This album entitled 'Side' by Italian Progressive-Metal-band "Echotime" starts off pretty much with all hands firmly to the grindstone and a barrage of no nonsense high energy metal drenched rock. Generally too, at this early stage the music is very much transposing between large chunks of thunderous heavy metal riffing and less lengthy but elegant fills of more melodic almost Eastern influenced Anatolian rock which is created with subtle keyboard embellishments and choral effects. Gradually though the music starts drifting away from its basic metal core foundation and surprisingly takes us through into other phases of alternate musical patterns, flirting for example with an almost 'show tune' make up and then extending itself into gorgeous piano intro's and bridges with more rock, blues and jazz influences.
What left me somewhat perplexed though was that in between the various tracks a story line unfolds narrated by (I guess) the bands vocalist in heavily Italian accentuated English exchanging some daft dialogue with a very upper class sounding British female. Whatever might be the purpose of this farce is beyond me, adds no interest to the music and is a complete waste of time. Fortunately the musicianship throughout is of a high enough standard to dismiss this aspect of the recording.
The vocal style of the lead singer is actually quite good, a bit strange to initially tune into but never-the-less he has good intonation and you can sense a great deal of presence. From the bands home page it mentions that in live situations they perform in costumes which are used to create an atmosphere in which the band involve the audience by drawing them fully into their Echotime world. Much in the same way that Peter Gabriel functioned with early Genesis.
There certainly is a solid tight fusion apparent with the bands make up; a rock-solid bass and drum section, free flowing lead guitar and totally superb keyboards which dominate throughout. As mentioned above the music is sequence staged and whilst there is a preponderant metal edge the band show their versatility in extending their musicality over several spheres of rock genera as the album progresses.
Summary: A tight predominately metal edged progressive rock band but with a zeal for showing their versatility and artistic prowess over a wide range of musical styles.
Artwork: Quite neat and colourful booklet.
1. In Side.
2. Mr. Valentine.
3. The Fourth Estate.
4. The Lighthouse.
8. Hymn of Glory.
10. The Orphanage.
11. The Band of Love.
12. Lust and Desire.
13. The River.
14. Black Dune.
15. Stream of Life.
16. Black Dunes.
17. I Have Seen---
19. Out Side
Line Up :-
Alex Kage : Voice
Federico "Face" Fazi : Drums
Nicolas "Nick" Pandolfi : Guitar
Giacomo "Chris" Bartolini : Bass
Federico "Smiths" Fabbri : Keys