VIII STRADA – Babylon

Fading 2015

VIII STRADA - Babylon

VIII STRADA –
Babylon

Milano proggers’ impressive return with a rock opera for one voice and a lot of imagination.

Seven years is a long absence after a debut, but when there’s an itch, there’s also a scratch, and “Babylon” may leave a mark in memory of many an art-rock aficionado. Sung entirely in Italian, with the music evoking typical Apennine prog theatricality for the most part, there’s no explanation whatsoever as to the concept behind it all, but that’s for the better as the pieces are high on aural imagery. Less heavy this time around, although Davide Zigliani’s guitars give a strong start to “Ombre Cinesi” off which momentum builds to be resolved in a choral attack, instrumental pictures reveal the band’s full forte, while Tito Vizzuso’s voice has everything going for it on the stylistically least expected cuts.

So while Silvano Negrinelli’s ivories ripple over the riffs of “Preludio A Eclypse” in the most classical manner, and “Deguello” finds the keyboards and six-string entwined in a solemn, spiritual dance, “Slow” unhurriedly unfolds into powerful blues stricken with Sergio Merlino’s bass rumble and caressed with fusion strokes. Still, cerebral sophistication is the 10-minute title track’s undoing as its tunes come blurred, unlike the light flow of “Ninna Nanna” whose many parts create the wonderful whole. Isn’t that how it was for the Tower of Babel until it fell? If the band don’t opt for another long pit stop, they should avoid such fate.

***1/2

March 29, 2016

Category(s): Reviews
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