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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Macroscream - Macroscream - 2016
albumcover

    
“Highly original music that is almost impossible to describe ...”

Macroscream is a progressive sextet from Rome, Italy. In the year 2011 the band self-released the album “Sisyphus”. The album could be defined as progressive rock inspired by the progressive rock bands of the 70's and with strong folk influences. This is partly due to the presence of a violin player in the lineup. But I would also mention the jazz influences in the music of this Italian progressive rock band. Now, five years later, the Italian label Fading Records has picked up the band and has released the self-titled album “Macroscream”.

Tonino Politano - electric & acoustic guitar, Gianpaolo Saracino - violin, Davide Cirone - Hammond organ, electric pianos, Mellotron, Minimoog, Korg synthesizer, Alessandro Patierno - bass guitar, classical guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, mandolin, vocoder, percussion, drops, backing vocals; Marco Pallotti - drums, Luca Marconi - vocals

Special guests;
Pierluigi Pensabene - soprano sax; Edoardo Capparucci - tenor & contralto sax; Fabio Angelo Colajanni - flute; Francesco Marsigliese - trumpet, sordina; Daniele Bicego - uilleann pipes; Davide Eusebi - percussion, vibes; Sanjay Kansa Banik - tabla; Esharef Ali Mhagag - backing vocals; Awa Koundoul - backing vocals; Chiara Calderale - backing vocals; Ben Slavin - voice on Mr. Why; Rodolfo Demontis - orchestral parts; Daisy - steps on Then it goes away

Maestro Alessandro Patierno wrote all the six compositions of this album. First of all I would like to mention that his music is highly original but on the other hand I think it is music for the open minded music lover. But if you give the music a chance to sink in and to really fathom the music, you will be in for a treat and then it will reveal its real beauty and quality.

The album opens with the longest track of the album entitled “Mr. Why”. It is a diverse track with the duration of almost 13 minutes. The first thing that I noticed was that the band made the choice to sing in the English language. An understandable choice but on the other hand you loose some of the Italian atmosphere and identity in the music. But positive thing is that I can follow the lyrics now. The violin and the vocal harmonies are giving the first part of the song some lightness. The atmosphere of the music is jazzy and somehow I must also think about one of the most original and sadly underrated bands of the 70's .... Gentle Giant. The latter is due to some guitar, violin and keyboard parts. Later on the use of Uilleann pipes gives the piece a more folkloric atmosphere. The ending includes a beautiful violin melody. “Mr. Why” is a melting pot of influences and atmospheres.

The next track is called “Then it goes away”. A great track with beautiful keyboard strings and jazzy guitar, bass, sax and keyboard parts. But at some point I also hear some reggae rhythms. The next piece “Unquiet” has some lovely violin parts that sometimes reminds me of the also Italian band PFM. The last part of the track is very nice and includes some wonderful melodies. In the track “The Flying Giampy” you can also find some nice violin and synthesizer parts. The sax and trumpet are giving some jazzy accents to the music and the flute part brings some memories of the Canterbury scene in my mind. The music of Macroscream has a great diversity. In the opening and closing section of “Goliath” singer Luca Marconi sings in a very theatrical way, but later on you can hear some funky stuff. This long piece (almost 11 minutes) is also a melting pot of styles. It is almost impossible to describe this music of great diversity. In the end we are treated with a nice melodic electric guitar solo. The last track of the album is called “Impenetrable Oak Bark”. The up-tempo parts with the aggressive guitar parts reminds me a little bit of the music the American band Djam Karet is making. But as a contrast you can find also some very beautiful melodic violin melodies on this track. And if this is combined with nice keyboard parts the name of PFM is crossing my mind again.

The Italian band Macroscream is making highly original music that is almost impossible to describe. The music has a great diversity in styles. It is an album for the open minded music lover. But if you give the music a chance to sink in and to really fathom the music, you will be in for a treat and then it will reveal its real beauty and quality. You can find some very fine melodies on this album. And if you like progressive rock with jazz influences and the violin in one of the leading roles, just have a listen to this wonderful album.

Douwe Fledderus - November 2016
rating - Fading Records (AltrOck Productions)

 

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