Mesmerising — The Clutters Storyteller
(Bandcamp no#, 2020, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-10-10
One might be forgiven for not knowing whether Mesmerising is the artist or the album title, but in fact Mesmerising is the pseudonym of Italian singer / songwriter Davide Moscato, who has been releasing music since 2012 (two previous albums) under his real name. A powerful singer, Moscato’s voice is an acquired taste, though that won’t require more than a couple spins; his songs feature English lyrics and he is operating squarely in classic prog, AOR, and neo-prog territory that most listeners should be right at home with. The album was produced by none other than Fabio Zuffanti (ex-Finisterre, Hostsonaten, La Maschera di Cera, and many other bands and projects) as well as playing bass, and the remaining instrumentalists are all from Zuffanti’s Z-Band (Martin Grice of Delerium on saxes and flute, drummer Paolo Tixi of Il Tempio delle Clessidre, guitarist Simone Amodeo, and Giovanni Pastorino playing piano, Hammond organ, Mellotron and Moog – a member of the Gleemen reunion), all taken together something of an Italian supergroup. In addition to just singing and composing all of the ten tracks, Moscato also plays some occasional keyboards. The opening track, “Feel,” is an instrumental intro, only a minute long, the first twenty seconds surely reminiscent of the beginning of Mike Oldfield’s Ommadawn, then it bursts into anthemic prog, and without any warning flows directly into the first vocal number, “My Dream,” where Moscato shows everything he’s got in his unique high register, with heavy backing not unlike some mid-70s Pink Floyd with a slower pace and added Mellotron. With the next piece, “Ballad of a Creepy Night,” Moscato offers his full range, while the band soldiers forward in full-on prog territory. If anyone is wondering, Moscato’s voice does bear a slight detectable accent, but nothing that would obscure his lyrics. Many of the cuts on The Clutters Storyteller seem to fuse together seamlessly, though I haven’t analyzed the lyrics well enough to ascertain if there’s a concept at play, but I suspect there is. The powerful instrumental break on “Underground” is certainly one of the high points of the entire album. The pace slows and he moves into soft ballad territory with “False Reality,” which features mostly piano and flute backing, but it’s back to heavy prog for the brief two-minute “In a Different Dimension,” then on to a faster paced rocker with “The Man Who’s Sleeping.” All taken, there’s a lot of power and grandeur throughout these ten tracks. Investigate further at the link below.
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