Many Italian progressive rock bands started their musical career by playing covers of well known names in the scene. But this was never the case with the, for me, totally unknown act Panther & C. When they started the band in Genoa in 2003, they only thought about writing and creating music by themselves. At first the band, consisting of Alessandro La Corte (keyboards), Riccardo Mazzarini (guitars), Roberto Sanna (drums and percussion), Giorgio Boleto (bass) and Mauro Serpe (vocals and flute) didn't think about releasing an album. But after doing a support act for Il Tempio Delle Clessidre people were asking if they could buy their album. From that moment on they considered recording their compositions for an official debut album. This led to their debut L'Epoca Di Un Altro..., released in August 2015 and distributed by Black Widow Records.
L'Epoca Di Un Altro... is a fine collection of musical works with no particular theme. The album has two long songs, one at the beginning and one that closes the album. In between you can enjoy three more short pieces. The band themselves mentioned Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Banco Mutuo Soccorso and Premiata Forneria Marconi as possible influences on those tracks. In a way you can hear throughout the entire album that this is very much true for most of the mentioned acts, but you can hardly hear anything that might be related to Led Zeppelin and Gentle Giant. I would replace them for a band such as Marillion (Fish-era). I will not go into details about every song, but you'll have to believe me when I say that everything on this release is the finest progressive rock possible! All of the tracks have every ingredient that make them perfect pieces of progressive rock music; many breaks, strong melodies, beautiful synthesizer incursions, great interaction between guitar and keyboards, distinctive flute playing and warm Italian vocal parts.
The conclusion is quite simple; this is a very beautiful album and recommended to lovers of the bands mentioned earlier. My only complaint is the length. With a time of thirty-seven minutes it is way too short, but that's just a minor detail. When the album has ended you just press play again and enjoy this excellent album over and over!
I would like to end this review by telling you that the album title L'Epoca Di Un Altro... has a special meaning for all of us! The album title is the wish that anyone who hears it can be associated with one of his own, personal and serene periods of life and then have the pleasure to listen to it again to find the same emotions. If this could happen, we could say that it has confirmed the value of music.
****+ Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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