Marco De Angelis is an Italian composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer (he plays my favorite chapman stick too!) who although he was involved in the music business for many years, he hadn’t released any album under his name, and this is his first personal solo work.
Because he grew up listening mostly to the great bands of the ‘70’s such as PINK FLOYD, LED ZEPPELIN, GENESIS, YES etc, we can assume that his music will be influenced by this sound. Well, not exactly. His sound is modern & fresh, and although it reminds some other bands in certain occasions, truth is that his music style is rather an authentic one.
On this debut album he plays most of the instruments (with the exception of drums) and he participates in backing vocals as well. The singer is Marcello Catalano, and his voice matches music and style of the album very well. A very strong point worth mentioning is the backing vocals throughout the whole album. Marco De Angelis uses a very expressive female team doing the backing vocals, and the result is indeed of high quality.
Now a few info about the album: It contains 11 songs, plus 1 very small intro piece, and has a total running time of almost 67 minutes. The main instruments here aere mostly keyboards and guitar and this combination works perfectly! As for the influences I mentioned earlier, in my opinion the only I could find would be the sound of PINK FLOYD in their latest (mainly) albums such as ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ or ‘The Division Bell’ (see the song ‘Take it Away’ for example).
Another very important fact I have to highlight is that the album is actually a concept one. Starting from the title, ‘The river’ refers to people’s lives as they flow like the river does and the sub-title ‘Both sides of the Story’ stands for the two river banks that represent, in a way, the duality that all human beings exist. The struggle between Good & Evil, the male & female life’s point of view, life & death, night and day etc… It is a really interesting idea, which is covered nicely by the music of Marco.
Concluding, this review I have to say that this is a qualitative concept album that combines touches of deep emotional elements with a highly pleasant prog listening experience! A rare combination!