Albums In My Collection
– Coffee In Neukolin
A relatively new band from Italy (they popped onto the scene sometime around 2005), this one playing some rather exciting Neo-Pro and Symphonic Prog-Rock. Each of their releases (some sung in Italian, the most recent sung in English) has some of the usual inspirations creeping into their sound, including Spock’s Beard, Magellan, Gentle Giant, Transatlantic, Jethro Tull, Moon Safari, Unitopia, Yes, etc.
There’s actually nothing new as far as overall content goes, but each song sounds somehow fresh, like a modern, grander, almost forward-thinking take on older styles—the instruments are performed wonderfully with a singer that sounds invigorated, more “this century” than some bands who try to replicate the usual older Peter Gabriel or Fish-type vocals from the previous century. Sure, some of the vocals parts (especially when accompanied by the occasional flute insertions) are slightly reminiscent of Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull, but again, with a more youthful sound, and always highly melodic. And truthfully, the singer has a broader range overall, a more AOR-friendly and enthusiastic delivery, which is always a plus.
In general, in all of their songs on each of their albums, Barock Project seems to magically include an energetic approach, more lively and upbeat than other contemporary bands, with some fascinating arrangements, an indescribable “capturing lightning in a bottle” type of phenomena, that makes one’s ears perk up with curiosity. This is where (to me) the Magellan comparison comes in the most, since that band also had a similar approach when they first appeared on the scene back in the ’90s.
So at first glance (or listen) it may seem as if Barock Project is offering nothing new to the Prog-Rock genre, yet with their spirited approach they are indeed adding their own spicy and robust take on a tried-and-true formula, although sounding as if there is no formula at all, therefore, sounding relatively fresh. And they just keep getting better and better with each new release, with the most recent (Skyline) being a near masterpiece. NICE!!!