Proloud - Rebuilding

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Sublime
Catalog Number: III-062002
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:34:00

As seems the norm with releases from Italy's Sublime label, Proloud's debut album Rebuilding comes lavishly packaged in a black, larger-than-jewel-case sized book, where tucked inside in its own protective sleeve is the CD, on the other side, a lyric book and several illustrated postcards (the same illustrations and text are repeated in the booklet itself) that represent the various tracks on the album. So, this gets points on packaging for sure.

The band describe themselves as progressive metal, but this is only one aspect to their sound, and even then their brand of progressive metal edges closer to Rush than say Symphony X, Kamelot, etc. Though in the fiery opening salvo of "Fickle" (which follows the brief "instrumental" "Self Destruction" which is exactly that, an explosive crash of sound) is one part guitar rock (speed runs to begin, a sharp guitar solo later), one part progressive metal (well, the guitar solo again, but also the heavy bottom end - drums and bass - maybe too bottom heavy) and one part the hard progressive rock/metal mix that Rush perfected, especially when the bass plays some very loose, classic Geddy Lee-like patterns. Pretty much through out this track, Giancarlo Mattei does a passable imitation of Lee.

They follow this up with an initially cheerful prog rock tune called "Leave It To Nature" that wouldn't seem out of place on a Galahad album, honestly, though you can also name check Pendragon. It is here, where keyboardist Marco Donello plays some downright jazzy piano runs over Mikele Zanni's walking bass and Emi Peirro's dynamic drumming. Even Christian Zezza gets into the jazz act with his fusiony guitar playing. You can also tell that they studied Jadis along with their Threshold and Arena. And if Marillion don't come to mind with the tinkly keyboard opening of their epic "Island Lake"... well, the tone and pitch are different, but the arrangement is familiar. But, overall, it's a piece that recalls the Galahad of In A Moment Of Complete Madness or early Pendragon.

They do get very metal-heavy with "Last Inhabited Planet," which has drummer Pierro incorporating the heart-pounding double-bass effect, bashing the drums with a great deal of fury. But, given the more textured pieces that come before, this doesn't have the same kind of impact as it would otherwise. You can detect both the Dream Theater and Rush influence here, though guitarist Zezza seems more influenced by the flourish-filled style of Michael Romeo, et al. than the liquid playing of John Petrucci or Alex Lifeson, though he plays that, too. The instrumental "Gethsemane" is another one that is the closest to progressive metal, a la DT, of course, though it has its share of the prog rock element, too.

"Shooting Star" is a mellow, acoustic, balladic, optimistic piece with minimal percussion and keyboards. It's a nice track that made me thing of the unproggy BJ Thomas hit "Hooked On A Feeling." And the album ends with the mid-tempo, light, airy "Rebuilding (Leave It To Nature Reprise)" which, like "Made Again" did on Marillion's dark epic Brave, this ends the album on an up note. Lyrically, topics range from the ecological ("Leave It To Nature") to "mind forg'd manacles"*, to metaphors on our internal landscape. Well, you'll just have to buy this to find out what I mean, as theirs is a vast concept, though not necessarily a narrative.

As musicians, this band is very good, especially keyboardist Donello and guitarist Zezza - both are flexible enough to handle both the metal and rock material with equal skill. Zanni and Pierro seem to do better with the prog rock material, as they can bring a little dynamism to their playing. That isn't say they don't try on the two or three metal pieces, of course. Mattei does drop words out to make the meter work, though this is planned as the unsung words are included parenthetically. The production, for me ears, could use just a bit more clarity, as in the metal pieces the bottom end dominates, but overall, this band has a good start out of the gate (though they have released to previous demos, containing some of this material).

Self-Destruction (0:31) / Fickle (8:11) / Leave It To Nature (8:41) / Island Lake (7:39) / Shooting Star (3:46) / Gethsemane (4:53) / Last Inhabited Planet (6:58) / To Be On Fire (9:00) / Rebuilding (Leave It To Nature Reprise) (4:15)

Emi Pierro - drums
Giancarlo Mattei - lead vocals
Christian Zezza - guitars
Marco Donello - keyboards
Mikele Zanni - basses


Serena Ghinazzi - vocals (8)
Ketty Degli Esposti - spoken words (8)

Fickle (1999, demo)
Promo 2000 (2000, demo)
Rebuilding (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: June 1st 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 707
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]