Marco De Angelis — The River - Both Sides of the Story
((Not on label) MDA-CD-001, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-10-26While De Angelis’ name may be new to most, his lifetime of experience as a studio owner (Soundtrack Studio Roma), sound engineer, record production (covering all styles of music), theater works and television soundtracks certainly explains why his debut album The River… sounds like the work of a seasoned veteran. A songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass, Chapman Stick, keyboards, and piano), for this effort he enlists Marcello Catalona to handle the lead vocals, plus five backing vocalists and drummer Cristiano Micalizzi. The River contains a dozen tracks, but many are joined together into longer suites, all with an acute progressive rock savvy that is at once wholly accessible yet able to hold the interest of the discerning listener. The influences seem to be rooted in classic prog – Roger Waters era Pink Floyd is in evidence throughout, and to a degree contemporaries with the same influences – Porcupine Tree, RPWL, Riverside, and others. But this is not a knock off; De Angelis has created a highly original work that stands the test of repeated listens. The lyrics are all in English, and Catalona has great command of the language when he sings, bringing just the right emphasis where it needs to be. The writing and arrangements wield a lot of power throughout, but eschew the bombastic tendencies that often accompany post-classic period progressive rock. While The River may reside on the accessible side of modern progressive rock and not challenge the listener with mind-jarring complexity in every measure, it remains as evidence that there is still plenty of room for forward growth within this genre. Highly recommended.
Related artist(s): Marco De Angelis
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more