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Active Heed: Visions From Reality

Labeled as 'crossover prog', which basically means pop with some slight prog leanings, Active Heed is the project of Italian multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Poli, and the bands new album Visions of Reality consists of 15 fairly short but upbeat tracks that to the serious genre fan won't be quite 'progressive' enough. That being said, there's a light, breezy, catchy element going on here throughout Visions From Reality that's hard not to like. So what if it isn't quite prog, it's still fairly enjoyable. Poli handles guitars, bass, keyboards, and effects, and is joined by drummer Giovanni Giorgi and vocalist PelleK, with extra backing vocals from Marit Borresen & Mark Colton. Though Poli lists influences on their Facebook page as Marillion, Arena, Pendragon, Dream Theater, Genesis, and IQ, the music of Active Heed is not nearly quite that adventurous. I'm reminding in spots of some of Mike Keneally's poppy/jazzy/proggy material, that in itself is also quite quirky and hook laden, which most of the songs here are as well, and at times you can hear a little U2 or perhaps a more upbeat Radiohead. Plenty of lush acoustic & electric guitars to be found, a sprinkling of keyboards, but mostly this is vocal oriented pop music that is pleasing, if not overly challenging. A couple of songs show a more rocking side to the band, like "Without Joy" for instance, which approaches current Marillion, but at under 2-minutes long, is over before it even gets started. "Every Ten Seconds Before" is the longest song here at just under 6-minutes, and here it's where the band seem to be exploring their prog side even more, with muscular guitar work, beds of keyboards, and some soaring vocals from PelleK.

Overall, this is a nice listen, a CD filled with plenty of quirky, melodic songs, solid vocals, and crisp instrumentation. It's by no means a serious prog album, but there are elements here that signal the band might be quickly moving in that direction, so it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds on their next release.

Track Listing
1. Flying Like a Fly (2:53)
2. Awake?! (1:53)
3. Now What? (1:34)
4. Me, Five Seconds Before (2:42)
5. With Joy (2:26)
6. Melting of Realities (3:21)
7. Forest and Joy (3:32)
8. The Weakness of Our Spinning (2:42)
9. Without Joy (1:43)
10. Every Ten Seconds Before (5:49)
11. F F F Flashing Fast Forward (3:28)
12. If I Will Never Be (4:33)
13. Me, One Second Before Johan Robeck (4:06)
14. Usual Plays in Heaven / Be Kind and Talk to Me (4:47)
15. Our Vast Emptiness (4:40)

Added: October 19th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1547
Language: english

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