Submarine Silence? Does anybody remember this band? Well for those who don't, I can tell you that they released their eponymous debut 12 years ago-an album which was most of all a tribute to the fantastic music made by Genesis and Steve Hackett in the seventies. On this album the acoustic piano, synthesizers and Mellotron parts sounded as if Tony Banks had recorded them. Furthermore the guitar parts came close to the sound which Hackett displayed on his solo albums and with Genesis. To make such an album came from an idea of Mellow Records owner Mauro Moroni. The group was at the time most of all a side-project of the Italian neo-progressive rock group Moongarden. The group consisted of their keyboard player Cristiano Roversi and their guitarist David Cremoni. Behind the drums you could find Emilio Pizzoccoli. Already for many years the rumour was going on that a follow up album could be released anytime. Well the people who loved their debut so much had to wait until 2013 to find out if they were able to release another masterpiece. Because a true masterpiece was created in 2001.
On There's Something Very Strange In Her Little Room you will once again hear music that is related to their musical heroes. There are lots of strong parts performed on the Mellotron, acoustic piano and synthesizers by Mr Roversi. Even the beautiful melodic guitar parts have remained and are once again done by David Cremoni. This time another person got behind the drums and therefore those parts sound different compared to the parts on their debut. However when you know that this person is Gigi Cavalli Cocchi (Moongarden, Mangala Vallis) you know that this isn't a step back. His style of playing is more powerful and certainly gives the album a more modern sound. On the bands first musical effort you only could enjoy brilliant instrumental pieces of music. This isn't the case anymore because a vocalist is present as well on There's Something Very Strange In Her Little Room. Maybe you would expect that they would use a singer who moves more towards the way Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins did sing with Genesis. Strangely enough this did not happen at all because Ricky Tonco (ex Moongarden, Theatre) sounds more like David Bowie. But don't panic-his voice fits perfectly on the compositions with vocal parts and still those tracks are true progressive rock tunes. Furthermore two people who play in Catafalchi Del Cyber have contributed on this release. They are Mirko Ravenoldi (vocals and electric Guitars) and Matteo Bertolini (bass). Finally I have to mention that Antonio De Sarno did the lyrics for what appears to be a concept album which is a suite about a little girl named Rebekka. Only this time, the art work for this concept was not done by Paul Whitehead-the man who was responsible for the stunning paintings on the early Genesis covers for Nursery Cryme (1971) and Foxtrot (1972). I do not know the name of the art designer but once again it fits perfectly to the concept and the music that you can enjoy.
That a lot has happened between 2001 and 2013 is obvious and therefore you can't compare both albums released by Submarine Silence. There's Something Very Strange In Her Little Room certainly sounds more modern and more to nowadays musical standards. But that they kept the musical vision of Genesis and Steve Hackett in the seventies is something which you without a doubt can hear. “Could they release another masterpiece?” This is a question which I asked myself several times. After playing the album several times, I realised that they came very close to it because all of the compositions are of a very high level and are highly recommended to those who have the albums made in the seventies by Hackett and Genesis!
****+ Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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