Inner Prospekt – Canvas Two (2021)

Inner Prospekt - Canvas Two (2021)
Artist: Inner Prospekt
Album: Canvas Two
Genre: Crossover Prog
Label: Somnus Media
Year Of Release: 2021
Quality: FLAC (tracks)

Tracklist:
1. Glimpse (3:06)
2. Soul of Hundred Lives (17:46)
3. King of Spades (6:49)
4. Why Me? (8:07)
5. Abby’s Escape (6:14)
6. White Skies (10:48)
7. The Knight and the Ghost (9:26)
8. The Queen of Clubs (bonus track) (3:11)

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Personnel:
– Alessandro Di Benedetti / keyboards, vocals, drums
– Rafael Pacha / 12-string guitar, electric guitar
– Federico Tetti and Carmine Capasso / electric guitars
– Giovanni Maucieri / drums (5)
– Giuseppe Militello / saxophone

Inner Prospekt is certainly a performer that deserves more exposure, critical acclaim, and outright deafening applause, for contributing so grandly to our beloved musical style. I cherished his work with Mad Crayon back in 1994 with Ultimo Miraggio and have never relented since, especially when he kicked off his solo career with the 2014 “Dreaming Tony Banks”, a tribute to the legendary Genesis keyboardist and composer. This is eleventh release and remains full on board with creating personal, intricate, and consummate music, much to the enjoyment of the rather demanding prog universe. Alessandro di Benedetti is the name one must keep in mind as his personal muse is Inner Prospekt and as such, he holds no restrictions to what he decides to write and play, unswerving to any master or corporation. He often acts alone but here decides to bring in some serious clout to add more definition to his compositions. Rafal Pacha is on guitar, he of the Guildmaster project, a stunning medieval prog work that features Alessandro as well. Mad Crayon members guitarist Federico Tetti and drummer Giovanni Maucieri as well as adding some sexy sax from Giuseppe Militello. the Trip axeman Carmine Capasso is similarly on board.

Lots of sublime tracks are here to enjoy, with a few vocal tracks sung by Alessandro, who is a decent enough singer. The three longer tracks are exceptional in quality it must be said, setting a distinctive mood that simply engulfs the listener into a mellifluous world of melancholic beauty, something the Italians often own in spades. “Soul of Hundred Lives” is quite the voyage, starting off with a popping bass with tip-tap drumming, cello sounds mournfully plaintive, but when the synth announces the tremendous main theme, look out! The bending notes are ever so evocative, a modern-day Manfred Mann on the ivories. The addition of e-piano adds a welcome jazzy touch, that only enhances the material. Throw in a molten guitar solo that spits, slices, and soars, and you have the making of an epic nearly 18-minute colossus, lush with twists, turns and variations, going as far as involving some slow and gentle sections, as the smoking romanticism kicks in. Strings, sax, brash guitar and some slithering bass complete the funky outro show.

The suggestive “White Skies” is another whopper, clocking in at almost 11 minutes, ignited by a mournful piano etude, something Alessandro favors in getting the ball rolling. His fragile and earnest voice relies more on emotion than operatic technique, making his craft so personal, a dedicated musician playing for his audience. Waves of mellotron rumble ahead, the voice cresting over its towering ripples, streaking synths gales collapsing inwards, the massive bass underpinning the depth, and the drums acting as whitecaps. A stormy guitar thunders by, regular and relentless as its flashes illuminate the sonic scene. The electric piano section provides once again a jazzier tempo, a most welcome addition to his rather unique style. But its really on the synths that he shines. The cello cries out in sorrow, awaiting the crowning axe solo, a simple melody played with passion.

I mean, you and I, we get it. This is fantastic music by an accomplished musician. We all need the Inner Prospekt in our lives and in our collection. May Alessandro live long and prosper?.

4.5 inside options
Review by tszirmay

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