Band: Sophya Baccini
Band Website: www.sophyabaccini.com
Label: Black Widow Records
Label Website: www.blackwidow.it
Release Date: 2013
Sometimes there is a very thin line between what might be heard as a grand stage musical and what makes a symphonic progressive rock record. The compositional boundary is getting ever more indistinct and that may not be a bad thing at all. That was the overall feeling I had listing to the new CD from Sophya Baccini entitled Big Red Dragon. Bacciniís backgroung includes providing her talents on over a half-dozen studio albums for quite a few prog artists as well as providing vocals for the band Presence. Here on her second solo recording along with her vocals and keyboards skills she has surrounded herself with a core band consisting of Chicco Accetta (guitars), Francesca Colaps (drums), Stella Manfredi (violin, viola) and Marilena Striano (piano). Special guests include: Christian Decamps (ANGE) Sonja Kristina (Curved Air) Elisa Montaldo (Il Tempio delle Clessidre) Steve Sylvester (DEATH SS), Lino Vairetti (Osanna) Irwin Vairetti (Osanna), Enrico Iglio (presence), Roberto Tiranti (Mangala Vallis). As on her previous recording itís a pretty talented cast.
The musical structure and style of Big Red Dragon will remind many listeners of recordings such as Clive NolanísCaamora and Jeff Wayneís War of the Worlds although here presented with a distinctly Italian prog sensibility. The operatic and symphonic aspects are very strong throughout. The thirteen compositions ranging in length from as short as three-minutes to as long as nine-minutes all manifest a high level of lush orchestration with a distinct prog rock foundation. The multiple guest voices each playing certain aspects of the storyline offer a very theatrical approach that will be familiar to fans of European and especially Italian Progressive Rock. We slide effortlessly from rich string segments to meaty Hammond organ runs or in other instances we go from soft and dreamy solo vocal arrangements into searing guitar lead lines. Whatever it takes to service the lyrical vision or perhaps better said in this case William Blackís Visions.
Big Red Dragon is a worthy sophomore solo effort and certainly builds on Sophya Bacciniís musical talent. Fans of her earlier work will find listening to her new album an easy transition while others who enjoy a grand symphonic musical approach will also find much to enjoy. Well worth checking out.