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Alex Carpani

L’orizzonte degli eventi

Review by Gary Hill

I have previously reviewed three other albums from Alex Carpani. Two of them were contenders for my "best of" list the years they were released. I don't remember if they made the final cut, but I will say that this one is also a contender for such a distinction - in this case the "best of 2021" list. You can count on Carpani for delivering quality, modern, heavy prog. One thing about this one that's a testament to the song-writing is that even though I don't speak Italian, and all the lyrics are in that language, this was still often infectious to me. The musical arrangements are powerful progressive rock, but the vocal arrangements and hooks are just as impressive.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
L’orizzonte degli eventi

The sounds of an insect in flight begin this album. Electronics rise up to meet that as a sense expectation comes up with it. There are classical elements added to the mix as it continues. A spoken vocal is heard. This segues into the next number.

Lava bollente
Coming from the opener, this immediately shifts things from a trippy kind of electronic sound to a driving hard rock arrangement. Yet, there is still plenty of classical music and AOR prog in the mix. It's a driving and effective piece with sung vocals. There are some killer shifts and changes built into this thing. That includes a mellower dropped down section later. There are parts of this cut that make me think of the band UK somehow. There are definitely hints of things like Dream Theater in the mix on this, too.
Fiore d’acqua
I love some of the killer guitar work on this thing. There is a psychedelic edge to the number along with some space rock. Yet, overall this driving number is more along the lines of AOR prog. There is a cool electronic section later that has some great synthesizer explorations.
Il perimetro dell’anima
As this rises up with synthesizer at its heart, I'm reminded of Tangerine Dream. The vocals come in over the top of that backdrop. This gets into driving, harder rocking zones further down the musical road. Again, Dream Theater seems a reference, but in some ways this makes me think of the hook side of Genesis with a harder edge. There is a killer driving movement further down the road that is among the strongest musical passages of the whole disc.
Tempo relativo
Bass brings this into being. The cut has a cool groove as other instruments come in over the top. This leans metallic and really rocks as it builds outward. This has proggier elements at play, but really does have a great hard rock texture. The bass really shines on this number. The cut is catchy whether you understand the lyrics or not. It is one of the highlights of the set with enough changes and drama to keep it interesting.
Sette giorni
More of an AOR prog concept is on the menu here. This is driving and heavy, but it's also intricate, complex and challenging. It's another highlight of a disc full of strong music.
La fine è là
I dig the heavy groove on this rocking tune. There are some great shifts and turns here. While it's arguably of the AOR variety, and even turns toward some almost extreme metal zones at times, this driving number has plenty of progressive rock twists and changes.
Nel ventre del buio

Here we get another high energy and hard rocking tune. This is perhaps less proggy than some of the others here, and really leans toward the metal end of the spectrum. Yet, there are some movements that are purely prog, albeit of the very heavy variety.

Le porte

A mellower movement brings this into being, but the cut drives out into more rocking zones. The keyboards on this call to mind Pink Floyd a little for me. The number has a great hard-edged progressive rock sound built into it. There is a nice balance between mellower modes and more rocking ones as it continues to evolve. This is arguably the most complex and dynamic cut here. It covers a lot of territory and has some powerful peaks and beautiful valleys. It's one of the highlights of the set, making it a great choice for parting shot. The insect returns at the end to close the album the same way it began.

 
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