4.5 out of 5 Stars!
Who the heck are these guys from Italy, and where the heck have they been all these years???
Not sure, but the album is damned terrific! There are a ton of Prog-Rock influences here, so it’s hard to list all of them. Let’s just say that the singer has a similar style/sound as Michael Sadler from Saga but with a wider range, and the musicians are all quite adept at their respective instruments in this quirky marriage of Prog-Rock with a touch of Jazz Fusion, Funk, Pop, even a sprinkling of Metal tossed in for good measure, all perfectly meshed into a electrifying, rock-solid, and stirring blend of top-notch “uniqueness.” I hear some Gentle Giant, some Spock’s Beard, some Yes, some Pain Of Salvation, some Marillion, a bunch of the “old” Saga…well, you name it, and it’s probably there. Heck, there’s even a hint of Santana on the track “Berlin.”
As I said, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where Proteo gets its greatest influences, but the band have somehow managed to give the overall “package” a distinct sound. All but one of the six songs is lengthy (more than nine minutes), thus allowing the musicians a chance to expand their ideas into some fun and memorable Prog-Rock tracks. And the short tune, oddly named “Funny Girls Playing Double Dutch,” is a quirky piece of music that is altogether catchy in a vein similar to other odd songs like those that have popped up on albums by Genesis, The Flower Kings, or even Queen. Generally, the whole album is not “heavy” or depressing at all, but rather light as far as atmosphere and mood. I could listen to this for days, and certainly have.
Now, with all that said, I’m sure I’m not even close to accurately describing the music, and I’m sure most anyone who reads this review and decides to give this album a chance based on something I said will likely curse me for my inadequate comparisons. But sometimes a band comes along that defies comparisons, that plays music that touches each listener in specific ways, or brings to mind specific similarities to other bands. And Proteo is one such band. I’m sure each listener will find that the music offered here reminds them of something completely unique, or something rivaling other bands out there, so have fun deciding for yourselves.
I, for one, CANNOT WAIT for Proteo to release more material. After hearing this album, I also tracked down Proteo’s debut release, 2009’s Under a Red Polar Light, which also contains some enjoyable material. Few other groups in the recent past have sparked my interest with their “uniqueness” other than Haken, Barock Project, and A.C.T, to name a handful. Therefore, Proteo is one band that falls into this exclusive category…a group to watch to see what exactly it will create next. Fantastic!