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L'Anima - 2017 - "Departures"

(56:28; L'Anima)


TRACK LIST: 1. Point of No Return 5:42 2. Path to Sirius 7:28 3. Gema 6:05 4. My Dying Cell 5:35 5. Hold Out 8:22 6. My Bloody Silhouette 7:28 7. The Sound of Waves 9:02 8. The Elephant Cemetery 6:46 LINE UP : Andy Mitchell - vocals Pedro J. Caparros Lopez - guitars, vocals Luca Forlani - bass Mauro Paderni - guitars, vocals Iban Sanz - drums with: Sergio Ramos Cebrian - drums, percussion David Vaughan - piano Pedro Fuentes Barranco - vocals Guillem Grimalt Gornals - vocals Andreu Parra Osuna - guitars Maribel Literas Flaquer - guitars Oscar Preciado - percussion Coral de 4 Cors - vocals

Prolusion. UK based band L'Anima was formed back in 2015 by Pedro J. Caparros Lopez and Andy Mitchell, with the rest of the band's line-up being finalized shortly after. "Departures" is their full length debut album, and was self released back in 2017.

Analysis. While a shared affection for progressive rock as a style is what lead to this band being formed back in the day, their take on the style is one that I suspect most people would describe as alternative: They don't go after any of the more popular varieties of the form as such, nor do they approach this universe in a conventional manner either. What we get here is a band that instead combines aspects of different types of progressive rock into a whole that has a bit more of a novel touch to it. The band has a tendency to use staccato guitar riffs served in a bit of an off kilter manner as a foundation in many songs, with quirky instrument details as another important feature. Explored and executed with perhaps a slight touch of The Mars Volta to it, but with a flavoring and execution that takes a cue from the likes of Radiohead instead. The overall instrument sound and fell, on the other hand, is perhaps one that I'd describe as being a bit closer to the likes of Rush.The same goes with the occasional forays into more hard rock sounding escapades on occasion, although King's X is a likely suspect in some of those places too. That we get a little bit of a jazzrock flavoring in some songs and that gentler passages with a dominant acoustic guitar delivering wandering motifs with a sometime Latin and possibly Flamenco touch to it is a part of the experience too are details that also merits a mention of course, both aspects that adds a rather distinct identity to the music explored on this production. With a very well controlled lead vocal presence as a stabilizing, harmonic and emotional element on top of it all. Oh, and there are some bits and pieces with a classical music reference popping up on occasion too, in the instrument as well as in the vocal department. The occasional use of folk music elements being another detail of interest.

Conclusion. "Departures" is a very solid and very interesting debut album by a UK based hard progressive rock band that have their own specific take on the progressive rock genre. This is a band that should appeal rather well to those with an interest in alternative rock as well as those who enjoy a hard and alternative variety of progressive rock. The same goes for those with a general interest in rock music with an appealing off kilter charm to it. A solid and interesting debut album for sure.

Progmessor: February 2023
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