Alex Enrico Carpani was born January 7, 1970 in Montreux, Switzerland, but most people know him as Alex Carpani and think he is an Italian citizen. Which is of course not true. However, he spends most of his time working with musicians from this country and therefore the mistake is easy to explain. He has been in the music world for some years now and has built an impressive discography. The majority of these albums contain instrumental music in the electronic, jazz (rock) and film music genres. However since 2007 he has focused on more rock-oriented music, paying tribute to the classic prog bands from days gone by. Most of all Waterline (2007) and The Sanctuary (2010, see review) are impressive albums and are loved by the progressive rock audience!
The fifth rock album by the Italian-Swiss master is titled L'Orizzonte Degli Eventi, and is a concept album that looks at the moment when life can turn upside down when an individual has to make a crucial decision. As with the previous album, the Alex Carpani's group is reduced to a small committee: Giambattista Giorgi on bass, Bruno Farinelli on drums, Alex Carpani takes care of vocals, keyboards and virtual guitars. However, Carpani chooses to let go of the vintage prog on this new album and shows a much more modern sound here. With his current album he is taking a clearly modern direction and is also using his mother tongue for the first time when singing. The end result can be roughly described as extravagant rock with an Italian character and a sophisticated note, whereby elements from alternative rock, pop, electronic and hard rock are also mixed up. However, there is still a leading role for Carpani's keyboard playing, but the sounds from his instruments are much more contemporary. Even the rather rich guitar sounds come from the keyboard arsenal of this musical all-rounder. Not everyone will agree on the extent to which this has been achieved. It leads to quite synthetic sound palettes here and there. However there are still traces of progressive rock throughout the entire album.
The nine songs on the album are consistent in quality and have no real ups or downs. The driving rock numbers, located in the range of four to seven minutes, score points with their catchy, powerful melody, while at the same time ensuring an interesting listening experience with a tonally contemporary complexity. The keys usually take over the electronic substructure, even if retro elements with Mellotron and synthesizers sounds can be clearly recognized as can be heard on Sette Giorni. The focus is mainly on guitar chords, although no real guitarist was involved in the album.
Alex Carpani confirms his versatility with this album. He shows that he can compose relatively short songs that are catchy. Above all, the Italian language works very well in this context, giving the nine tracks their own emotional colouring.
But if you expect many tempo changes or lots of bombastic progressive rock sounds with lots of pathos, you are wrong with this release unfortunately. Carpani has put together for this album a trio with a lot of steam and they go like hell. Especially the bass drives are powerfull, and also the drummer plays straightforward and to the point. In general there are not many moments of relaxation, because mostly it is fast and rhythmic and the listener has to go along with the rather fast tempo.
A little bit more progressive rock tunes and songs with less fast tempos might have been desirable. Maybe some more exciting and varied composition with surprising twists would have brought the album to a higher level. But that's how a real proghead hears it with his own ears. However don't get me wrong this mixture of rock, hard rock, electronic music, alternative rock and progressive rock was enjoyed until the last second. Not the greatest challenge for a progressive rock lover, but quite decent after all.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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