Scenario - A Fearful Symmetry

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Musea Records
Catalog Number: FGBG 4393
Format: CD
Total Time: 45:52:00

Scenario are a progressive metal band from Italy, without the usual double bass / speedy music / dragons and warlords approach. Some might say that they resemble Dream Theater too much, but I think that only applies to the beauty of the music, the chunking guitar work, or the fact that there is no place else to put them in a descriptive manner. Personally, I'd describe them as a groovier version of Dream Theater without the complexity. Scenario are much more song oriented and less instrument oriented than their comparison implies.

The emphasis is certainly on melodic, groove-oriented songs, which are driven by some nice chunking guitar work, and "pretty" keyboard work. It certainly appears that the band wants to play songs versus their instruments for the listener, as there is hardly any "wankery" going on here, nor any long, drawn out instrumentals. The band can certainly kick it up a notch when they want to, and most of the songs are heavy enough for the avid prog metal fan, but for the most part, the songs are brought forth in a very melodic / groovy structure that will have most either tapping a foot or banging something. The music never gets too complex or deep to make the listener stop moving for very long. This is very unusual for a prog metal band - especially one that goes for the song approach while still being able to stay progressive.

The singer is not like most Italian singers we've heard in prog metal bands. Instead of the usual high-pitched approach, Tony D'Alessio has a lower / mid-ranged tone to his voice, which is heavily accented. He makes no pretensions that he is Italian, and lets his accent roam freely, which is a nice change. He does not leave the mid-range, and stays calm throughout, opting to "sing" and on occasion does get somewhat aggressive only for the sake of the song. Everything he does works to his advantage, and his harmonies are well used when needed. There are no vocal processing, no effects, just plain singing and this allows every word to be heard in spite of his thick accent.

The production is wonderful. It's a dry approach, but done exceptionally well, especially the drums. Normally, in a dry sound, the drums lose their punch, but this is not the case here. The drums are especially thick and booming, and the bass is thick as well to provide a solid bottom end. The guitars are chunky, and the keyboards are warm and melodic. Again, the vocals are recorded just perfectly, and D'Alessio's words can be heard cleanly and precisely.

If you don't mind any accents, then this is certainly worth picking up and hearing. The music is much more "groovy" than what most prog metal fans are used to hearing, but the band mixes it up well enough to keep everyone happy. This is a song oriented band, so don't look for many solos, excessive time / tempo changes, etc -- but they throw in enough to classify as a prog band, and yes you will hear "some" semblance of Dream Theater in there at times, but overall this is a most enjoyable disc, and one that doesn't actually follow the trends; it just comes at you as a nice exception to the rule and ends up being a very enjoyable listen.

[Italian prog rock fans will be interested in knowing that Banco guitarist Filippo Marcheggiani is part of this band. -ed]

Time Vacuity (6:24) / The Fall (5:37) / I'm Not Insane (5:03) / My Pride (5:12) / Message (4:20) / Godot's Arrival (Parts 1-3) [The Arrival (5:08) - In The Scenario (3:03) - The Cracking Point (3:41)] (11:52) / Tin Soldier (7:19)

Alessandro Beccati - drums, backing vocals
Heric Fittipaldi - keyboards, backing vocals
Claudio Leuti - bass, backing vocals
Filippo Marcheggiani - guitars, backing vocals
Tony D'Alessio - vocals

A Fearful Symmetry (2001)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: December 2nd 2002
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website:
Hits: 482
Language: english


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