L'Anima is a progressive rock band from the UK. The band was formed in 2015 as a collaboration between Pedro J. Caparros Lopez, known for his band Breed 77 and vocalist Andy Mitchell, who was the front man of the legendary band The Yardbirds for the last couple of years. Both are experienced musicians who have toured and recorded extensively and it was a shared love for progressive music that initially brought them together. The line-up was completed by guitarist Mauro Paderni, bassist Luca Forlani and drummer Iban Sanz.
For me this band was completely unknown territory, but the information vocalist Andy Mitchell was a past member of The Yardbirds needed some exploring since I was not aware these dinosaurs of rock music; positively intended! still existed after the 2003 release Birdland. So the wonderful world of the world wide web taught me L'Anima's vocalist fronted The Yardbirds from 2009 until 2015. Nevertheless, after this information I now will come to the point whether his voice suits the fine progressive rock of L'Anima. Just to be short, Mr. Mitchell has an amazing voice, which remains smooth and relaxed during the album, never forcing himself to regions he should want to go. Listen to Path To Sirius, where his voice really shines. This track sees elements of traditional Spanish music alongside progressive rock parts that remind of Pain Of Salvation. The opener Point Of No Return sees nice complex parts of Haken combined with the intensity of Chris Cornell's vocal style, played perfectly with passion and power. Both mentioned bands surely have also been of influence when Gema or Hold Out were written. But to be sure, L'Anima is unique, don't expect a clone or copy of those bands, L'Anima is quite a unique band with great instrumentalists and a passionate vocalist. My Bloody Silhouette is different, Spanish guitar parts and fine vocals gently are supplanted by distorted atmospheric parts. I guess this is one of those tracks you need to listen to several times to gently let them into your system. The Sound Of Waves and The Elephant Cemetery are both more melodramatic compositions, less metallic, but continuing the atmosphere that started during My Bloody Silhouette. This makes the end; last three tracks of the album, differ from the rest.
Departures is an quite interesting debut album of two wonderful musicians, accompanied by very gifted band fellows. From the first song on I was pretty amazed about Pedro J. Caparros music, too bad the final songs took a different path and showed less of the fine vocal style of Andy Mitchell in favour of melodramatic soundscapes. Nevertheless, a great effort and I am looking forward to how the co-operation of these guys continues.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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