In this current era when a high percentage of progressive styled rock seems to be profoundly influenced by an artist(s) / bands propensity for over-the-top metal thrashings it is indeed a refreshing change to come across a musician whose passions lie distinctly more towards classically structured, well considered and beautifully arranged progressive rock music. And so in this respect meet Marco De Angelis a solo multi-talented instrumentalist from Italy who’s second album entitled “Next Station” (To be released on 15th December 2017) is on examination here. Besides being involved in record production and other electronic studio technical aspects Marco plays guitar, bass, keyboards and Chapman Stick (a wider longer version of an electric guitar fretboard with 8, 10 or 12 strings and played by tapping or fretting the strings, rather than plucking them.)
This is, without doubt, an album that requires intense concentration because even though there are plenty of up-front melodic moments to enjoy during the six tracks, there is just so much going on underneath that it is impossible absorb everything in one go, typical of course of any good music. Many subsequent spins of the CD are therefore necessary otherwise you will miss out on the intricacies and subtleties of the various guitar elements which burst out in different guises during the course of play and these together with a fascinating wash of keyboard and other stringed instrumental accompaniments’, which do start to evolve to the fore, after sequential airings. It is clear that the direction of the project, when viewed throughout the entire album, points towards it being a preverbal guitar masterclass which embraces a complete cross section of guitar playing styles.
On the whole there is a massive sprinkling of originality and a refreshing approach to the construction of the music but seemingly there are too, in a good way, many British classical album influences which jump straight out at you such as those from Roger Walters, Genesis, Pink Floyd and Yes.
To add greater dimension to the project, from a vocal perspective, Marco’s has drafted in three top class front men to project their individual vocal talents on certain specific tracks (see credits below). This is indeed was a wise move as Marco’s freely admits that he is not so gifted in the vocal department as compared to his undeniable guitar dexterity. Unquestionably so many solo projects have been let down by a talented musician trying out their vocal prowess. The three selected vocalists bring warmth and style to the proceedings and certainly, if any criticism could be levied at all, it would be that some more forceful two and three part male / female harmonies could have been incorporated to bloister this aspect of the musical delivery.
Next Station has been four years on the assembly line following Marco’s first solo CD "The River - Both sides of the story". “Next Station” was written, produced and arranged by Marcos and well worth the wait
Summary: An extremely enjoyable progressive rock venture,
Art Work: Extensive a lavishly produced –A work of art.
2. Keep Going.
3. A Proggy Night In London.
4. Back Again
5. Next Station.
6. Last Train
All songs were composed written and arranged by Marcos.
Marcos played All Guitars, Spanish Laud, Mandolin, Bass, Chapman Stick, Keyboards,
The lead vocals are:
Nad Sylvan (Steve Hackett Band), lead vocals Tracks 1,2, 3 (Freewill, Keep Going and Proggy Night in London
Robbie Wyckoff (Roger Waters Band) Lead vocals on Tracks 4, 5 (Back Again, Next Station)
Göran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen) Lead vocals on track 6 Last Train.
Cristiano Micalizzi,- Drums
Cristiana Polegri Backing Vocals and Sax
Simona Rizzi –Backing Vocals