Firstly I´m not used to talk about artworks but I´d like to dedicate the first lines of this reviews to the incredible art of this album: a digipack (bigger than usual) which contains, apart from the booklet, a collection of ten nice postcards. Similar to Hostsonaten´s “Springsong”. Congratulations to the label: I think this is a great method if we want to stop piracy.
Well, let´s go to the music. Proloud is an italian quintet formed by Giancarlo Mattei (vocals), Christian Zezza (guitars), Mikele Zanni (bass), Marco Donello (keyboards), and Emi Piero (drums).
Italy is the land of lyricism and feelings, of the bright and dark classicism; in short: a 100% progressive country which provided us with dozens of great bands. That´s the reason why I got surprised when I listened to Proloud, a band that plays a progressive style in the english way. Anyway there are moments for mediterranean heat, winks to jazzy sounds, etc.
After a chaotic intro (“Self Destruction” (0:32)) we can listen to what the band offers us: eight long tracks (well, a couple of them are around four minutes long) and a great sound. The musicians have a high skill and the sound engineer does a great job so the listener won´t get bored. The music reminds me of Shadow Gallery a lot, with a point of european epic with instrumental developments that intercalates power and lyricism in order to keep the tension up. The first track “Fickle” (8:16) shows this. “Leave it to nature” (8:41), second track, is a bizarre composition with the drums leading the music with some mini-solos here and there and nice instrumental passages a la italian with jazzy guitar, piano and percussions. The ending part is brilliant, in an hymnic style, with the band playing that aforementioned Shadow Gallery-like style. “Island Lake” (7:40) is a mid-time song with mediterranean flavor a little bit long. “Shooting Star” (3:47) is a short and nice track with acoustic guitars that is followed by “Gethsemané” (4:55), an amazing instrumental track where the band show all their abilities. “Last inhabited planet” (7:00) is the same story.. neverending races of guitars and keyboards, melodies almost perfect, and anything else. We´re close to the end with “To be on fire” (9:06), perhaps the best track of the whole album. But at this point the music of Proloud seems repetitive and reminds to something listened before because the structures are almost the same. The last song “Rebuilding (Leave it to Nature reprise)” (4:14) an harmless acoustic song.
I think all the followers of the most powerful progressive rock (I´m not talking about progressive metal at all) would enjoy this album because the style is very melodic but with really risky instrumental passages. I´d compare them to Shadow Gallery, a loved and hated band, but Proloud is not a carbon copy.