Germinale — Germinale
(Mellow MMP 214, 1994, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-08-01
One of the better of the new Italian progressive bands, their eponymous debut just escaped the second part of our "New Italian Progressive Rock Scene" overview back in issue #4. So with the release of their second album, we'll take the opportunity to offer a proper introduction to their first.
Using a five-piece lineup of guitars, bass/guitars, keys, drums, and winds/voice, their style is a varied mix, definitely rooted in the classic seventies Italian sound, but with the modern nineties instrumentation playing a significant role as well, including up to date production techniques. Flute and Hammond organ play a big part in their instrumental approach, which seems to be mildly influenced by both VDGG and early KC, though their interpretation, as was the case with PFM, is uniquely Italian. The first album has more than its share of great moments, including the tracks "Los Guardo Nello Speccio," "Soffi Sonori," and "Il Mago," all being especially worthy of note. The only negative one might cite is flautist Toniolo's voice, which at times seems a little underpowered, but not enough to detract from the album's overall strength. Lyrics are in Italian.
Two years later, with some changes in the lineup, Germinale is back in full force with an outstanding follow up. All the best aspects of the first album are amplified here, and most noticeably the compositions are more sophisticated and developed, some involving many parts and numerous changes. New keyboardist Andrea Moretti seems a lot less reliant on Hammond, and integrates more acoustic piano into the instrumental mix, giving some of the tunes a distinctive jazzy feel. New guitarist Lazzara isn't afraid to show his chops either, offering a slightly more funky approach with a touch of psych influence at times. He also shares the vocal duties with Toniolo, each singing on the tracks that they can handle best. In all, the album is nothing short of a full-throttle smoker, and one that I can wholeheartedly recommend to all.
Related artist(s): Germinale
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
SKiN GRAFT Records’ Mark Fischer states that “The Chicago vs New York compilation is an album in its own right… and not just some sort of a label sampler. Most of the songs on the compilation are exclusive to it." Thymme Jones of Cheer-Accident says of "War Is a Warrior," " It’s definitely not going to be on the next Cheerax album.”
We'll have a review of Chicago vs New York in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes out for that.