Italy's new entrant into the Dream Theater-influenced school of prog-metal is the promising Scenario. Despite the fact that so many bands of this ilk have come from that region over the last few years, Scenario seem to have the tools that can help them rise above the crowded sea of hungry upstarts. After repeated listens to A Fearful Symmetry it is obvious that this band has more than a few things going in their favor.
One trap many young bands fall into lately is writing material that is long on endless instrumental virtuosity and short on catchy melodies. Not that I mind hot complex playing, but if there is not something you can latch on to vocally the songs just don't stick. Scenario have obviously learned this lesson early, as these songs are instantly memorable and dynamic. The opening cut "Time Vacuity", or even the excellent "I'm Not Insane" have great hooks, accompanied by complex arrangements. While the band may not be as heavy as Dream Theater, they more than match them for catchy melodies. Lead singer Tony D'Alessio has a nice, rich voice that complements the music perfectly, although the one complaint could be that his Italian accent pokes through a bit much, but is not a distraction. Keyboard player Heric Fittipaldi might just be the star of this group, as his blazing leads and lush soundscapes add real depth and character to each track. On the three-part epic "Godot's Arrival", Fittipaldi and hot-shot guitarist Filippo Marcheggiani lay down some impressive Petrucci/Rudess-inspired solos amidst a complex lyrical storyline.
Musea's foray into the progressive metal world is off with a bang with this impressive new band Scenario. While they certainly will not win any awards for originality, Scenario has successfully put together one of the more listenable albums in the genre of recent memory.