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The Ancient Veil - I Am Changing CD (album) cover

I AM CHANGING

The Ancient Veil

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.12 | 13 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars While it's been 22 years since Edmondo Romano and Alessandro Serri released the first ANCIENT VEIL album, they have been somewhat active in the interim, particularly Romano who has played on all three releases by NARROW PASS. Serri handled vocals on that group's latest "A New Day". With their earlier group ERIS PLUVIA having issued a couple of their own creations in the interim, it's only fitting that ANCIENT VEIL return, and, with the assistance of associates from all of the above, "I am Changing" is the result.

Those familiar with the light chamber prog of their 1995 album will feel at home here. Reserved and controlled English vocals; delicate string woodwind, and brass arrangements; wind accompaniment, and nimbly plucked acoustic guitar remain the cornerstones here. A few more aggressive junctures are negotiated by electric guitar, particularly on the instrumentals "Bright Autumn Dawn", which appears as a mashup of ideas conceived over a couple of decades, and the more integrated "Fading Light". Serri's lead guitar style bears comparisons to Dave Gilmour and Andy Latimer, particularly in passages reminiscent of the quieter moments of "Dust and Dreams".

Ultimately, the production is vocal oriented, and its strength must be measured by the quality of the songs, which, while graceful and elegant, are somewhat precious and precise, lacking the warmth and emotion of earlier releases which the members have enriched. The lyrical themes don't seem especially adventurous and hardly match the pledge of the magnificent cover. My favourite is "Chime of the Times", thanks to the welcome vocal of long time associate Valeria Caucino and, about halfway through, a return of a recycled theme from the first album, offering one of the only passages that is the symphonic equal of early ERIS PLUVIA. "A Mountain of Dust" approaches this level thanks to more spirited singing and instrumental passages including recorders and pipes.

While i do think that this is probably the weakest release yet by any ERIS PLUVIA/NARROW PASS related band, and of limited interest to most fans of prog and rock in general, it does reflects the duo's admirable skill and dedication to craft, stalwart musical ideals in the face of so much change. 2.5 stars rounded up.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |

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