Moongarden - Round Midnight


Year of Release: 2004
Label: Galileo Records
Catalog Number: GR 008
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:25:00

Round Midnight is the fourth release of the Italian formation Moongarden, a band that started out as heavily influenced by Genesis, ELP and Camel, but slowly have been searching for their own sound and identity. During that search they have moved away from the classic prog rock, more towards neo-prog and balancing toward what they call "dark progressive pop." Round Midnight is probably their best album to date, as it shows the band has grown toward maturity and their sound has also reached a higher level. Round Midnight is not an album you listen to, but you have to experience it ...

When I say "experience it," I mean: let the feelings and emotions that are in the music, sink into your soul and feel the sadness that is expressed in the songs. This may sound not too happy, but if you consider the inspiration for the album: the end of a personal relationship (Christian Roversi, stick, keys, bass) and the impression of several European cities he visited: a mixture of being impressed and yet a certain bitterness and loneliness, after the love for these cities has died (thanks to www.progwereld.org, where Roversi explained this in an interview).

This sort of melancholic feeling is translated into the music plain perfectly! At times the sound is similar to Radiohead, but other than that, I only hear Moongarden in the music. Vocalist Luca Palleschi really impresses here, with his voice. He comes very close to Steve Hogarth (Marillion), in expressing his emotion, although he is more sober than Hogarth, which fits the music much better. The guitar solos by David Cremoni are modest, but beautiful.

But, not all is soft and melancholic, as emotions are not always subdued, but sometimes very outrageous. "Learning To Live Underground," clocking 10:24, shows these outrageous emotions, with heavy riffs and a poundning, solid rhytm section by Max Sorrentini (drums) and Mirko Tagliasacchi (bass). This is a prog rock song pur sang! On "Nightmade Concrete," Roversi plays piano and together with the drums and vocals, bring a nostalgic mood over the song, again reminiscent of Radiohead.

Round Midnight is a very impressive release and definitely one of the best albums of 2004. At least one you should have. It is a bit more accessible then Radiohead, and they have more prog elements in their music, but the melancholic atmosphere is comparable. Production is nothing less than excellent, as is the mixing and mastering! The cover artwork has managed to capture the essence of the album perfectly, so what more do you want? What are you waiting for? Get this amazing album and experience it yourself.

[This review originally appeared August 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]


Tracklisting:
'Round Midnight (7:48) / Wounded (7:25) / Killing The Angel (4:53) / Lucifero (6:36) / Slowmotion Streets (5:47) / Learning To Live Under The Ground (10:24) / Coda: Psychedelic Subway Ride (1:56) / Nightmare Concrete (5:42) / Oh, By The Way, We're So Many In This City And So Damn Alone (1:54)

Musicians:
Cristiano Roversi - keyboards and stick
Luca Palleschi - voice
David Cremoni - guitars
Mirko Tagliasecchi - bass
Massimiliano Sorrentini - drums and samples

Discography:
Moonsadness (1995)
Brainstorm Of Emptyness (1996)
The Gates Of Omega (2001)
Round Midnight (2004)
Songs From The Lighthouse (2008)
A Vulgar Display Of Prog (2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: May 29th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Score:
Artist website: www.myspace.com/moongardenband
Hits: 579
Language: english

  

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