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Acqua Fragile

A New Chant

Review by Gary Hill

This act is an Italian prog band. Most of the lyrics here are in English, though. These guys were originally around in the 1970s, and this is their first album in 40 years. I have to say that if they are this good with decades apart, I wonder just how amazing they were originally. I'm going to have to look into giving their old stuff some time. All in all this lands mostly in the folk prog territory, but they get into more rocking stuff, too. I have to bet that long-time fans of this act will love this. It's definitely a great introduction for those of us who haven't heard them before.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
My Forte
Starting in a fairly mellow, folky kind of arrangement, this grows out into more of a full on folk prog arrangement. The vocals make me think of David Bowie just a bit. This classy cut works through some shifts and is a great way to start the disc in style.
The Drowning
A slower moving, rather trippy kind of sound is on hand for this number. As the cut gets more rocking later it really seems to soar. They drop it way down for a mellow cinematic type section. Some melodic guitar solos over the top of that. It's a bit like fusion turned Pink Floyd to my ears. As it comes back out this gets into some really intense progressive rock territory. That section doesn't hold it for too long, though as they take it to its end.
Wear Your Car Proudly
Fast paced and shifting this way and that this is a powerhouse progressive rock number right out of the gate. This is much more of a rocker than anything that has come before it. For some reason it actually makes me think just a tiny bit of Dream Theater at times. The keyboard textures are cool and really add a lot to this. Everything works very well, though. The extended instrumental section later in the track is a real powerhouse. To me some of the vocals on this are closer to a cross between Bernie Shaw from Uriah Heep and Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden.
Tu Per Lei
After a dramatic introduction, this works to something closer to a folk prog type of sound. There is a dreamy element at play here. While the lyrics to the previous cuts were in English, these are in Italian. The cut has a more decidedly Italian sound to it, too. They drop back later in the track to a bit of European music for some almost classical bombast. Yet, it's still rock oriented. That section grows upward as they continue.
Rain Drops
This number is packed full of European cafe type music. Yet it's all woven into an arrangement that has a real prog rock construction to it. There is a definite folk prog sound to this.
All Rise
The opening section here is vocal dense. It makes me think of something Chris Squire might have done. It powers out from there to a meaty kind of prog rock jam that's energetic and rocking. In some ways, other than the vocals, this makes me think of Yes just a bit, really. This is definitely smoking hot.
How Come
Acoustic guitar opens this. It serves as the backdrop for the vocals. This is a folk rock styled piece.
A New Chant
The title track is a powerful and dynamic cut. A lot of it lands in the folk prog zone, starting mellower and working to more potent as it moves forward. A guitar solo section brings things into more pure prog rock. The jam that ensues from there reinforces that. Then they shift to a more powered up version of that folk prog movement as they continue.
 
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