After Italian prog formation Eris Pluvia released its debut album entitled Rings Of Earthly Light (1991), band members Alessandro Serri (vocals, guitars and flute) and Edmondo Romano (wind instruments) left Eris Pluvia and founded a new band named Ancient Veil. In 1995 this band released their eponymous debut album, then we had to wait a very long time for more material: in 2017 the successor entitled I Am Changing and this year (2018) the live CD Rings Of Earthly Live, recorded in Teatro della Tosse in Genoa (between May and November 2017), it contains music from the Eris Pluvia and Ancient Veil albums.
The 12 tastefully arranged compositions on this live album sound very melodic and harmonic with a pleasant colouring by a wide range of instruments (especially saxophones and clarinet). The atmospheres shift flowing from dreamy to slow rhythms and bombastic eruptions. The one moment dreamy with tender piano, folky flutes or twanging acoustic guitar (like in the wonderful In The Rising Mist). The other moment a cheerful climate or a catchy beat with harder-edged electric guitar work and bombastic organ. The male vocals sound decent, often with a warm undertone.
My highlight is the epic Rings Of Earthly Light (17 minutes suite in 5 parts): lots of changing climates, breaks and accelerations and strong solos, from swinging piano to fiery electric guitar and screamy saxophone. The guest musician Valeria Caucino does a splendid job, what a beautiful voice!
If you like the (frequent) mellow folky atmospheres, with hints from Celeste and early PFM), blended with more dynamic and bombastic parts, this is a wonderful album to discover.
***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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