Seven long years separate La Maschera di Cera’s previous studio album (“Le Porte del Domani”, the ideal follow-up to Le Orme’s concept album “Felona e Sorona”) and “S.E.I.”, a great comeback for one of the key groups in the recent renewed interest for the glorious and unique Italian Progressive Rock of the ’70s. Warm symphonic atmospheres, Italian lyrics and a vocal style that often reminds the melodrama tradition: this is what has often characterized this musical genre and perfectly fit the band’s proposal.
“S.E.I.” renews the compositional skills of the current members of the group, based on very specific sounds: imaginative keyboards, ever-changing rhythmic patterns, a full-bodied wind instruments section, a powerful distorted bass that makes up for the absence of the electric guitar (one of the band’s typical main features) and Alessandro Corvaglia’s voice, one of the most versatile and exciting Italian singers of the past twenty years. The basic trio that has always animated the group (Alessandro Corvaglia – voice and acoustic guitar, Agostino Macor – keyboards, Fabio Zuffanti – bass) is here joined by Martin Grice (Delirium, flute and sax) and Paolo “Paolo” Tixi (ex-Il Tempio Delle Clessidre, drums). The wonderful and visionary artwork has been created by the American artist Eric Adrian Lee.
“S.E.I.”, acronym for “Separazione / Egolatria / Inganno” (Separation / Self-worship / Deception), is made of a 20-minute suite that occupies the first side of the record, followed by two other mini-suites on its second half. The three tracks are very complex music compositions, combining tense and dark moments with atmospheric sections marked by the Mellotron unmistakable sound. Jazz and Canterburian influences are much more evident now. From the mighty symphonic suite “Il tempo millenario” through the folk and sunny “Il cerchio del comando” to the symphonic / jazz / hard-rock of “Vacuo senso”, La Maschera di Cera is a laboratory that fuses together the influence of bands such as Museo Rosenbach, PFM, Balletto di Bronzo, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Biglietto per l’Inferno, Jethro Tull, Hatfield & The North, Yes and Van Der Graaf Generator, with a strong dose of personality. La Maschera di Cera finally returns in 2020 to take back a well-deserved crown, that of a band that has always known best how to revive the great season of Italian Progressive Rock.
Papersleeve CD edition.
1.Il tempo millenario
2.Il cerchio del comando