Many times I get requests from bands to review their latest release. However most of the time they are not even progressive rock related and therefore not worthy to write about. Fortunately, once in a while my mailbox also gets requests from bands that turn out to be really interesting. Even if the band's name doesn't ring any bells. A good example is the Italian band Capside and their album Ladyesis.
First, some history lessons before we go deeper into the music on Ladyesis. Their guitar player Martino Faedda told me that they are a historical band from Sardinia and were formed in 1992. They have always played their own music and over the years they even created their own style. Which is according to Martino a blend of progressive rock with pop and jazz influences. The band can look back on many years of live experiences, with various concerts in clubs and regional local festivals. Ladyesis is not their debut. In 2009 they released Capsidea, which was followed by Tous Les Hèros in 2018.
Nowadays the line up of the band consists of Valentina Casu on lead vocals, Manolo Ciuti on bass, Giovanni Casada on keyboards, Roberto Casada on drums and the earlier mentioned Martino Faedda on guitars. Together they have recorded an album which sounds very professional. You can hear that all of the members are skilled musicians that have probably played together for many years. The music the band comes up with is not the typical Rock Progressivo Italiano, which was made popular by bands such as Premiata Forneria Marconi, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso and Le Orme even if Valentina sings very strongly in her native language. The progressive rock influences are certainly notable thanks to the fine guitar and synthesizer solos throughout the entire album. Also, the earlier mentioned pop and jazz influences are present in their compositions. However, I also hear several folk influences which are taken from the typical music which is made in the Southern region of Italy.
Well let's see now what the album is all about.
The album title Ladyesis is a play on words, between the note "LA# > LA diesis", (A# > A sharp, with the international code) and "Lady" marking the band's female component.
It is not a concept album but certainly in Valentina's lyrics there is a common thread which is human fragility seen through the eyes of a woman, passion, filial love, war, peace, sex, madness, courage and beauty.
The album opener Di Notte begins with a dreamlike and introspective journey at the turn of the night (“Di notte”, “By Night”) and features a fine piano solo. The album continues with Dea and has a story that mixes reality and fantasy in an imaginary classic drama (“Dea”, “Goddess”). This second track is rather strong with a good opening tune and several solos performed on the electric guitar and synthesizer. A Mio Figlio is next. The song is a fine ballad which is mainly performed on the acoustic guitar. This is a fine moment to slow down music wise on an album which is mainly dominated by up tempo compositions. It is a poem dedicated to our children (A mio figlio, “To my son”). Also track 4, titled, Filastrocca Di Periferia is very strong piece of music because of the fine synth solo. It is a nursery rhyme that teaches courage to those who think they have none (Filastrocca di periferia, “Suburban nursery rhyme”). On the fifth track Termiti the guitar gets into the spotlight. The song is about the inertia that sometimes condemns us to a non-life (Termiti, “Termites”). The mediocre Un Altro Lunedì is about the everyday gestures that nullify the beauty of creation (Un altro lunedì, “Another monday”). Next is the highlight on this fine album.
The instrumental Ladyesis part.2 has some great parts performed on the electric guitar and synthesizer. The album ends with Azazel. The last piece is a descent into hell in mental illness (Azazel) and has some great Church organ sounds which always gets my approval.
So all in all this album was a nice musical surprise for me from Italy, even if it wasn't the usual RPI. If you want to check them out please have a listen at their bandcamp site. I think you might be surprised as much as I was myself!!!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Dave Smith)
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