Moongarden — Brainstorm of Emptiness
(Mellow MMP 284, 1996, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1997-02-01
Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator were very popular in Italy in the mid-70s. While nowadays you can't sell out a 1,000 seater at Progfest in the USA, bands such as these were hot sellers in Italy, playing to crowds of several tens of thousands and more. And of course these two bands are about 90% responsible in inspiration for a swath of new Italian groups in the progressive vein, Moongarden certainly being one of them. While many groups with this influence keep the inspiration to the vocals and lyrics only (every time I hear an Italian singing in English like Peter Gabriel...) Moongarden fortunately retain the more symphonic rock moves as well. I've heard so many bands like this from Italy in the last year that it's getting easy to be confused. Moongarden stands out as being quite interesting due to their mostly ever changing song structures, yet the overall effect leaves me thinking of what early Marillion would sound like with more complexity and more filler. At times this stuff can be quite inspiring, but often some excellent weird staggered section will empty into an awkward vocal chorus and I again forget who I am listening to. So it's probably worth a listen, especially for neo-progressive fans who are comfortable with the Fish / Gabriel / Hammill vocalist styles and gravitate to the more complex end of the spectrum. I'm still not sure what I think.
Related artist(s): Moongarden
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