Franco - Cydonia Mensae

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Magnifico Records
Catalog Number:
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:09:00

Opening with a rousing didgeridoo you really don?t know what to expect. However after a mere twelve seconds it's all systems go, resulting in one of the better rock albums I have heard in a long time! Franco La Magna's voice has that subtle amount of hoarseness whilst his guitar sound leans towards vintage Jimmy Page. Not so obvious instruments are introduced to make it more interesting. As he writes himself in the liner notes: "the songs on this CD are a reflection of the influence the cinema has played in my writing. Each song is based on a movie, the making of a movie or simply the fantasy that the silver screen may take us to." So grab your popcorn and enjoy this wonderful album!

Operatic female vocals introduce the title track which holds a hypnotizing rhythm whilst also encorporating "screams," blending perfectly with the loud guitars and orchestral arrangement (real violins, viola and cello are being used). One of the main attractions on this fine album certainly has to be the great drumming of Sascha Tukatsch whose sound is perfectly transferred onto CD (I hate it when drums sound like a cookie jar!). "Twisted Fusion" is a perfect example of how well the drums and guitars mingle. The Metro String Quartet extra enhances the power of the music by kind of becoming the shadow of the guitar during "Red Blood." Then suddenly the violin asks for a spotlight of its own, adding an eerie touch to the music, sometimes getting close to the Devil Doll feel, yet in more of a rockin' kind of way.

Hidden in "Diamond Dust" rest the remains of Floyd?s "Comfortably Numb," not in the least because of the outstanding female vocals. Strictly no midi, as there's a real classical string quartet available (imagine what this would sound like if a huge orchestra was financially available!). Like true Pink Floyd fashion there are some great, powerful female vocals to give this song it's musical wings. Ominous, dark, brooding and experimental is what you can say about "Godz," which combines a vintage soundtrack feel with great orchestral interventions and loud and mean guitar chops. Ekseption meets After Crying meets Dream Theater?

With a voice that sounds like a melodic version of Axl Rose, Franco kicks off the soft melodic "With You Again" which also contains a spine-chilling guitar solo whilst the choir sings the same chords as Page's guitar in the outro for Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven." Fans of ELP will be delighted to hear "Save It" as it contains an outstanding swirling organ reminding us of the best ELP and Triumvirat (sad it's so short though). With the rocking "Tornado Dreams," this great album sadly comes to an end. I would have ended this song and thus also this album with an overwhelming powerful classical finale. Instead Franco chose a couple of beats on the drums.

Franco has made us a tasty prog stew in which he put the best of Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull, seasoned it with his own talented compositional skills in order to create a very tasty meal indeed. This album is just what the recordlabel says: Magnifico!

Raising Caine (5:55) / Cydonia Mensae (6:24) / Twisted Fusion (5:49) / Red Blood (4:22) / Diamond Dust (6:37) / Godz (6:34) / With You Again (6:26) / Save It (5:16) / Tornado Dreams (4:13)

Franco La Magna - lead vocals, guitars, keyboards
Sascha Tukatsch - drums, percussion
Tim Langan - bass
Amanda La Magna - voices
Brittany La Magna - flute
John La Magna - guitars, classical guitar

Cydonia Mensae (2000)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CA

Added: November 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 942
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]