Attentive and regular readers of Background Magazine will notice that we already reviewed the album Visions From Cosmos 1 (2011, see review) by the Italian band Lucid Dream, and the solo album Rock Meditations (2011, see review) of the band's guitarist Simone Terigi. Although the music of Lucid Dream can hardly be filed under progressive rock, I still think there are certain similarities that justify a review of The Eleventh Illusion, the band's new album. Lucid Dream still consist of band leader Terigi, bass player Gianluca Eroico, drummer Paolo Raffo and vocalist Alessio Calandriello.
When you listen to the music, you'll notice why this album has been reviewed on a progressive rock site. The album's opener Evolution starts with a short part of Italian spoken words, but subsequently the resemblance with early Rush is obvious, especially the first album when Led Zeppelin heavily influenced this Canadian super trio. Calandriello's voice almost equals Geddy Lee's high-pitched voice of the early days. Even the music − the hard rock style of the seventies and the early eighties - is reminiscent of early Rush. Other bands that come to mind are Budgie and Killer Dwarfs and vocal wise also touches of Axl Rose (Guns N' Roses) can be heard. However, as soon as the high-pitched vocals are replaced by 'normal' vocals these similarities disappear.
In River Drained Calandriello's voice has more an identity of his own and because of the intensive sax playing, this song might appeal to a wider audience than the previous ones. Musically the compositions are strongly connected to the aforementioned music from the seventies, but the guitars providing it a more contemporary approach. For instance, certain riffs are reminiscent of Dream Theater like the ones on the album's title track. The acoustic composition The Song Of The Beyond (Acoustic Reprise From The Future) is just great with its lower vocals with pleasant vibes. If you're familiar with Terigi's solo album, you won't be surprised as this record has some shorter new age-like instrumental interludes that interrupt the flow of the album. I don't know whether these are fillers or not, but they don't quite fit the remainder of the music.
The Eleventh Illusion has some vocal connections with Rush's first album and some of the compositions contain prog riffs, but the album will mainly appeal to fans of seventies and early eighties hard rock with high-pitched vocals. Lucid Dream absolutely rocks; they play flawless, but it all sounds a bit outdated.
*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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