Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Syndone — Kama Sutra
(Ma.Ra.Cash Records MRC102, 2021, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2022-02-27
Syndone continues developing a distinctive modern touch on progressive rock with Kama Sutra. Taking a double-keyboard lineup (Nik Comoglio and Luigi “Gigi” Rivetti) with a solid rhythm section (bassist Simone Rubinato and drummer Eddy Franco) and a dedicated vocalist (Ricardo Ruggeri) as their core, they expand the sound with vibraphone and timpani from Marta Caldari for a six-member configuration. In addition, they invite numerous guests on tambura, sitar, woodwinds, vocals, pipe organ, and even a little guitar, not to mention a full orchestra on most tracks. Once again, Ruggeri’s powerful voice is a central point of focus, singing in English and exhibiting an admirable range and expressive style. He’s joined on one track by Annie Barbazza for a great duet. This song, “Into the Kama,” is a mini-epic which starts out as an emotive ballad built on a piano part and some lovely accompaniment from clarinet, flute and oboe, but morphs into a dramatic uptempo theme with sitar, prominent bass, and an Indian-sounding orchestral melody. On the keyboard front, many of the outstanding solos involve a Hammond organ, usually handled by Rivetti, but there are also some tasty synthesizer parts from Comoglio. Throughout, the orchestra is used to great effect, integrated into the music rather than seeming like an afterthought — Comoglio is credited with the orchestration, and he does a fine job. As expected from the album title, sex figures in the overall concept, which leads to the odd juxtaposition of a complex progressive rock song with David Jackson’s wild sax and elaborate symphonic parts called “Sex Toys R Us.” Hey, just smile and roll with it. Kama Sutra provides one more example in the pile of evidence that Syndone is one of the most creative Italian bands currently active.
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