[ SHORT REVIEWS - LIST | DETAILED REVIEWS
(42:43; Ma.Ra.Cash Records)
It has been some years since I last heard a new album from Mangala Vallis. Back in 2005 they released their second album ‘Lycanthrope’ with ex-PFM singer Bernardo Lanzetti, and I was fortunate enough to interview them at the time. It took seven years for them to return with their third album, ‘Microsolco’, during which time they had been through considerable line-up changes. There has now been another long gap until their fourth, ‘Voices’, however, this time around there has been just a single change in line-up, which consists of Roberto Tiranti (vocals), Gigi Cavalli Cocchi (drums), Mirco Consolini (electric and acoustic guitars, bass, backing vocals), Niky Milazzo (electric guitars) and “new boy” Gianfranco Fornaciari (keyboards, backing vocals). Whereas ‘Lyncanthrope’ was a trip back to the Seventies, this is far more fresh and in your face with modern keyboards combining with guitars in a way which has far more in common with crossover and even neo prog than it does with the RPI movement with which they are more commonly associated. This is fresh and inviting and is incredibly easy to listen to and Tiranti is a great singer with unaccented vocals, and with all lyrics in English this is a really enjoyable romp without ever setting the world on fire. For some reason there is the feeling of a lack of depth, and I would liked to have heard the band present with more dynamics and passion, as there is the impression that in some ways they are holding back. It is not as if the band is going through the motions, but there is little in the sense of exploration and it is almost as if they are working to a formula. The musicianship is good, but again the band feel restrained and there is little in the way of virtuosity or dynamics, and the result is something which is quite bland in many ways. Personally, I prefer my food to contain a range of spices, herbs, and flavours, and the same goes for my music. This is something I have enjoyed, but there is the impression it could have been so much more.
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]