Syndone is an Italian Avant-Garde progressive group created in 1989 by Nik Comoglio as an ELP styled trio. The original line-up released two LPs before breaking up in 1993. Eighteen years later Nik again breathed life into the band, initially as a quintet to release a third album. Now they have again become a trio and have released their fourth album entitled La Bella E La Bestia / The Beauty Is The Beast according to their official press release. It must however be noted that in the album credits they have a fourth member listed, none other than Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues on flute, who apparently didn't actually play and a sticker was added to the jacket indicating that “Ray's flute parts recorded by Greg Walsh”. Greg did a fine job.
The CD packaging is terrific. It includes a nice booklet. It lives up to BTF standards completely. I find the picture on the front to be quite prophetic, a scary-looking woman who appears to be screaming, read on for further explanation. Perhaps she grabbed a thorn on the rose she is holding? Who knows?! All I know is this picture takes on new meanings as I listen further. In the picture on the inner flap she is downright melancholic, and on the inside she is apparently supposed to be angelic.
Beauty Is The Beast is thematically a variation on the classic fairy tale “The Beauty and the Beast” written by LEPRINCE DE BEAUMONT in 1756. Upon the arrival of the vocals in the third track, I find myself wanting to turn it off. Unfortunately for me the vocals on this album bother me so profoundly that I was unable to concentrate on the content. I instead found myself wincing with nearly every vocal passage. It's really a shame and a great let down for me as I generally have a deep love for Italian prog, Avant-Garde, and concept albums. But after more than ten tries, I can safely say I did not enjoy this one in the least... no matter how hard I tried to open my mind it made me want to turn it off. In fairness, the music started out beautifully. What went wrong? I have never been able to enjoy operatic or theatrical style vocals. In this particular case the vocals are not unlike a Carney hocking tickets for a ride. This isn't for me. The kindest thing to add is this: my momma taught me “If you can't find anything nice to say, don't say anything”.
The best I can offer is to try it for yourself before you buy, you might just think I'm dead wrong and it's a great album. It is certainly well recorded, well produced, thoughtfully arranged and has some potentially good music on it. I just can't get past the vocals to find out if it is.
Where to buy?
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