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(50:09, MaRaCash Records)
The Italian band RANESTRANE was formed back in 1998, although it would take them more than a decade before they started releasing any material. "A Space Odyssey Part One: Monolith" is their third studio album, and was released through the Italian label MaRaCash Records. Ranestrane is a band that has specialized in the creation of concept albums based on movies, and in this case it is "2001: A Space Odyssey" that is the source of inspiration. As that is a complex movie, the band has opted to divide their take on it in several parts, at least that is what the album title indicates. Their partial journey through the story is one that opens in a light toned and delicate manner, gradually building up an unnerving mood by the music becoming more complex, gradually more extensive use of darker toned, more elaborate arrangements and the manner in which how sampled dialog from the movie is used in combination with their music to create an ominous feeling without using any overly dramatic effects. In terms of style the album ranges from accessible art pop through neo progressive rock to vintage oriented symphonic progressive rock, with occasional passages sporting a folkier character, while others touch upon what many describe as heavy prog. "A Space Odyssey Part One: Monolith" comes across as a wholehearted, highly accomplished production on all levels. Movie buffs and those with a special interest in Italian progressive rock are arguably the key audience here, and those who enjoy a band that covers a broad range of styles in what might be described as accessible progressive rock should also consider giving this album a spin.
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