Coming of age and inhabiting the stage, Italian proggers sum up their journey so far.
20 years of moving forward did little to diminish this band’s ambition yet, even though they haven’t ventured off into the globally prominent echelon of art-rock, the quartet developed an enviable level of telepathy, as documented here on live CD and DVD laid down in 2014. A limited space on which the ensemble perform makes verbal interaction not only nonexistent but also needless and provides for intimate shots of the players whose static disposition is given a mood and drama by sharp colors of the lighting that feed into the music – or vice versa.
There’s a slight sense of triumph in revisiting obscure gems from the past such as “Pensieri Fragili” while most of the show is dedicated to bringing alive 2014’s “Stems” and infusing epics like “Gina,” where the exquisite interplay swings from transparent to fierce, with a new vigor. As Simona Rigano’s keyboards, rather than voice, lead the narrative, the driving force behind these flights of fantasy, embodied by Ture Pagano’s six-string flurry and strum, is Natale Russo’s finely nuanced drums which unfold a fusion groove behind “False Idee” – as opposed to “Sigurtà” and its symphonic scope.
More than anything, a concert approach reveals the pieces’ vibrancy, what with delay applied to the video-only “Echi Di Verità” or the Eastern-flavored rocking of “No Photo” – muscular thanks to Peppe Papa’s Rickenbacker bass and sensual in the piano-organ vortex – whereas the marriage of folk reverie and blues in “La Strada Del Graal” becomes arresting once a little roughness is thrown in. So if sometimes style takes over the substance, the motion of it all takes a hold of the listener. A conquest of sorts.