Band: Psycho Praxis
Band Website: www.psychopraxis.it
Label: Black Widow Records
Label Website: www.blackwidow.it
Release Date: 2012
Iíve said this before but Iíll say it again, when it comes to the progressive rock genre, there is no question that next to the UK the Italians seem to have it really figured out. Not that every nationality doesnít have its own strengths, itís just that when it comes to Italian bands, there something about the way they blend rock and classical influences. One need look no further than the music of Psycho Praxis on their first release entitled Echoes from the Deep. The band members are: Paolo Vacchelli (electric & 12 strings guitar), Matteo Marini (bass, acoustic guitar), Paolo Tognazzi (organ, piano, glockenspiel), Andrea Calzoni (vocals and flute) and Matteo Tognazzi (drums). Imagine the heavy organ sounds of early Van der Graff mixed with flutes and stinging guitar lead lines and well, you get the picture.
Echoes from the Deep is made up of six tracks mostly on the long-ish side, six minutes or better. No fancy synthesizers here, the emphasis is on the basics, guitar, bass, drums and organ so some might hear a dated sound, yet in many respects it kind of transcends eras. The music is generally quite busy, lots of drum fills thrown in all over the place, climbing organ runs, flute, guitars itís all here. The band feature vocals but with so many long instrumental sections you sometimes forget about it, and like much Italian prog these compositions are packed with multiple melodies going from one theme to the next, building in intensity and then subsiding. There are hints of Focus, Osanna, Ange and many others. The general musical style alternates between an early heavy UK prog and the more mid-seventies European approach to the genre.
Itís clear Psycho Praxis have a nostalgic take on prog and yet it would be a bit of an over-statement to suggest theyíre in any way a retro band. They just like the sounds from that era and are making their music incorporating those sounds and feels. They do it quite well and if you are sufficiently intrigued with how that sounds, you would do well to investigate the band further. I think youíll totally enjoy the music they make.