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Marchesi Scamorza - Hypnophonia CD (album) cover

HYPNOPHONIA

Marchesi Scamorza

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.90 | 10 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Back in 2012, a new Italian band called Marchesi Scamorza released the charming `La Sposa del Tempo', a polished debut that highlighted a group full of potential that was slowly finding their feet and forming their own sound. The extra few years performing and writing together has delivered great results, and their vinyl-length follow-up work in 2015, `Hydrophonia', is a significant improvement on their first work and a big step up! Their compositions are richer and more dramatic now with a greater variety, singer Enrico Bernardini's vocals are sounding stronger than ever, and by letting go mostly of the more Neo-styled/Genesis-like elements of the debut, the group have embraced their theatrical Italian prog heritage more fully and crafted a much more distinctive and eclectic symphonic work full of personality.

Lively opener `1348' is a strident, confident tune with a skipping momentum to its regal symphonic snap, Enrico's coarse voice commanding as if a call to arms. `Il Cammino delle Luci Erranti' is the first of two longer epics, full of synth-driven symphonic sophistication and classically-flavoured darker elegance that the Italian groups in particular do so well throughout its near-fourteen minute running time. With Enrico Cazzola's ghostly piano and scratchy Mellotron aplenty, Paolo Brini's bass sweetly murmurs with wicked intent, Enrico's vocal leaps between weary purrs and biting unease, and drummer Alessandro Padovani expertly delivers subtle bursts to effortlessly move the piece up and down in tempo. The group finds time for dashing Premiata Forneria Marconi-like charges and even heavier frantic attacks with a dirtier guitar bite from Lorenzo Romani in the manner of the first Banco del Mutuo Soccorso album, leading to a glorious and grand finish. `Campi di Marte' then closes what could be the first side with surprising funkiness, regal sprinting P.F.M gallops mixing with wild guitar fire.

`L'uomo col Fiore in Bocca' initially smoulders with molten guitar grooves, but a tastefully reflective piano interlude with a gently wounded vocal in the second half proves to be one of the surprising highlights of the disc. Three-part thirteen-minute closer `La via del Sognatore' is truly the soundtrack to a swooning, romantic and playful gothic pantomime with lengthy instrumental passages of ravishing symphonic themes. Full of theatrical instrumental pomp and ravishing vocals, constant doomed piano creeps with a devilish mischievousness, guitars chime with mystery and drift through dreamy Pink Floyd-like shimmering interludes while announcing drums rumble with purpose and build. It showcases the band fully immersing themselves in the glorious traditions of the vintage Italian prog past and is easily the most cultured and involved piece the band have offered to date.

It would be easy to place Marchesi Scamorza alongside numerous other low-key modern Italian bands that fly under the radar, but at the same time, `Hypnophonia' is the sound of what was an already promising band stepping up in a big way and delivering a superior work that easily eclipses their earlier effort, carefully showcasing their influences but also offering unexpected surprises. It boasts a fuller production, more confident vocals that aren't afraid to step back and let the thrilling instrumental passages take the focus, and gifted musicians playing with boundless enthusiasm and sharp skill. No doubt about it, `Hypnophonia' is simply a terrific symphonic album from a highly talented Italian band deserving of so much more attention!

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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