CD Title: Hypersomniac
Label: RareNoiseRecords (2017)
Rating: Captivating and Pulse-Pounding
This is quite the album. Heavy early King Crimson styled prog all centered around the vocals of Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari or as the initials show LEF. The overriding feeling is pulse-pounding with dense layers of rock orchestration. Every so often the Mellotron floats in and out of these tunes and the compositions themselves often build into cacophonous grand finales. Conceptually, these twelve compositions, a few of them nothing more than short atmospheric connective tissue represent a dystopian future where mind-control is a real thing. I mentioned the vocals of LEF and this is really a focal-point of the album as his talent lies in shaping his vocals to sound like multiple characters with the vocal tone and range approaching that of David Bowie or even Frank Zappa and many others in between. Musically this isn’t as Avant Prog as you might think. Songs are mostly in the five to seven minute range and build off of solid rock foundations and then inserting plenty of odd rhythmic signatures. The sonic experimentation whether it be saxophone or trumpet blow-outs or spacey electronics all happens in amongst the rock riffing. Cool melodies are crafted and built-upon creating a sonic intensity that is thick with musicality only to subside leaving room for one of the shorter pieces to bridge the musical themes and feels. LEF seems just as comfortable singing soft and melodically as he is belting out the anthems. It all makes for a fascinating musical trip. We are driven along the story-line wondering where we’re off to next. The music like early King Crimson is powerful and thick with notes; think “21st Century Schizoid Man.”. It’s very cool and I was quite captivated by the myriad of sonic textures. Perhaps not for everyone but if you like a little experimentation in your heavy prog LEF is a good bet for you.