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Paganini, Marcelo: Identity Crisis

French/Brazilian musician Marcelo Paganini has brought together some fine players for his latest album titled Identity Crisis, released in December of 2020. Included are Billy Sherwood (Asia, Yes) providing vocals on all tracks, Rachel Flowers (vocals on tracks 1, 4, and 5, piano on track 1, electric guitar on track 4, Hammond organ on track 8), Adam Holzman (Steven Wilson Band) adds keyboards on tracks 1, 2, 3, and 4, Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa Band) plays drums on tracks 1, 2, and 6, and Jan Dumée (Focus) adds a guitar solo on track 3. There are many others as well but those are some of the biggest names.

Identity Crisis is quite an eclectic ride through progressive rock and fusion, traversing mind blowing keyboard and guitar solos, scintillating drum and bass work and top notch playing from all involved. Some of the twists and turns can be a little jarring if only because they are unexpected at times, with the band’s creativity on full display. Sherwood’s vocals on the first four tracks are solid and Flowers adds another dimension vocally on a few tracks. A good indication of what you will hear on Identity Crisis can be found in the first song “Bacteria” featuring proggy twists, whacky band interplay and excellent solos. The slightly off kilter arrangement gives this one its prog cred. Superb keyboard and drum interplay and squelching guitar makes the prog fusion of “Circus Is Empty” another highlight as is the mid tempo prog fusion of “Soul Much Further Away”. More wild keys and guitar can be found on “Learn To Love To Wait”, another fine slice of progressive rock.

I found Identity Crisis to be a grower as its angular nature takes some time to fully appreciate. For those seeking excellent musicianship in a prog fusion setting, this should be worthy of your time.

Track Listing:
1. Bacteria
2. Circus Is Empty
3. Soul Much Further Away
4. Learn To Love To Wait
5. Tangerine Way
6. Captain’s Face

Added: August 19th 2021
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist @ Bandcamp
Hits: 928
Language: english

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