Phoenix Again — Unexplored
((Not on label) no#, 2017, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-08-25
Phoenix Again is an Italian progressive band that dates back to 1981 formed by the three Lorandi brothers Claudio, Sergio, and Antonio plus drummer Silvano Silva. Over the years they’ve gone through a number of changes and the tragic death of Claudio in 2007. Today the band continues as a family affair with the addition of Antonio’s sons Marco and Giorgio. The current line up is Antonio (bass and vocals), Silvano (drums, percussion, and vocals), Sergio (acoustic and electric guitars and vocals), Andrea Piccinelli (keyboards), Giorgio (percussion and guitar), Marco (electric guitar and mandolin), and daughter Alessandra Lorandi (flute). This past May Phoenix Again released their third studio album of modern Italian progressive music, Unexplored. The eight tracks are essentially all instrumentals, with short vocals on “That Day Will Come” and “To Be Afraid - Ansia.” Their music is a wonderful combination of metal prog, orchestral prog, progressive folk, blues rock, and jazz fusion. Each piece grows on you as you listen. I love that the Mellotron pops up on many of the tracks, my only gripe is that these passages are too short. Overall the tracks are intelligent complex compositions and what may initially sound like a simple note sequence evolves over the course of the track into some very interesting moments. The closing track, “Great Event,” is a beautiful cinematic tune with twinned guitar lines that ends after 2½ minutes. Then there are two minutes of silence that abruptly ends with a hidden track of an additional two minutes of acoustic guitars and drums. Phoenix Again is a new band to me and I did not know what to expect, especially with the Thomas Kinkade-like cover art. Needless to say, Unexplored is an album well worth exploring.
Related artist(s): Phoenix Again
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more
From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.