The Italian soccer team wasn’t very successful at the FIFA World Cup football in South-Africa. However, the Italians are very talented in a completely different area: progressive rock music! Year after year we can welcome many new releases from Italy containing wonderful music. Here we have again a winner! The new album from La Maschera Di Cera gave me much more pleasure than watching a soccer game of the so-called azzurri, their national team. The album Petali Di Fuoco takes us back to the seventies, the golden age of progressive rock.
On their fourth studio album you can enjoy almost an hour of intense and beautiful music. The House Of Wax, as they could name themselves abroad, show that the great Italian bands of the seventies had inspired them a lot. Bands as PFM, Banco and Biglietto Per L’Inferno also wrote music with a lot of passion and emotion and most of the time they sang in the Italian language. They mastered all the different moods in their music which are also present in the music of La Maschera Di Cera. Owing to the vintage keyboards the music definitely goes in the direction of seventies prog rock. The Mellotron and MiniMoog often colour the songs in a positive way.
It’s difficult to mention any favourites on this new release. All songs have a very high quality level. Sure, the electric guitar and the synthesizer sound very strong in the excellent opening track Fino All’Aurora, a beautiful up-tempo piece. This song takes you for a ride in a roller coaster from which escaping is impossible. You’re just gasping for breath… Also the mellow piece 4.18 is a beauty of its own. On this track, guitarist Matteo Nahum points out that he’s a very gifted musician on the acoustic guitar; he has a leading role on this album. Every now and then he sounds like Steve Hackett in his best years. Another musician who puts his mark on Petali Di Fuoco is Agostino Macor who’s responsible for the beautiful vintage keyboard sounds. His great solos on synthesizers, the fabulous Mellotron and the organ are a treat for my ears. That also applies to the beautiful flute playing of Andrea Monetti who sometimes gives you a romantic feeling making you think of beautiful landscapes and sunsets. However, without lead singer Alessandro Corvaglia the band would have sound differently. His warm voice shows emotions and a lot of expression.
I can rave on and on about this great work of art, but of course you have to listen to it yourself. I highly recommend Petali Di Fuoco to people who enjoy the music of PFM, Steve Hackett and Genesis from the seventies and the music Marillion recorded in the eighties. I immediately fell in love with this beautiful album and I sincerely hope you feel the same way too after listening to it!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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