[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
(74:21, ‘Different Light’)
TRACK LIST: 1. This Is Only the Beginning 8:06 2. Burning Memories 12:11 3. In the Grey 5:43 4. Victim's Eye View 7:30 5. The Eyelid Movie Show 5:32 6. Educating Jesus 5:11 7. Takeshi'c Castle 3:07 8. Angel Incarnate 6:20 9. A Creature of Habit 8:58 10. Solitary Heart 4:38 11. A Life in a Day 4:30 12. The Few of Us 2:35 LINEUP: Trevor Tabone – vocals; keyboards; guitars Trovor Catania – bass, backing vocals Richie Rizzo – drums, percussion With: Mark Agius Cesareo – guitars (1-4) David Cassar Torreggiani – guitars (5-6) Petr Lux – guitars, backing vocals (7-12) Daniel Charron – drums (7-12) Premek Matejovic – bass (8-12) Lucy Lux – backing vocals (8-12)
Prolusion. DIFFERENT LIGHT is a band project that serves as the creative vehicle for composer and musician Trevor Tabone. Initially formed in Malta in 1992, the band fell apart around the beginning of the millennium. A few years back, however, Tabone decided to reform the band, but now based in the Czech Republic, sporting a new line-up and a redefined stylistic expression. "Il Suono della Luce" was released in 2011 and is a compilation album tracking all the different phases of the band.
Analysis. Among the extensive number of artists I've encountered one way or another the last few years, the background history of this particular act is so far a one-of-a-kind feature. A band breaking up and coming back together again isn't exactly a novelty, neither is the tale of the band leader assembling a completely new line-up. But a band switching nations, and from western to former Eastern Europe to boot, now that is a story you don't encounter on a regular basis. In terms of their musical history, I'll have to admit that I find their earliest phase to be most interesting. The three opening compositions in particular are fine examples of a type of music I tend to like: distinctly 80's neo-progressive rock. Not extremely original in any sense of the word, be it the dampened ballad-oriented sequences backed by a gentle symphonic backdrop, the instrumental interludes featuring melodic guitar soloing and a richer textured keyboard construction or the distinctly majestic impact parts sporting dampened guitar riffs and a darker tonal range as additional features. But they are all well-made and feature the finer details one expects from progressive rock, the plucked guitar motifs a nice detail worth mentioning in these pieces too, at least when as well and effectively performed as in this case. But from the end of this band's first era and onwards the compositional and musical value of this material starts getting less impressive to my ears. The band's intermediate phase does provide some fine moments, blending their original neo-progressive rock with more of a classic rock sound, sporting some nice and refined additions to the compositional structure, but also lessening the level of refinement of the overall arrangement. The instrumental details and nuances are replaced by a more distinct focus on melody and hummable passages, with a certain dramatic flair added to the chorus parts. The most recent epoch for this band has been as an Eastern European-based outfit, and to my ears they are arguably even closer to what most could be described as classic rock in their new guise. The near epic-length, multiple-part piece A Creature of Habit will be the most interesting for fans of progressive rock as such to my ears, sporting a fine amount of instrumental details and refined structural developments that do take it outside the realms of the distinctly radio-friendly music. When that is said, a common ground shared by all compositions are well-made melodies and tunes that are pleasant, songs easy to like and enjoy, even if not making a grand impact as such.
Conclusion. With "Il Suono della Luce" Trevor Tabone appears to have assembled a fair representation of the repertoire and history of his band Different Light, and while it doesn't stand out as a production the general art rock audience will want to explore extensively, I'd advise those who enjoy their classic rock just as much as the first wave of neo-progressive artists to lend an ear to this CD. I suspect quite a few who answer to such a description of their musical tastes will find plenty to enjoy on this one.
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]