After my many visits to Italy, it has begun a lifetime’s love affair. I love Italy and the friendliness of its people, simple as that. The boot shaped country will always have a special place in my heart with its many beautiful landscapes, pleasant climate, oozes with cultural and historical treasures, mouthwatering delicious food, and of course their high productive music industry with its blooming progressive rock & metal scene. It has been the birth place of many highly respected progressive bands like Twin Spirits, Ashent, DGM and now Kingcrow.
My first introduction to Italian Kingcrow happened years ago with the release of 'Phlegethon', and it felt like sweet love to my earholes in those old days. Finally, the Kingcrow factory is brewing like never before and something very rare and tasteful has been in the making.
The story of Kingcrow resembles the fairy tale “The Ugly Duckling” created by the famous Danish poet and author H. C. Andersen. It’s about a homely little ugly bird, suffering from the abuse of its surroundings, before maturing into the most beautiful bird of them all, the beautiful swan. It’s about a personal transformation for the better, which makes me think of Kingcrow. The tale of this band began many years ago in the center of Rome, founded by guitarist Diego Cafolla and his brother Manuel Thundra Cafolla on drums, and it was the birth of the so called “Earth Shaker”. Today the band is mostly known under the name of Kingcrow, a name influenced by the poem “Raven” created by Edgar Allan Poe. Not only has the name of the band received a makeover, but also their sound evolving from classic hard rock juice into beautifully and mesmerizing layers of progressive melodies haunting the musical landscape presented to our ears today.
The crew of this magnificent vessel, sailing the seas of progressive music, has also gone through some minor changes in its line-up of faithful and trustful musicians commanded by the Cafolla brothers, and consist today of the talented and gifted musicians, the magician on synths & keys by the name of Cristian Della Polla, guitar virtuoso Ivan Nastasi and the latest two additions bassist Francesco D’Errico, and the icing of the cake Diego Marchesi, the frontman with the voice of gold. These six musicians are all a priceless and irreplaceable piece of the puzzle to what could become the most important step in their musical career.
Their latest creation entitled ‘In Crescendo’ is a conceptual record about the end of youth and the fifth studio album of the band. It has kicked off where its predecessor ’Phlegethon’ left, moving the group into unexplored waters with a heavy sound of progressive melodic metal waves. As you would expect from a proper progressive rock and metal record it’s hitting the mark of nearly one hour of playing time, and is broken down by eight songs, each telling their own unique story related to the main theme of the album about growing up. The music of each song is as diverse as the individual stories, and therefore able to capture and hold your attention as hostage with easiness. Our musical journey begins with the grand opening ’Right Before’, which is a good appetizer of what the listener can expect of the remaining part of the journey, and it’s followed up by another seven beautiful carved and polished gems. My eyes and ears have especially locked on to the fourth song ‘Morning Rain’ with its forlorn atmosphere and fragility, I’m thinking of mid-period Riverside here, blended with some mellow parts influenced by the legendary prog giants Dream Theater. The two lengthy compositions ‘The Hatch’, and the title song of the album ‘In Crescendo’ also deserves my highest recommendation both delivering complexity, tons of impressive riffs, mesmerizing collages of keyboard melodies, awkward time signatures, tempo changes and dynamics, enough to make any proghead dizzy. Combine this with first class musicianship, and wrap it all into a crystal-clear sound produced by main composer & guitarist Diego Cafolla and his brother Thundra, and we have a band with a well-deserved gold medal hanging around their neck.
With this release the sextet of Kingcrow has convincingly proven that they belong on the top shelf of melodic progressive music, and there should be a law for such “foul” magic used by Kingcrow delivering one of the best progressive metal creations to my door this year and years to come. I can’t thank them enough from the core of my prog heart for this musical journey. If you our fellow reader have a love for Riverside, Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater, then look no further…
Open your arms and give a warm welcome to the beautiful swan called KINGCROW.
01. Right Before
02. This Ain't Another Love Song
03. The Hatch
04. Morning Rain
05. The Drowning Line
06. The Glass Fortress
07. Summer '97
08. In Crescendo