When the Italian progressive rock act RanestRane visited the Netherlands March 2017 (see review), they surprised their fans with some previously unreleased material. They started the final and second set with a 25 minutes preview of their in 2018 to be released final part of the A Space Odyssey trilogy. Everyone who heard this selection taken from A Space Odyssey Part Three Starchild must agree that our Italian friends might have surpassed the first two parts of the trilogy. The music was certainly in line with the two previous parts and therefore very recognizable as RanestRane music and again with musical influences taken from bands such as Marillion and Pink Floyd. Now more than one year later finally the day arrived that the music performed during that concert can be enjoyed on a CD. Massimo Pomo (electric, acoustic and classical guitars), Riccardo Romano (keyboards, backing vocals), Maurizio Meo ( bass, electric double bass) and Daniele Pomo (drums, percussion, lead vocals) certainly didn't let me down with what they achieved on A Space Odyssey, Final Part - Starchild.
They succeeded in making of the final part of the A Space Odyssey trilogy something really special. Right from the start the four Italians make you heart beat faster. The musical rollercoaster they bring you is one complete highlight of superb progressive rock. The music for the final part of A Space Odyssey, on which computer H.A.L. takes over from the crew, belongs certainly to the best compositions the musicians have written so far.
The album opens very strongly with L'Insieme Delle Cose. The sound of a sequencer starts the tune before Daniele Pomo sings his first vocal lines in his native Italian language. He does this very emotionally. Soon after that he starts playing on his drum kit as well. Not too fast because the tempo is rather slow. The song continues with strong solos performed on the synthesizer and electric guitar. Goosebumps all the way. Wow! This is really amazing stuff what you are hearing here! Next is the first instrumental, called Do You Read Me H.A.L.? . Here the first signs of rebellion from the computer can be heard by using audio parts from the original motion picture. Pink Floyd is all over the place thanks to the amazing guitar parts! One Of These Days from Meddle (1971) comes to mind right away. On the next piece Ambasciatore Delle Lacrime the tempo is faster and has a strong rhythm beat made by the drums, bass and electric guitar. But the guitar is not only used for the rhythm. No way. Strong solo parts can be enjoyed by Marillion's Steve Rothery as well. For fans of the keyboards they included a rather strong synthesizer solo for all to enjoy. Next is Sognero' Mai. Its starts with industrial kind of sounds performed on the electric guitar and keyboards. The organ solo that you can enjoy is pretty amazing. Just like the excellent church organ parts. And what about the beautiful classical guitar parts? They are really awesome.
The longest piece (almost 15 minutes) on the album is next. Stargate starts with wonderful piano parts before the electric guitar joins in together with the rhythm section. The E-bow can be heard here as well. But also again some beautiful parts can be heard on the classical guitar. This composition has many different moods and tempo parts. Which of course works perfectly to tell the story when the music is performed in front of a live audience. Using many parts of the original movie in the background. The strong fast part towards the end of the track of course kicks ass and prevents you sitting still while listening to this beautiful music. Prometeo Tra Le Stelle is the final 'normal' song before the band ends the trilogy with the short Abandoned. It starts which mellow acoustic guitar parts on which Danny again can tell a bit of the story. The final part of this tune is breathtaking and shows a band which once again shows everything they got musically!
It would have been the perfect ending for the trilogy and album. But as with Marillion's Brave (1994), on which they ended with the ballad Made Again, a final part can be heard which is a kind of epilogue to the album. For the mellow and piano dominated Abandoned they asked Marillion's lead singer again. Steve Hogarth tells the listener that the experiment has failed and God shook his head and walked away. What a way to end an album and trilogy. Leaving the listener speechless. You heard it all. Passion and emotions together with true excellent musicianship!
Words can hardly describe what RanestRane came up with on A Space Odyssey, Final Part - Starchild. As you can read above, I tried as much as possible to give you an indication what the album is all about musically. I probably have failed to mention certain parts which other people heard while listening to this amazing album. An amazing album it is indeed and only the highest score of five stars can be given to this true masterpiece. A masterpiece which for me is the musical highlight of 2018 so far. It doesn't get any better than this. Bravo to Danny, Massimo, Riccardo and Maurizio for coming up with the best progressive rock music possible. Giving me many times shivers down my spine! Grazie mille
***** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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