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Carpani, Alex: Waterline

Fans of progressive rock and especially Italian Progressive rock are simply going to revel in the debut CD from keyboardist Alex Carpani entitled Waterline. Carpani, who is a classically trained musician, initially recorded the demo in only 3 weeks for this concept album, which revolves around the dividing worlds above and beneath the water. After that it didn't take long for some of the other principal players to get on board with his project. The demo soon found its way into the hands of vocalist Aldo Tagliapietra, of legendary Italian prog outfit Le Orme. As soon as he agreed to participate, the Prog Cypher Arts label, run by Dan Shapiro, and well known cover designer Paul Whitehead (Genesis, Van der Graaf Generator) quickly followed suit.

The songs on Waterline have a very prominent 70's influence, which harkens back to the glory days of progressive rock, going heavy on the classical and symphonic elements to drive the point home. The highlights come early, from the delicate piano flourishes and short but explosive guitar solo midway through the opening number "The Siren And The Mariner" to Carpani's Tony Banks inspired synth passages which permeate the instrumental "Reclaimed". "Agua Claro" comes next and is another great track featuring Tagliapietra's warm, gentle vocal style. If I have one complaint with Waterline, it's that Tagliapietra is somewhat underutilized as only about half of the songs contain any vocals, and even the songs he does sing, sometimes he only appears towards the end of the track. That being said, the 2nd half of the disc is where things really begin to heat up instrumentally, particularly on "Song Of The Pond" and "A Gathering Storm". Both of these songs feature quite a bit of standout flute and sax work respectively, which is taken care of by Cory Wright. "The Waterfall" like it's name, is a cascading track which has everything, intense piano work combined with delicate acoustic guitar and searing electric solos, while "Catch The Wave" has an almost fusion vibe to it. The disc ends on a mellow note with Carpani's soothing arrangement of J.S. Bach's "Prelude In C Min."

Waterline is a very promising debut and Alex Carpani has assembled a great supporting cast of musicians to help him carry out his vision. You can hear the ghosts of many different bands from the glory days of progressive rock all over Waterline, so Carpani has certainly done his homework. It's what he did with those influences, and how well he incorporated them into his own original compositions to create something new, that makes Waterline such a joy to listen to.

Track Listing
1) The Siren And The Mariner
2) The Levees' Break
3) In The Rocks
4) Reclaimed
5) Agua Claro
6) Starcurrents
7) Song Of The Pond
8) A Gathering Storm
9) The Waterfall
10) Catch The Wave
11) Prelude In C Min. (BWV947)

Added: October 4th 2007
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: Alex Carpani
Hits: 6367
Language: english

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