Band: Active Heed
Band Website: www.activeheed.com
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2013
This is the debut release for the musical project known as Active Heed. Entitled Visions from Realities, the music here was written by Umberto Pagnini and to help execute his ideas he’s called upon Lorenzo Poli (bass, guitars, keyboards, effects), PelleK (vocals) and Giovanni Giorgi (drums). Some additional vocals are provided by Marit Børresen and Credo’s Mark Colton. My guess is the music of Active Heed will appeal to fans of lighter melodic prog where the focus is on shorter songs and a strong acoustic guitar focus.
There are a total of 15-tracks on Visions from Realities and as you may have surmised with that many songs none of them is very long. In fact the bulk of them are in the three to four minute range with a bunch of shorter tracks providing a kind of connective tissue. It’s almost like 15 different musical “feels” as Brian Wilson used to call them. Some of the tracks are more developed than others but each plays its part. I must admit my first quick scan of the selections left me wondering about its prog credentials. It wasn’t until I spent time listening to it all the way through a few times that I began to hear the melodic prog influences. Nothing here is overly complicated; this is music that will remind you of bands like Barclay James Harvest or perhaps later day Moody Blues. The time between tracks is reduced resulting in a better flow and given some of the musical change-ups within the compositions it’s not always easy to know when one stops and another starts, all of which makes for a more expansive listening experience that flows from soft acoustic ballads to more majestic symphonic tunes. Some of the tunes like “Forest and Joy” [3:32] are little more than pop ballads, but even at that when taken as part of the larger musical vision they provide a pleasant musical interlude in-between the more up-tempo pieces like “Without Joy” [1:43] and “Every Ten Seconds Before” [5:49].
The music of Active Heed may not set the prog world on fire but as a first time musical effort it has many pleasant melodic moments that might fill the space between the more intense things we listen too. The music on Visions of Realities is actually something good to put on, to de-stress to at the end of the day. Not sure if that’s what they had in mind, but it works for me.