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Alex Carpani

Waterline

Review by Gary Hill

This is an Italian release and it showcases a new blend of classic prog sounds with jazz and fusion. This should please anyone who enjoys old school prog. The vocals (provided by Le Orme singer Aldo Tagliapietra) are in Italian. This is a concept album and a great disc.

Track by Track Review
The Siren and the Mariner
A balladic motif leads us off here. This grows up a bit like early Genesis. As it works into the vocal section that concept is even more apparent. They take us out in a number of intriguing instrumental adventures (at times bringing the music more into a jazz realm). The female vocals call to mind Renaissance. This is a very dynamic piece that covers a lot of musical ground.
The Levees' Break
They bring this one in more dramatically. At times it takes on a metallic crunch, but overall I’d put this in the realm of early King Crimson with ELP and Genesis in the midst. It has some moments where it moves out towards fusion, too. This instrumental definitely has a lot more angular shifts and turns than the opener.
In the Rocks
Dramatic progressive rock elements that are more melodic create the bulk of this track. They do drop it to acoustic balladic modes and also bring it up into metallic territory at times. There is also a definite fusion oriented section here. They take us through a number of changes and alterations and I’m particularly fond of a piano driven section later in the piece.

Reclaimed
A rather classically oriented piano part starts this and works its way towards RIO. Before it can fully make it there, though, they shift this out into another rather Genesis (with some definite ELP leanings) oriented musical texture. This one turns pretty heavily towards fusion later. There is a melodic prog segment further down the road on this instrumental that reminds me a lot of Yes.
Agua Claro
While overall the music that makes up the first three minutes or so of this are rather like a merging of Kansas and ELP there are other sounds present as well. They move it out to more balladic for the vocals and then take it back into the instrumental textures to carry on.
Starcurrents
The music that makes up this track is a bit more adventurous and experimental. The vocal performance is dramatic and rather operatic. They take us out into some fusion and include some scorching guitar work later in the piece, but we also get more healthy doses of vitamin ELP.
Song of the Pond
This is a mellower, more melodic jazzy cut. While this instrumental reflects a number of changes and moods, it stays pretty well in a jazz realm.

A Gathering Storm
The riff that leads off here reminds me a lot of Frank Zappa. As they carry on, though, they shift out to the most blatant jazz we’ve heard so far. Wailing saxophone certainly adds to that impression. They do make some forays into more traditional prog, ala Yes, ELP and early King Crimson, but overall this is an instrumental fusion piece.
The Waterfall
The piano that starts this almost feels like drops of water falling from the fall. This is worked out into dramatic progressive rock. That piano remains throughout as a nearly constant companion as other musical elements come and go.
Catch The Wave
This is a vocal track that’s got a lot of jazz in the mix. It’s also full of prog wonder and power. This is actually one of my favorite tracks on show here.
Prelude in C min. (BWV847)
They close things with a melodic, jazzy instrumental that’s quite tasty.
 
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