Frontiers / Now & Then FRCD 120
Produced by: Frontiers Records

Released: July 22 / Website
Relatives: Dream Theater
GENRE: Progressive Rock

  1. Desert Night
  2. Appointment With Life
  3. Snow Crystal
  4. In My Eyes
  5. Loose From A Dam
  6. Antarctic Oasis
  7. Here I Am
  8. Time
  9. Someone Like Me

It seems this month contains a lot for progressive rock fans. Stramonio are another band of this ilk. The band are an Italian prog-metal outfit and this is their second full length album.
It ranges from full on progressive rock to neo-classic metal.
From my ears - this is one well and truly for the prog fans. This 9 track, 54 minute album is all about time changes, style changes, experimental instrumentation and the adding of as many off the wall parts as possible per track.
For a complex set of songs, the production and mix is spot on, blending vocals, guitars, keyboard and rhythm parts perfectly.
This is just one album for serious prog fans and European styled prog at that.
I have only one problem - personally I am not a fan of this singer. Federico DeVescovi does at times sound like James LaBrie, with that higher octave voice perfectly tuned for the style of music.
But Frederico's downfall with me is the very heavily accented delivery of his lines. His pronunciation of the English lyrics is his flaw.
It's very obvious and takes away from the message the band are trying to convey.
However, that point of view comes from a Westerner! For my European readers, this may not be as much a hurdle as it would be for those in North America. Just be aware of the fact, as I know some do not like the accent of some singers.
BOTTOM LINE: Lots going on within this album and musically it is mature, well executed and totally professional. The vocal delivery lets it down somewhat, but above everything, the style of this album dictates that the right audience must find this album.
For European prog metal fans, I suggest that they investigate some song samples. For those that aren't so inclined, there's plenty of other great releases on offer.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Fans of European progressive hard rock.
DISCOGRAPHY:Seasons Of Imagination . Mother Invention

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