Power of Metal.dk Review

Mangala Vallis
Style: Progressive Rock
Release date: 4 September, 2012
Playing time: 39:12

This progressive rock band from Italy has certainly gained my attention. Mangala Vallis is a prog rock band in the vein of neo-prog, and thus showcases lots of melody, synth, and eerie atmospheres. Their new album, “Microsolco”, is a solid album with tons to offer.

First off, the theme of the album is the fast pace at which we live today. It discusses a longing for simpler, more naturalistic times by introducing us to a hacker that has created a virus that will destroy all the world's digital memory on 21/12/2012. It's an interesting concept that I certainly relate to, but I must point out that this album would probably not be possible without the very things the band is decrying. In fact, the band has a Facebook page! I know it's just a concept, but I found it to be somewhat shallow.

The music, however, is anything but shallow. Their music certainly has some influences, such as Pink Floyd and Marillion, but I think the most obvious one is Spock's Beard. In fact, there are times on this album where I thought I was listening to a Spock's Beard album: They are very similar in many respects. With the silky smooth vocals and the outstanding synth solos, “Microsolco” comes to life with impressive clarity. Every instrument is used to great effect and virtuosity, but I think that the synth towers above them all. The synth solo in “Gods of the Xii Century” is pure gold, and I do believe this is the best track on the album, too. Every track on this album, however, is superbly crafted and always interesting and soulful.

Mangala Vallis has offered up a great album that, while not topping lists by any means, will certainly be an album that grows and grows on the listener. It has everything I could ask for in a neo-prog album, and I hope this band sees some publicity this year.

1. Easy Empire
2. Gods of the XXI Century
3. Plastic Paradise
4. Welcome to the New World
5. Microsolco
6. 21-12-12
7. Terranova
Label: MaRaCash Records
Distribution: MaRaCash Records
Artwork rating: 80/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 17 July, 2013
Website: www.mangalavallis.it