The driving force behind the Noisy Diners project is Italian musician Fabrizio Dossena. First of all, I want to thank him for sending me a physical promo for a review on progVisions. "The Princess of the allen keys (The history of Manto)" is a concept album, the story is a mix of mythology and fantasy. The music is composed by Fabrizio Dossema (12 string acoustic guitar), Davide Jori (electric guitars) and Cristiano Roversi (keyboards, Chapman stick, classic orchestrations and additional guitars). Besides playing the 12 string acoustic guitar parts Fabrizio Dossema is, also the writer of the lyrics. The album is produced by Cristiano Roversi (Cristiano Roversi Produzioni). The executive producer is Fabrizio Dossena (Le Nautonnier Productions). Interesting fact: The eye-catching guest musician on tracks 3-7 is singer Nad Sylvan (Steve Hackett band). The latter is not the only Genesis reference, you can also hear it in the music on this wonderfully beautiful album.
Donata Luani - vocals; Davide Jori - electric guitars; Erik Montanari - electric and acoustic guitars; Ezio Secommandi -drums; Christiano Roversi - keyboards, Chapman stick, classic orchestrations, additional guitars; Mirko Tagliasacchi - bass; Fabrizio Dossena - 12 string acoustic guitar; Antonio De Sarno - narrator; Fabrizio Dossena - lyrics; Nad Sylvan - vocal arrangements
Special guests: Nad Sylvan - vocals; Stefano Boccafoglia - vocals; Beatrice Cotifavo - vocals; Mauro Negri - saxophone; Aran Bertetto - spoken word
The album opens with a long track called "Tiresias" (12:10). Do I have now the full attention of all the Genesis fans? This opening song recounts Tiresias escape from Thebes due to Epigoni's attack from the city with his daughter Manto, how killing a snake made him a victim of a spell that transformed him into a woman for seven years, and how to find herself despite her in the middle of a dispute between Hera and Zeus sealed her fate. The opening of this song has a beautiful classic orchestration by Christiano Roversi which support the narrative voice of Antonio De Sarno. Because of this atmospheric narration, you are immediately sucked into the story. In the music, you will hear the big influence of Christiano Roversi (Moongarden, Submarine Silence) . Especially the wonderful keyboards and orchestrations. So the guitar and keyboard parts remind me a little bit of the music of Moongarden. And the structure of the music and the 12 string guitars has a reference to Genesis. What a wonderful opening of this remarkable album. The next 11 minutes are reserved for the song "Manto and Tibrys". After the death of his father Manto, a long aimless journey takes him to Italy where in the area called Emuria meets the Prince of the river: Tibrys, who lived in a large building located below the water level and came out only for short periods of hunting, they fell in love, married, and from their union, a baby they named Ocno was born, but Zeus envious of so much happiness decided to kill him with lightning. So Manto and his little son started wandering around looking for a place where they could vent the crying of their pain, they arrived on the banks of another river called Andes (now called Mincio). Manto decided that this was the right place ... so many tears. They formed three lakes and stayed there until Manto's death, at that point, Ocno decided to found a city to name his mother and that's how the city we call Mantova was born. The song opens with a nice synth and organ parts on top of a steady rhythm section. Donata Luani provides the female vocals Mauro Negri is responsible for the surprising saxophone part and Donato Luani is Manto. Drummer Ezio Secommandi is doing a wonderful job on this track. You can also enjoy fine electric guitar parts. "Duel" is divided into two parts. In "Duel Part one" singer Nad Sylvan is introduced who is playing the part of Virgil. With this song, the fantasy part of the story begins. On the shores of the lake, Manto meets Virgilio who was born there. A discussion arises between the two who don't recognize each other ... The combination of the female voice (Donata Luani) and the male voice (Nad Sylvan) is working fine. The music is pure RPI (Rock Progressivo Italiano) with loads of keys and a nice orchestration in the end. "Duel Part two" with its beautiful acoustic guitars, organ parts and a delicate vocal part of Nad Sylvan has strong Genesis influences. "The bad boat" is also a fine song with Donata and Nad on vocals and the spoken words of Aran Bertetto who plays the part of Charon. As all tracks do, the music seamlessly flows into the next track "The weak fog", a little gem with beautiful vocal parts and 12 string guitar parts. The album ends with another highlight, the title track "The Princess of the allen keys". In this track the female vocals are sung by Beatrice Cotifavo. It has a soft Mellotron opening before the music becomes uptempo with frantic organ parts and vocal duels. Also in this last song which has many vocal parts, we can enjoy beautiful classical orchestrations. In the end, the saxophone of Mauro Negri is returning on top of the lush keyboard parts of Christiano Roversi.
The three composers Fabrizio Dossena, Davide Jori and Christiano Roversi did a wonderful job on this remarkable album. The opening song "Tiresias" with its narrator, classical orchestrations and the Moongarden influences is my personal favourite track. And to be honest the name of Cristiano Roversi was the reason for me to get in touch with Fabrizio Dossena in the first place. However, the name of Nad Sylvan will be probably the key of interest for most of the prog fans. Also, his contribution enhances the Genesis references of the compositions on this album. By the way, the vocal contributions of all vocalists are of a high level. Because of the seamless transitions of the songs you can listen to the music as one long composition. This promotes understanding and following the story. The album is consistent and has no weak points. The music is pure RPI (Rock Progressivo Italiano) with some references to the music of Genesis, Moongarden and classical music. This remarkable album is highly recommended by progVisions.