Italy seems to be a “breeding nest” for prog rock/metal bands, as the debut album of Pentesilea Road - a post progressive rock band originally founded as a solo project of guitar picker Vito F. Mainolfi - is another example of more than excellent Italian modern prog rock/metal. Moreover, if you have the honour of “using” guest musicians like drummer Mark Zonder (Fates Warning) and one of the best prog rock singers on the planet Ray Alder (Fates Warning) on a couple of tracks then you can count your blessings indeed!
Pentesilea Road features four instrumental tracks, of which the opening song Memory Corners and The Psychopathology Of Everyday Things are absolutely stunning, as these tracks are filled with awesome guitar melodies, spacy solos, funky bass lines and more classic prog metal musical characteristics, and although these instrumentals are rather long (both clocking over six minutes...), they never become dull or boring due to the great diversity within the songs. Singer Lorenzo Nocerino does a fine job, just listen to the very melodic ballad-like song Genius Loci, although his Italian accent is sometimes a bit too much... Lorenzo Guaitoli, from the band Visions Of Atlantis, provides the vocals for the track Stains, which is also a beautiful melodic “power” ballad with an outstanding guitar solo from Mainolfi. However, the best vocal performance, of course, comes from Ray Alder, just listen to Noble Art and especially Shades Of The Night and it can almost get no better than that! The latter track is also sung by Nocerino but then you clearly hear the difference between a super vocalist, being Alder, and a decent/ordinary singer!
Pentesilea Road is a marvellous debut album, read: a great melodic album, maybe not always very original, but the guitar work is stunning, the song writing is excellent and of course mister Alder does the rest; another prog rock/metal gem from Italy: buy or die!!
**** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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