Phoenix Again - Vision

(CD 2022, 52:33, Ma.Ra.Cash Records)

The tracks:
  1- Ouverture(4:03)
  2- Moments of Life(10:28)
  3- Triptych(6:54)
  4- Air(6:38)
  5- Psycho(4:32)
  6- La Fenice alla Corte del Re(6:34)
  7- Propulsione(6:42)
  8- Mamma RAI(4:36)
  9- Threefour(2:06)

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The Italian band Phoenixwas founded in Brescia, they disbanded in 1998 and reformed in 2010, now under Phoenix Again. Meanwhile singer/guitarplayerClaudio had died in 2007, one of the three Lorandi brothers in the band (along with Sergio on guitars and vocals and Antonio on bass and vocals). This inspired Phoenix Again to record their material on CD, starting with ThreeFour in 2011 (see review), and now Vision in 2022, the fifth CD in a row. The current five piece line-up features the two Lorandi brothers, and a wide range of guest musicians (from glockenspiel to trombone and choir).

I am pleasantly surprised by this unknown Italian formation, these are good musicians, and they write tastefully arranged compositions, with lots of variety, dynamics and a healthy dose of vintage keyboards.

A sumptuous Neo-prog sound with Hammond, Minimoog and moving electric guitar in Ouverture.
From bombastic with howling electric guitar and sequencing to dreamy like Camel and finally Heavy with sensitive electric guitar solo in slow rhythm in the epicMoments Of Life.
A mid-tempo with spectacular Minimoog solo and rock guitar riffs in a bombastic climate in Triptych.
Air starts with twanging acoustic guitar, then a slow rhythm featuring Mellotron and moving guitar,wow!
Psychodelivers an electronic sound and tight beat, then bombastic with Minimoog, in an up-tempo.

A tight beat with fiery guitar, the music reminds me of the King Crimson inspired 'structured chaos', and finally a Minimoog soli with a tight beat inLa FeniceAlla Corte Del Re.
Propulsioneis another track with a bombastic atmosphere and tight beat, embellished with Hammond organ, sensitive electric guitar, and choirs, finally a moving guitar solo.
Mamma RAI starts dreamy with beautiful and tender electric piano. Halfway a surprising break with a tight beat, bombastic eruption, powerful rhythm-section, then again dreamy with electric piano and in the end bombastic with classically inspired rock guitar, how exciting.
Finally the short and mellow song compositionThreefour(2:06) featuring dreamy work on guitar, keyboards, and the Mellotron flute, what a pleasant conclusion;

***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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