The Italian progressive rock band Ingranaggi Della Valle is one of the revelations for me this year. The album Warm Spaced Blue was released in 2016, but it was not until 2017 that I heard the album. First I saw a video on You Tube and I was really flabbergasted. This band is unique and so different from other regular progressive rock bands. Ingranaggi Della Valle has built a bridge between the progressive rock and the jazz-, fusion rock. They have managed to blend these styles into natural sounding tracks.
I must confess that I love Italian prog. Bands such as Ranestrane, Asgard, Doracor and Moongarden are favorites of mine. Interestingly, Italian progressive rock has its own style. A slightly baroque and absolutely opinionated.
The band info says: “The darker tone of the album is a reflection of our moods and feelings going through a particular time in our lives... We decided to put the songs in front of our instruments and let them develop by themselves.” This is a really interesting approach of composing music. In the review I will try to give some examples.
The line-up of Ingranaggi Della Valle is: Davide Savarese (vocals, glockenspiel and dry Rhodes), Mattia Liberati (keyboards and backing vocals), Flavio Gonnellini (electric guitars and backing vocals), Alessandro Di Sciullo (electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards and backing vocals), Marco Gennarini (violins and backing vocals), Antonio Coronato (electric bass) and Shanti Colucci (drums and percussions). Addition musicians are: Fabio Pignatelli (electric bass and bass effects), Florian Lechner (narrator's voice), Stefano Vicarelli (modular synthesis) and Paolo Lucini (transverse flute).
The album opens with Call For Cthulhu: Orison. After ambient atmospheres a dark piano comes in. After a couple of minutes the song develops into a '70 progressive rock song. It's clear that all instruments used are original. These sound so much brighter then samples. This brings me to the fact that the recording of this album is sublime. There are thick layers of instruments, which are all so sparkling present. That's ingenious!
Inntal is a song with great flute atmospheres. It's a real jazzy song, also with great guitar parts. Somehow it reminds me of King Crimson.
Call For Cthulhu: Through The Stars, is a short intermezzo. It is colored dark and has scary effects in it. Effects that Radiohead likes to use.
Lady Niva develops itself also into a '70s progressive rock song, with jazzy influences. It could be a song on an album of Frank Zappa. I love it.
On Ayida Wedo the sound gets more or less stronger and a little bit aggressive. The song is instrumental. I must confess that vocals are not in the lead of this album.
Although Call For Cthulhu: Promise starts with very strong vocals. Further on this song is epic. It has many atmospheres, which go from modest to heavy. All instruments are present and have their own space to present themselves. This song is absolutely astonishing.
Finally I must say: what a brilliant album! When you love King Crimson, Zappa, '70 s progressive rock and you love instruments in their real- and own mode, this is a highly recommended album.
***** Aad Bannink (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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