Barock Project is founded by composer/keyboardist Luca Zabbini who had the idea to use the structures of classical music, jazz and pop to revamp his beloved '70s progressive rock style. This was driven by his passion for the music of the late Keith Emerson. When I spoke to Luca during the ProgDreams festival in The Netherlands, he told me that in the early days he had a band (K2) who played ELP material. We both agreed that Keith's passing is a big loss for the progressive rock scene. In December 2007 the French label Musea Records released their first album “Misteriose Voci”. This was followed by a release of the album “Rebus” on the Italian label Mellow Records. The third album “Coffee In Neukolln” was again released on the Musea label. In January 2015 the band signed a management contract with “Stars of Italy” and announced their forth album “Skyline”. This album got some good reviews in the international prog scene. In spring 2016 the band released the wonderful double live CD “Vivo” with over 2 hours of music of the first ten years of Barock Project. At the time of performing at the ProgDreams festival (March 2017) which was held at the famous de Boerderij venue in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands, the band released the new album “Detachment”. After witnessing a great live performance at ProgDreams where the band played some of the new material I was very curious about the new album “Detachment”.
Luca Zabbini - keyboards, lead vocals, acoustic guitar, 12 string guitar, electric guitar; Francesco Caliendo - electric bass; Eric Ombelli - drums & percussion; Marco Mazzuoccolo - electric guitar
Featuring: Peter Jones - lead vocal on tracks 6 & 8
Alex Mari - vocals; Ludovica Zanasi - vocals
The new album “Detachment” is an album that could reach a much broader audience because Luca Zabbini told me that he had another approach while composing material for the new album. He simply followed his heart and was not afraid to astray from the progressive path. This is in fact the true meaning of progressive music ... don't be afraid to think out of the box.
The album opens with the short piano piece “Driving Rain” that could be from a Michael Gettel album. It has a kind of New Age feeling. After this surprising opening the band comes with the uptempo track “Promises”. It is a delicious piece of progressive rock with great keyboard playing and amazing drum work. The following track “Happy to See You” is not only a surprise but also one of the strongest compositions of the album. A mixture of Pop and Classical music with lovely vocal melodies, piano parts and a soaring electric guitar solo. The last part of the song is very strong and the melodies are just amazing.
After this highlight the song “One Day” opens with a delicate acoustic guitar part. Love the keyboard orchestrations and the flute sound. Halfway the track the name of the also Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) crossed my mind. I also find a touch of Jethro Tull in the music. Again you can find beautiful vocal melodies on this track. This counts also for the following track “Secret Therapy”. Then it is time for another highlight. The song “Broken” is featuring Peter Jones on vocals. The man has a beautiful voice and is a very talented musician. He proved this on that same ProgDreams festival. This piece has great diversity and is in a more classical and progressive vein than the previous two tracks that are more song oriented. We can enjoy some lovely synth and guitar solo's in this track. The music is nicely working towards a climax that is followed by one of the most beautiful parts of the album with delicate piano and and breathtaking vocal melodies and a soaring electric guitar solo. This amazing piece ends with a delicate piano part
“Old Ghosts” is also one of those song oriented track with beautiful vocal melodies and a somewhat Mediterranean atmosphere. The song “Alone” is a little gem. The lyrics are from Peter Jones who also sings this track. At the ProgDreams festival Peter Jones was performing with his own band the day after Barock Project had its gig. As a surprise Peter Jones asked Luca Zabbini on stage to perform the song “Alone” together with him in his set. The live premiere of this song was a special moment in the set of Peter Jones. For me it was the highlight of the whole festival. An amazing performance of this beautiful gem. Some of the people were so touched by this emotional song that they were in tears.
The next song is called “Rescue Me” and is an uptempo track with a funky bass and a catchy vocal refrain. Compared to the other tracks this song is more guitar oriented. The first vocal lines of “Twenty Years” are only accompanied by an acoustic guitar. This beautiful balled has a nice orchestration. But halfway the song develops into an orchestral progressive rock piece with freaky electric guitar and keyboard solo's. A ballad with an orchestral ending. The synths in “Waiting” gives the piece a modern touch but the following piano part reminds me more of the music of the Greek keyboardist Yanni. An uplifting tune with nice orchestrations and a jazzy synth ending. “A New Tomorrow” starts with breathtaking vocal melodies. It is a very beautiful piece of music with some Irish accents. The melodies on this album are just amazing. The piece has a great diversity, the beautiful slow parts are combined with more rock oriented sections. The album closes with the song “Spies”. The middle section of the song is more experimental and jazzy before a delicate piano part will bring back the beautiful vocal melodies of the opening section.
After the great live album “Vivo”, the band surprises with an album which is more song oriented. You can find beautiful vocal melodies and classical orchestrations on this album. The melodies on this album are very strong. Guest Peter Jones contributes with some beautiful lyrics and vocals. If you listen carefully you can hear that the music has a lot of influences from classical music. The piano parts are very beautiful. I think that this album will be very successful for the band and that the band can reach a much bigger audience with this beautiful “Detachment” album. Highly recommended by progVisions.