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PHOENIX AGAIN: UNEXPLORED 


VÖ: 09.06.2017
The history of this Italian band goes back to the early 80's, but the debut album came out in 2011, and now is the third album out. A new acquaintance for me, and a pretty pleasant one. Neo prog is not very typical subgenre in Italy, even less in Black Widow Records. Well, nor is Phoenix Again typical neo prog.

To begin with, they are instrumentally oriented, and the atmosphere is closer to the seventies than the eighties and beyond. Unexplored contains eight tracks, only two of them featuring lyrics; 'That Day Will Come' is placed right at the beginning. After the little clichéd fast instrumental intro the tempo slows down and the sparse lyrics are sung by the whole sextet in unisono. The next track 'Silver', with some lie-la-lie-lie" singing, confirms my thought of the resemblance to WISHBONE ASH, except that there are more keyboards. I appreciate the melodic airiness in the band's sound. There are also slightly heavier elements, but more in the vein of modern RPI than heavy prog per se. The hectic fourth track 'Whisky' is my least favourite, but it's nicely followed by a brief and romantic instrumental ballad starring acoustic guitar. 'Valle della Luna' is the longest (8:41) and it progresses without any hurry. Good acoustic guitar again, and plenty of soloing for electric guitars and keyboards. 'To Be Afraid - Ansia' is the other vocal song. In ist calmness it reminds me of a CAMEL ballad, concerning vocals too. At nearly seven minutes in length, this track also grows instrumentally. Strong, emotional melodies. The album comes to a harmonic end with peaceful and uplifting 'Great Event'. Oh, now I notice there's a hidden extra track, a little acoustic vignette. All in all, this album is easy to enjoy. It may lack some originality and truly memorable compositions, but I round my 3½ stars upwards. The band features four guys from the Lorandi family (plus drummer Silvano Silva and keyboardist Andrea Piccinelli). The beautiful cover painting is by the late founding member Claudio Lorandi.

Format: CD | Cat-No:24252 | Price: € 16,99  



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