Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Bernardo Lanzetti — Horizontal Rain
((Not on label) no#, 2021, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2021-08-02Bernardo Lanzetti is a somewhat polarizing figure in progressive rock, with some listeners feeling that his distinctive vocals have ruined perfectly good albums, and others who tolerate or even enjoy his singing. I’m in the latter camp — I first heard him with Acqua Fragile’s second album, Mass Media Stars (1974), and I thought of him as a quirkier version of Peter Gabriel, with a gritty tone and prominent vibrato. When he joined PFM for Chocolate Kings (1975), I had no problem with the change. While that band’s peak remained earlier, with Storia di un Minuto (1972) and Per un Amico (1972), Chocolate Kings and Jet Lag (1977) are still fine albums, well within the canon of top Italian releases of the 70s. While I’ve long been aware that Lanzetti has enjoyed a long solo career in the intervening decades, I’m not familiar with any of his previous releases. Horizontal Rain presents nine tracks which span a fair stylistic range. “Walk Away” starts out in a semi-proggish fashion along the lines of Peter Hammill’s solo material, with backing built up from a chorus of individual guitar lines backed by keyboards. When the drums and the rest of the instruments come in, there’s a twangy guitar line with a hint of surf music in it, though the song doesn’t otherwise hark to the 60s. The arrangement also features some lovely changes of time signature. David Cross’s violin is icing on the cake. “Heck Jack” takes us in a more mainstream direction, with a horn section and funky beat that might recall Peter Gabriel (“Sledgehammer”), even featuring Tony Levin on the low end. There’s some nice lead guitar work too (Andrea Cervetto, I think), along with a nifty sitar-guitar line. Track 3, “Lanzhaiku,” features David Jackson prominently, with saxes and flute contributing to a slow-grind rock rhythm. Later, “Genial!” features some great guitar, both acoustic and electric, from Marco Colombo, along with a meaty bass part by Dario Mazzoli. Other tracks take more symphonic turns, or even a kind of twisted Crimson-esque prog-metal on the title track (an impression subverted when harmonica makes its entrance). Horizontal Rain is a fine example of mature art-rock unhindered by modern conventions and full of both clever twists and emotional intensity.
These are the most recent changes made to artists, releases, and articles.