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
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more