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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

FEM (Forza Elettromotrice) - Mutazione - 2018


    
“... I myself change meanwhile I say that everything changes - Heraclitus¬† ...”
FEM stands for Electromotive Force (Forza Elettromotrice). The Italian band was founded in the outskirts of Milan in the year 2007. The band’s repertoire was first made of covers of famous Italian bands like PFM, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Le Orme and Area. After winning a contest while playing their own compositions, the band released an EP under the name of “Epsilon“ and after this the band was contracted by the fine Italian Record label AltRock who released their fantastic debut album “Sulla Bella Di Sapone“ (On The Soap Bubble) on their sub label Fading Records. With the new singer, guitarist and violinist Alessandro Graziano and Pietro Bertoni on brass the band independently released the successor “Mutazione“ at the end of last year (2018).
Alessandro Graziano - vocals, violin; Alberto Citterio - keyboards; Paolo Colombo - guitar; Marco Buzzi - bass; Pietro Bertoni - brass; Emanuele Borsati - drums
“Mutazione“ (Mutation) is about consecration and tells about an ancient and modern message of change. Change can be understood on various levels.

On “Mutazione“ you can find the following nine tracks; “Il palazzo del chaos“, “Io mi trasformo“, “La cura delle cose“, “Musica di vento“, “Mai tardi“, “Il cielo di se“, “Attesa“, “Mutazione“ and “Se c’e una buona ragione“.

After the short (0:26) brass intro “Il palazzo del chaos“ the album opens convincingly with “Io mi trasformo“. This is first class RPI (Rock Progressivo Italiano) with passionate sung Italian lyrics with lovely melodies. You can find excellent keyboard parts in the music of FEM. The music has besides the progressive elements also some influences from Jazz Fusion. And the special ingredient is of course the use of brass. Great opener with convincing vocals of newcomer Alessandro Graziano. “La cura delle cose“ opens with a Hammond organ and brass part before the other instruments are joining the party. What strikes me are the beautiful vocal lines and melodies. And the brass makes it special. Beautiful track. Talking about beautiful tracks. The following track “Musica di vento“ opens classical with piano and brass. After the two previous uptempo tracks this beautiful ballad is a welcome resting point. We also can enjoy lyrical guitar playing in this track. For me this song is one of the many highlights of this consistent album. The next song is something different. “Mai tardi“ is the song with the most experimental character. You can find some influences from Funk in the music. Besides the funky bass playing of ¬†Marco Buzzi keyboardist Alberto Citterio and guitarist Paolo Colombo stand out. In the following song “Il cielo di se“ this is the case with singer Alessandro Graziano. Love the theatrical performance of this great vocalist. There is also much to enjoy for the lovers of keys. The song ends with beautiful synth melodies and a soaring guitar part that sadly is faded out to soon in my humble opinion. So the quality of the music stays on a very high level. The short “Atessa“ is a piece with classical qualities. Besides the nice vocal lines this piece includes a wonderful violin melody. Then it is time for the title track “Mutazione“ an instrumental piece with great diversity. Adventurous rhythms and skillful playing by all the musicians. The guitar work of Paolo Colombo on this album sometimes reminds me of the music of Dutch band Focus. I am sure he does not mind this bold remark. The album ends with another highlight. “Se c’e una buona ragione“ is with ten minutes the longest song of this fine album. Uptempo parts alternate with more melodic parts. There is for instance a beautiful part with delicate sung vocals, acoustic guitars and lovely keyboard strings. You can find some excellent drumming in this piece and I love the part with the Church organ. The song has a wonderful structure and slowly the music is working towards a nice climax.
Well this is how a contemporary RPI (Rock Progressivo Italiano) album must sound. It sounds recognizable but also fresh and adventurous. The brass in the music is an enrichment. I am impressed by the work of keyboardist Alberto Citterio and the new singer Alessandro Graziano is very convincing. Love the theatrical performance of him presenting the lyrics. Hopefully his violin gets more attention on future releases. “Mutazione“ is one of the best RPI releases of last year. A must buy for the lovers of Italian Prog music. Highly recommended by progVisions.
Douwe Fledderus - March 2019
rating - Independent Release

 

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