The title track and Here And Now, the first two songs on Kaleidoscope - the latest and sixth album by The Italian band Evil Wings - can be labeled as ordinary classic hard rock songs. They didn't really appeal to me, but after these tracks Evil Wings reveal their true progressive rock face. The next songs prove that Franco Giaffreda (vocals, guitars), Walter Rivolta (drums), Ricky Zanardo (bass) and Joseph Ierace (keyboards) are fine musicians who can play and write progressive rock tunes with strong vocals and almost without an accent. I think this is always an advantage for a band. The guitar and keyboard solos are a delight to listen to; they give the music its real progressive rock touch.
It's difficult to compare the sound of Evil Wings to other bands. Fact is that they listened a lot to Dream Theater, but that's not so strange since they once covered A Fortune In Lies for a tribute album. To a certain degree I also heard hints of The Beatles, IQ, Pendragon and Genesis in the compositions that contain a fine balance between ballads and up-tempo tunes. Production wise the album sounds very good either. There's a lot of room for details throughout the album.
Unfortunately Kaleidoscope had a kind of a false start otherwise my judgment could have been higher. Nevertheless I certainly enjoyed the album, even more so when I skipped the first two tracks. The total playing time is only 45 minutes and that's rather short when you realize that their previous album Kite was released in 2001. I think they could have written more music in ten years time. Kaleidoscope marks their long awaited return with a production that will make the line between progressive rock and classic hard rock a very thin one. Therefore lovers of both genres might enjoy this album a lot!
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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