Ingranaggi Della Valle: Warm Spaced Blue
Just a little over three years ago the debut album, In Hoc Signo, from Italian progressive outfit Ingranaggi Della Valle announced the band on the scene in quite grand style. Since then a change of singer has occurred, new frontman David Savarese resulting in the lyrics on this follow up effort, Warm Spaced Blue, to be, as the title suggests, sung in English. And yet with that significant change and one that may bring the band to wider notice, one thing remains clear, lyrics are secondary on this traditional, symphonic, but clearly Italian progressive agenda. Seven minutes have passed before a brief vocal foray breaks out on opening track, "Call For Cthulhu: Orison", the first of a three part epic that is quite cleverly broken up by unrelated but no less involved tracks, but with Savarese a captivating presence, his contribution is worth the wait.
However there's simply no denying that this band's main concern is lengthy instrumental workouts, with two further tracks being completely without words, while "Inntal" stretches to a mighty five lines of 'dialogue'. Impressively this doesn't in any way detract from a quite excellent trip through a whole variety of different but thematically linked ideas, where a distinct air of unease sets the tone but never limits the scope. At times Porcupine Tree are brought to mind, at others the more spooky end of what Opeth provide, and yet in a way neither of those acts ever do, the likes of "Lada Niva" - the album's most overtly song based piece – brings everything from King Crimson to early Spock's Beard or Genesis into play; although the traditions of the Italian prog sound are never far away. Even here, the second half of the song is almost completely instrumental – it's just as well Savarese also brought his Rodhes MkV and glockenspiel to the party, or he'd get very bored indeed…
The piece he brings that Rodhes to is "Ayida Wedo", one of the lighter, airier and more 'commercial' tracks (oddly it's one of the instrumentals), proving Ingranaggi Della Valle can also revel in more readily accessible, if hardly immediate, fair. Although it's that intricacy and willingness to constantly push boundaries, while still knowing where the limits lie, that makes Warm Spaced Blue as interesting as it is.
Curiously, for fans of the band's first album, where that debut effort was an avant-garde, jazz-prog rock colossus, this outing is much more straight-progressive in both a traditional and contemporary sense, and to their credit that change is made seamlessly. The band themselves are a seven piece collective, all manner of keyboards, guitars, violin, bass and percussion brought into being, not to mention occasional guests adding further synths, bass, flute and on the aforementioned "Lada Niva", narration. Although it's possibly the closing piece and conclusion to the three part saga, "Call Of Cthuhlu: Promise", which shows the most progressive side to the band both in terms of instrumental meanders and the rather unhinged silence and crescendo that closes the song and album out.
If In Hoc Signo suggested this Italian outfit possessed a hat full of promise, their sophomore release, while quite a departure, confirms it in spades. Hopefully it will allow a symphonic progressive outfit who are willing to allow a few more contemporary styles to seep into sight, to begin to gain some recognition beyond their homeland.
1. Call For Cthulhu: Orison
3. Call For Cthulhu: Through The Stars
4. Lada Niva
5. Ayida Wedo
6. Call For Cthulhu: Promise
Added: April 2nd 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Ingranaggi Della Valle on facebook
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|Ingranaggi Della Valle: Warm Spaced Blue
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-04-02 14:17:24
Here is another band courtesy of Black Widow Records. Ingranaggi della Valle hail from Rome and continue the tradition of '70s influenced Italian progressive rock. The band formed in 2010 and in 2013 released their debut album In Hoc Signo. The follow up Warm Spaced Blue was released in September of 2016.
The players are:
Davide Savarese (vocals, glockenspiel, dry Rhodes MkV on "Ayida Wedo")
Mattoia Liberati (Hammond B3, Mellotron M400, Mellotron M4000, Fender Rhodes MkV, Minimoog Voyager, piano, backing vocals)
Flavio Gonnellini (electric guitars, backing vocals)
Alessandro Di Sciullo (electric and acoustic guitars, Moog Minitaur, Mellotron M400, Mellotron M4000, Roland CR 808 and CR 909, akar MPC touch, Korg Kaoss Pad KP3, electronics, backing vocals)
Marco Gennarini (violins, backing vocals)
Antonio Coronato (electric bass)
Shanti Colucci (drums and percussion)
The band has a really cool sound, quite brooding and intensely atmospheric at times. They certainly put their own spin on Italian prog. "Call for Cthulhu: Orison" features wavering electronics and shimmering walls of sound before the building of heavier riffs. Washes of Mellotron soak the soundscape and the band weaves some magical twists and turns through the course of nine minutes. More Mellotron can be heard on "Inntal" as a serene bed of keyboards build into a solid groove before an abrupt turn into heaviness. Acoustic guitar and a lovely fusion-like guitar solo bring the song home. These two tracks are mostly instrumental but when the vocals do appear they are excellent. "Call For Cthulhu: Through the Stars" is a brooding instrumental with distorted atmospheres over a nightmarish soundscape. "Lady Niva" has a really cool psychedelic touch with nice grooves and quirky changes. It's a complex piece as the fast paced tempo turns slow and the music goes quiet with spacey atmospherics.
Perhaps my favourite track is the album ending "Call for Cthulhu: Promise". Acoustic guitar and organ set the mood and slower pace enriched with a superb flute solo from guest musician Paolo Lucini. The intensity increases as the instruments form dense layers filled with Moog and Mellotron. Outstanding stuff!
This is a fantastic album that all progressive rock fans need to hear. It's one of my favourite releases of the year thus far and is highly recommended.
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