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quarta-feira, 10 de maio de 2017

AELIAN Neo-Prog • Italy

This Italian band with a Celtic name got together in 1992 when they signed up with Musea for the first of two albums (a third, live album was also released). Their music belies their origins as they don't sound at all like your traditional Italian prog band. Their style hovers somewhere between Prog, Neo-Prog and high-end AOR. The original line-up was: Maurizio Antognoli (keyboards and vocals), Max (?) (guitars and vocals), Paolo Negroni (drums, drum machine programming) and Mark Aixer (lead vocals and bass guitar and bass pedal) who sings in English without a trace of an accent. 

Their debut album "The Watcher" shows their prog side and is somewhat reminiscent of the more commercial era of YES ("Drama" period). The sound is crystal clear, the musicians skillful and the album has its share of strong emotional moments. However, it is with the 2000 release of "A Tree Under the Colours" that the band truly found their niche, taking on a more AOR direction with surprisingly good results. In a similar vein as SAGA, ASIA or TOTO, the music is more direct and features spiralling musical flights, loads of melodic vocal harmonies and catchy choruses with crisp, clean arrangements, clearly favouring an overall effect over individual soloing. The mood is uplifting (no angst-ridden overtones here), the vocals strong and powerful, the musicianship excellent, at times technically incisive, and the production top notch. To quote Musea: "Imagine YES vocals and structures (from the eighties era), mixed with MARILLION's guitar, and a strong FM touch ala FOREIGNER, STYX, SAGA or JOURNEY, and you'll have a good idea of this excellent music, enhanced by a very professional production".

Good clean fun. Recommended for those who enjoy radio-friendly yet tasteful, up-beat rock.

: : : Lise (Hibou), CANADA : : :

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