Three years after their previous album, Italian progsters IFSOUNDS are back with a rockier edge. The creative vehicle of guitarist Dario Lastella and keyboardist Claudio Lapenna, IFSOUNDS, has been active since the 90s, in the form of a cover band. After ‘Red Apple’ (2012) all other members left, so we can definitely state that the new release is a ‘Reset’ in practice as well as in name.
The band was open minded enough to record two versions of the album: an Italian one and one with English lyrics for the international market. For obvious reasons, we have decided to review the latter.
The first thing one realises when listening to ‘Reset’ is the variety that can be found in the album. When straight rockers like 40 – 14 evolve into a psychedelic trip, and when members of the neoclassical folk band HESPEROS participate in the ballad ‘Laura’, one can’t but marvel at the versatility of this band. Actually, ‘Reset’ is full of small surprises like the beautiful keyboard in ‘Run Away’ and the symphonic crescendo leading to a climax in my favourite track ‘Fading to Blue’. Even in the two and a half minutes of shortest track ‘Flashback’, the band manages in one breath to go from heavy to trippy ambient.
And that’s another plus – that the songs are short in length, yet cohesive and concise. No tune goes over the 6 minute mark (a pleasant break from the norm of the 9 – minute average song lengths of their contemporaries).
From the new members, vocalist RUNAL clearly leaves his mark. His raw bluesy voice takes things to a higher level when necessary. All musicians are focused on creating and adding to the atmosphere of each song, rather than showing off their indisputable technical skills.
All in all, ‘Reset’ is a highly enjoyable album – both for the progster and for the casual listener. If you are into melodic prog which balances between heavier moments and neopsychedelia, don’t hesitate and give ‘Reset’ the attention that it deserves!