easily defined weak spots.
Conclusion. Those who are fond of high quality, modern progressive rock will have taken note of Barock Project already I surmise. If by chance anyone haven't done so, this album showcase just why this is a band that merits and inspection in an excellent manner. If you like your progressive rock to be open, inviting and with a keen focus on melodies and harmonies, without loosing track of being sophisticated on a structural level, "Detachment" is an album with your name written on it.
Progmessor: January 30th, 2018
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