Exposé Online banner

Mangala Vallis — Lycanthrope
(Ma.Ra.Cash Records TAVR 022005, 2005, CD)

by Sean McFee, Published 2006-05-01

Lycanthrope Cover art

From the opening rip of “Watcher of the Skies,” Mangala Vallis is here to tell you they are back and have been listening to their favorite prog albums again. With all the classic sounds akin to Genesis, analog gear, and an acknowledged influence from IQ and Marillion, and even some vintage personnel, Mangala Vallis have almost everything necessary to make Lycanthrope a success. Bernardo Lanzetti of Acqua Fragile and Chocolate Kings-era PFM is the new singer and writes the lyrics, and David Jackson of Van der Graaf Generator also guests. The band can play and put together all the required pieces with unquestioned skill. Their main problem is that their songs sound like rearrangements of already existing classic prog tracks. There aren’t really any interesting and innovative melodies of their own, no signature sound. The lyrics, by Lanzetti, are sometimes pretty terrible, the nadir being the literal spelling out of “Lycanthrope” during the title suite. This puts Mangala Vallis at least a tier below other derivative Italian groups like La Maschera di Cera or La Torre dell’Alchimista, who sing in Italian and avoid the problem. I know there are people out there who will love this, and more power to you, but I wouldn’t personally pay money to see Bernardo Lanzetti dressed up as Marillion’s jester, and I won’t recommend anyone else do so either.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Mangala Vallis, David Jackson

Latest news

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Moby Trip - NKU – Moby Trip is a trio from New Zealand operating in the retro-psych realm. The band features guitars, bass, and drums, with the guitarist doubling on keyboard programming, and vocal duties shared by...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues