The Italian band Fungus started in 2002 making traditional Italian rock combined with acoustic folk. The current band members are Dorian Deminstrel (vocals, acoustic guitar), Alejandro J. Blissett (guitars, Theremin), Zerothehero (guitars, flute), Claudio Ferreri (keyboards), Carlo Barreca (bass guitar) and Stefano Firpo (drums). Their first official album called Careful! was released by Mellow Records in 2004; the second called Better Than Jesus appeared in 2010. Recently Black Widow Records released their third album The Face Of Evil.
I'll try to give you an idea of the ten individual songs. The album opens with the title track, which is also the longest track on this CD. It starts slowly with synthesizers, drums and a bass guitar like in a film score, slowly building up with the baritone voice of Dorian Deminstrel. Halfway some screams change this song in fifteen seconds! It suddenly sounds as if the devil's on the loose; this vigorous kind of hard rock abruptly ends. Again Gentle Season starts lovely like a romantic acoustic ballad; I think this one belongs to the best songs on The Face Of Evil. It ends with a fine electric guitar solo. The Great Deceit is a three-minute rather irritating piece.
Rain sounds like a repeat of the previous pieces. I'm sorry to say, but this is not my cup of tea. However, The Key Of The Garden is a good song with some nice a cappella singing and a beautiful guitar solo at the end. Share Your Suicide III sounds rather strange; it blends the traditional hard rock music of Alice Cooper with very modern electronic synthesizer sounds ending in a musical chaos with a sudden ending. Angel With No Pain is more in the vein of Uriah Heep with powerful voices and screams interspersed with spoken words. Better Than Jesus sounds quite funny, more like a pub-rock song. The penultimate Requiem starts with chaotic sounds, but later on it develops to the old classic hard rock with screams in the vein of Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) alternating with acoustic parts. The final piece is called The Sun, a mixture of Rainbow, Uriah Heep and flute work quite similar to Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and again with a sudden ending, but with a reprise at the end.
Maybe Italian classic rock devotees like this kind of music, but I think this formation sounds too mediocre to surprise prog heads in the rest of the world. So if you want to buy this record then first listen to the final song. If you like that one, you'll certainly enjoy the entire album.
**+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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