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Bernardo Lanzetti

Horizontal Rain

Review by Gary Hill

While Bernardo Lanzetti might not be a household name, in terms of Italian progressive rock, he really is a legend. He's probably best known for his work in acts like Acqua Fragile, Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) and more. This solo album features a lot of guests. Some of the better known names of those are  David Cross (King Crimson), Tony Franklin,  David Jackson (VDGG). Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, Liquid Tension Experiment, Stick Men), Jonathan Mover and Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Planet X, Sons Of Apollo)  The music here is unusual, but also quite strong. There is a theatrical aspect of much of it, that is really in line with a lot of Italian prog. It has a lot of hard edges to it, but it's also pure prog. Whatever you call it, this is a dramatic and effective release.

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Track by Track Review
Walk Away
The guitar that starts this brings both rock and fusion elements to the proceedings. The opening works through, then the vocals come over the top. I think they are too far up in the mix, but it is still effective. The cut works to a mellower, more dramatic movement after a time. Then some more rock and roll based stuff takes over for the next section. This number is powerful and very cool. This gets quite intense further down the road, and additional vocals really add to the magic. The instrumental break rides the line between prog rock and fusion. The piece even leans toward epic metal in some ways. It should be mentioned that the balance between vocals and instrumentation in the mix seems better as the tune develops.
Heck Jack
Atmospherics serve as the backdrop for the first vocals. The cut powers out into a jazzy rocking arrangement from there, complete with horns. There is some killer guitar soloing on this piece.
I love the jazzy prog concept of this piece. The number is one of the most effective ones here. There are some theatrical elements to it, and intriguing instrumental passages. I can make out some classical music in this, too.
Time Is King
More of a melodic prog rock piece, this has a great vibe to it. It's perhaps more accessible than some of the rest. It's also one of my favorites here.
I love the twisting and turning riff that brings this into being. The cut has a killer fusion prog sound to it and some great jamming. This is a cool tune.
More of a ballad, this is operatic and musical theater based. This is not my kind of thing at all. It really doesn't work for me.
Ero Un Num Ero
Dramatic prog rock is augmented with classical instrumentation and symphonic concepts here. The lyrics are in Italian This piece lands in sort of power ballad zones. It's a powerful piece that's among the strongest music here. This does turn toward  the operatic later. .
Horizontal Rain
The mode that opens this is frantic, meaty and so prog oriented. It's screaming hot. This gets harder rocking, leaning toward metal in some ways. Harmonica is an unexpected addition. This powerhouse is one of the highlights. It's no wonder it is the title track.
Synthetic vocals start this in dramatic ways. "Dramatic" is a good way to describe this piece. "Artistic" is another. It's a potent piece with multiple layers of vocals, a great mix of electronic and organic sounds and some real style and majesty. While an unusual (dare I say "different?") track, this is one of my favorites on the album.


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