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Michael Salvatori

Waiting for Autumn

Review by Gary Hill

I covered a release from the band Apocalypse, whose 1976 album was recently released for the first time. That band was composed of several musicians including brothers Tom and Michael Salvatori. This CD release from 2002 was the first release on that type of media of a disc that was originally released in a limited run on vinyl in 1982. This disc continues the progressive rock angles that the Apocalypse album introduced, but this is more of the AOR, guitar dominated variety. It works really well. While I think I prefer the 70s bombast of the Apocalypse, this is more mature and accessible. It's also quite strong.

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Track by Track Review
When I Look In Your Eyes
A fast-paced melodic, clean guitar sound starts the album. Other instruments join to fill out the arrangement. Vocals come in over the top after a time. This has an AOR prog sound with plenty of hints of fusion. The instrumental section on this really brings a lot of the fusion angle along with plenty of 1980s sounds. The guitar solo seems to run it more into proggy zones and some of the quirky lines of melody and rhythm make me think of Frank Zappa to some degree. I dig the Yesish vocalizations later in the track, too.
Waiting For Autumn
Intricate acoustic guitar starts this. The vocals join, bringing a balladic approach with definite prog rock stylings in the mix. This grows in intricate ways. It has a very proggy approach with more layers of sound, intensity and class added to the mix as it continues on a reasonably straight line.
Throw It To The Wind
A rocking prog jam brings this into being. The cut drops to a more ballad-based approach for the entrance of the vocals. It still has a jazz meets progressive rock angle on that part of the track. The tune works forward by alternating between the mellow movement and the more energized one. The overall song structure is more mainstream, but the execution is quite prog based. After the instrumental break, the song really rises up to soar like crazy.
Letter From the Front
This is a three-part suite, but it's tracked as one song on the CD. It starts with a pretty mainstream, melodic rock sound that works well. It has enough proggy elements to keep it elevated beyond its general vibe. I think the second movement is an instrumental one. It's mellower and built around intricate acoustic guitar. It's quite pretty and dramatic, despite its sedate nature, or perhaps because of it. I think that perhaps the shift to the third movement comes when the vocals enter over the top of that musical tapestry. The cut does get powered up a little more here and there, but overall remains structured on that same mellower mode to the end.
A Matter Of Time
Here we get more of a powerhouse prog jam. This has some killer instrumental work. I really love the bass on the early sections. This takes us through a number of twists and turns and is one of the most decidedly progressive rock based pieces here. Given some of the competition, that says a lot.
A balladic prog sound brings this one in, and the vocals come in over that backdrop. The number powers up and gets more involved further down the road in an instrumental movement. It gets back into intricate mellower sounds from there, though. This grows gradually and organically for the re-entrance of the vocals. It builds out some powerhouse proggy jamming later in the piece.
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