Swiss-born composer and musician Alex Carpani apparently has made quite a few records in the past two decades, without making too many ripples in the prog scene until the release in 2007 of The Waterline. The Sanctuary is the follow-up to that album and quite a good one at that. As Carpani is a keyboard player and a singer with a preference for the Canterbury scene, The Sanctuary bears a strong resemblance to musicians such as Anthony Phillips (listen to the intro of Templars Dream) and bands like Hatfield And The North, but less freaky and more smooth. Carpani is backed by a bunch of Italian musicians (Fabiano Spiga, bass, Gigi Cavalli Cocchi, drums, Ettore Salati, guitars & pedal bass) so here and there some influences of the Italian prog scene creep in, as do - almost inevitably - several classical tinklings which reminds one of Keith Emerson and Tony Banks. Most tracks are not that long, but are up-tempo and therefore make for very pleasant listening. The Sanctuary is an album that immediately attracts the fancy of the listener but only on repeat listenings will it reveal its deeper layers, especially in the organ playing. Carpani has created my sanctuary for this summer, for sure.
**** André de Waal
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