Released By: Sensory
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Genre: Progressive Rock/Metal
Diego Marchesi – Vocals
Diego Cafolla – Guitar
Ivan Nastasi – Guitar
Francesco D’Errico – Bass
Cristian Della Polla – Keyboards
Thundra Cafolla – Drums
1. Right Before
2. This Ain’t Another Love Song
3. The Hatch
4. Morning Rain
5. The Drowning Line
6. The Glass Fortress
7. Summer ’97
8. In Crescendo
Italy’s Kingcrow is a band I had heard about before and had been meaning to check out for a while, but it just never happened until now, with their upcoming fifth full length release “In Crescendo”. The band has been around since the late 90’s, but they seemed to gain a lot more attention with 2010’s “Phlegethon”, which was apparently a shift in direction. Obviously I can’t comment on how this album compares to that one, but what I can say is this is one case where everything I had been told about the band beforehand has proven to be very accurate. and “In Crescendo” delivers some very fine progressive rock and metal.
Stylistically I’d say this is most similar to a band like Riverside, where the music can be very mellow for a lengthy period, and then all of a sudden it can explode with crushing riffs and epic choruses, which makes for one wild and fun listening experience for the first couple times. Over time the album slowly starts to make more sense, which is what a great prog album should do. On the whole I’d say this is a bit heavier than most works by the aforementioned band, though, as the more metal sections can get very intense at times and definitely have a modern edge to them, while the softer parts are often very atmospheric. There aren’t many flashy solos, but there’s certainly more than a fair amount of complex rhythms and complicated structures that will make prog fans happy.
The vocals are pretty solid for the most part. There’s a few parts where they use vocal styles that don’t quite work for me, but overall Diego Marchesi does a great job and he does have a very nice voice and is a great fit for the more relaxing sections. He also sounds very strong during most of the heavier sections, particularly on the chorus for “Right Before”, but the ballad “Morning Rain” is where I think he sounds best.
As far as songs go, the album is quite varied and yet everything flows together very nicely, so you can tell it’s as much about the overall experience as it is the individual highlights. On the opener “Right Before” we get to hear some of the more explosive moments, and right from the start there is a very modern feel to it with the loud guitars dominating while the symphonic keys show up in the background to add some flavor. It all leads up to an excellent chorus, where we get a brief glimpse of the more melodic side of the band. For the most part, though, this is the heaviest song on the album and also one of my favorites. Next is “This Ain’t Another Love Song”, which is even more interesting. It starts out with a nice keyboard intro before turning into more of a soft progressive rock song with a lot of acoustic guitar work, and it slowly builds up for a while in a very mellow, atmospheric way, before exploding during the one heavy section in the middle and then it returns to the melodies from before, but with a full band sound. This song shows their interesting approach to their less metal sections, as the music still has some modern touches to it and is rather straight-forward but pulled off in a very clever and unique way.
It only gets more complicated from there, with “The Hatch” being one of the songs I needed the most time to make sense of. The atmospheric feel of the previous song is only strengthened here, except this time the heavier sections are implemented in a much more surprising way, with one particular section early on being a rare moment I don’t enjoy on the album, as the music gets very offbeat and heavy in a messed up sort of way, and the whispered vocals that follow just don’t work for me. Aside from that, the song is one of the most challenging on the album, but also very rewarding, with a particularly strong chorus. I already mentioned “Morning Rain”, which is the softest, most beautiful song on the album, and a welcome change of pace. After that is “The Drowning Line”, which starts out with a very cool instrumental section, but once it gets going I’d actually say it might be the most accessible song here, as it’s a fairly straight-forward progressive metal song with great riffs and some very catchy vocal parts. Things slow down for a little bit with “The Glass Fortress” and “Summer ’97”, as both songs are very slow and mellow for the most part, with just quick heavy bursts. The former builds up to its heavy part quite nicely, while the latter I think might be a mistake, as the lengthy heavy section seems tacked on and doesn’t really fit in with the song, nor is it as interesting most of the other heavy sections on the album. But perhaps others will like that part more than I do.
Unsurprisingly, the band saved the longest song for last in the title track, and it is also quite possibly the best. At just over 11 minutes, it feels like both a summary of what has come before, and the big moment the band had been building towards throughout the rest of the album. On the whole, it maintains the atmospheric and mellow tone found on most of the album, as it starts out calmly and slowly builds to an epic and explosive second half which is definitely the highlight of the whole album, with the contrasting styles coming together very nicely.
Aside from a couple parts I could have lived without, “In Crescendo” is a very fine mixture of modern progressive metal and mellow progressive rock, which is sure to please fans of both genres, and which delivers several highlights while also being a very strong and cohesive album on the whole.
Written by Travis