The Italian four-piece formation Proteo started to play rock- and-roll in 1996, but soon they changed their musical direction towards progressive rock. Gradually the band shaped their sound just working together on the songs. Nowadays we can describe their music as catchy, but with distinctive arrangements. The main feature is that every instrument is equally important to the others. This way they get a well-balanced and compact sound, they consider as prog pop, a bridge between the easiness of pop and the complexity of melodic prog.
Proteo released three demos to date: A Glare From Depth (1998), Of Stars And Mind (2001), both recorded in their rehearsal room, and their first studio release named Proteo in 2003. Meanwhile, the band signed with progressive Italian label MaRaCash Records and in September 2009 their debut album Under A Red Polar Light appeared worldwide.
The eight, often swinging compositions on their debut, sound as a pleasant and melodic blend of pop and progressive rock with lots of powerful guitar solos and subtle arrangements. In the song Eternity, we can enjoy a break with catchy interplay between percussion, handclapping and guitar. Australia features a delicate use of electric piano and saxophone and Tales From The Ocean has a slow rhythm with protrusive guitar playing, floating keyboards and strong interplay between rhythm and lead guitar, culminating in a pretty raw solo in Robota.
You can hear that these guys are playing together for a long time. Proteo sounds like a tight unit with many interesting musical ideas. If you are up to the more commercial sound of Rush, Roxy Music and Supertramp, or if you like prog pop with echoes from The Police and 10CC, than this is a band to discover.
*** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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