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Avalon Legend - Avalon Legend 2: Un Sogno per Cambiare CD (album) cover

AVALON LEGEND 2: UN SOGNO PER CAMBIARE

Avalon Legend

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.88 | 5 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Forming back in 1987, Avalon Legend spent almost 18 years slowly honing their live skills and songwriting, and despite recording an album for family and friends back in 2001, they finally delivered their officially released album at the very end of December 2014. With many of the lyrical themes based around the King Arthur legend, `Avalon Legend 2: Un Sogno per Cambiare' is a solid proper introduction to the band and a showcase for their many talents. They very much remind of another modern Italian band Marchesi Scamorza, who are instrumentally greatly influenced by the Neo Prog/80's-era style of bands like Marillion with a similar heavy guitar sound and icy production. But the superb lead vocals, courtesy of Salvatore Fiorello and his commanding raspy croon are pure Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI) all the way!

Many of the nine studio pieces here (and bonus live track at the end of the disc) often follow a similar template. The band don't bombard the listener with overlong, technical self-indulgent soloing, instead they offer fairly straightforward rock tunes with frequent instrumental fills in and around the songs. Salvatore's vocals carry the majority of the album, but the musicians around him have ample opportunity to impress and offer colourful soloing and tasty instrumentation. Guitarist Adolofo Pacchioni moves effortlessly between a tough dirty sound and David Gilmour-like soaring grandness, Alessandro Crupo's bass is thick and thoughtful, Lucio D'Alonzo's drums are constantly snappy and energetic, and keyboardist Mario TornambŔ coats most every inch of the album in an ocean of synth flavour.

Out of the highlights, `Chi Li FemereÓ' is a nice plodding rocker interspersed with fleeting E.L.P-like fanfares, the opening of `Brocellandia' is dashing and uptempo, and purring bass, scratchy wah-wah guitars and even a cheerful Canterbury-sounding synth solo slink through `La Bottega Dei Sogni'. There's some nice reflective Moog trills and classy orchestral synths throughout `Non Ci Sono Pi¨ Cavalieri', and gorgeous fluid bass is hypnotic throughout `I Fuochi Di Beltane'. Unsurprisingly the two longest tracks that open and close the album are the highlights, where the extended running time allows for more instrumental moments and greater dramatic build. A romantic dreamy voice and rising Floydian guitar strains ring throughout opener `Il Balletto di Specchi', but the band close on the best with the seven minute `L'ubriaco'. With thrashing drums, symphonic synth sophistication and raging guitars, the twisted time-changes, wilder edge and more spontaneous hints of danger bring the album the closest to proper RPI, and it's absolutely the highlight of the disc!

Admittedly, the band would be wise to cut down of the amount of vocal/lyric passages a little on future albums, as nine studio pieces in a similar style gets a little dull in a few spots. It takes several listens of the album to notice how varied and intricate the instrumentation is too, as the tunes and vocals are usually the most prominent aspects, so perhaps even one or two purely instrumental tracks would provide a welcome and nice diversion next time around? But Avalon Legend are in a great position, as they have excellent musicians and a confident vocalist, and they are slowly forming their own identity and personality. `Avalon Legend 2: Un Sogno per Cambiare' is a very solid work and well-performed prog-rock album, but once the band begin to offer a bit more variety in their music in the future, the results will be really something special, and the best will no doubt be yet to come for Avalon Legend!

Three and half stars for a fine debut, rounded up to four for encouragement of this promising group!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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