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Manca; Lucio: Everybody Needs An Angel

Having recently joined forces with the multi-national metal outfit Raven Lord, now is an excellent time for bassist Lucio Manca to unleash a solo album. Everybody Needs An Angel is the release in question, finding Manca weaving a deep, dark, complex conceptual piece round progressive metal themes with an at times more extreme edge. It works well and with time builds into a most engaging album.

Joined in his endeavours by Matteo Mereu on busy drums and percussion, Americo Rigoldi on sublime yet crushing keyboards and Mauro Manca (Lucio's brother) on ever altering guitars, Lucio positively thrives. However there's no pretending that this album isn't his baby, with the five string bass player writing, engineering and producing the whole thing, although he is aided by Matteo Spiga in the latter aspect, who also mixed and mastered ENAA excellently.

In terms of concept, Everybody Needs An Angel is a deep affair, recounting the tale of a mother who loses her seven year old son to cancer. Understandably unable to come to terms with these events, the mother begins to record every waking moment of her life in the hope of experiencing the "Phenomena" of hearing voices from outside the Earth's dimensions. Therefore it comes as no surprise that this nearly all instrumental album is equally dense and dark in places. However ENAA is far from one dimensional and while through its very nature of being a prog metal instrumental effort is technical and musically complex, Manca has taken the approach, quite rightly, that these elements hit harder when surrounded by more melodic, accessible jumping on points. Impressively he also keeps his bass playing in check, proving this is no vanity project, with all the instruments sharing the limelight equally and even when the bass does come to the fore, as it does during the slow introspection of "For What Little It Might Be Worth", song structure and melody shine through, creating a highlight on an album with many.

Snippets of voices and almost radio like interference introduce many of the songs, mirroring the mother's efforts at hopeful communication, while short sung phrases, courtesy of the excellent Simone Perra, do appear in a couple of songs. However even here the vocals are kept deep in the mix and whether they be sweet singing or a tortured growl, cleverly they act more as another instrument than the main focal point of the song.

The whole album flows beautifully, taking in everything from the sweet, if unsettling piano of the album's title track, the guitar smash of "Balance", to the restrained yet heavy keyboard/guitar battle of "The Human Capacity To Reflect And Decide" and darkly balletic "Elizabeth". However from start to finish everything about Everybody Needs An Angel remains focused and sharp, yet moody and atmospheric.

While all packaged neatly into a cohesive prog-metal framework, this album manages to hit through a wide range of emotions and styles. Becoming a far more potent beast for being able to do so and leaving Everybody Needs An Angel as an album that will delight and engross onlookers from right across the Progressive Metal spectrum.

Track Listing
1. Voices from Beyond
2. The Shadow
3. Balance
4. Phenomena
5. Give Away
6. For what Little it might be Worth
7. Everybody Needs an Angel
8. Elizabeth
9. The Human capacity to Reflect and Decide
10. Scorched Earth
11. E....

Added: September 28th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Lucio Manca Online
Hits: 2080
Language: english

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