L’Anima - Departures album review

From Out Of Nowhere, prog converts deliver a dextrous debut.

L’Anima - Departures album artwork

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With a mere three gigs to their name – though eight years in development – Breed 77 guitarist Pedro Caparros, and ex-Yardbirds vocalist Andy Mitchell have delved deep into their mutual prog-cherished past and delivered a stunningly accomplished debut.

Fusing innumerable styles, tropes and motifs into a genuinely exciting dynamic, there’s an enviable breadth of ambition and ability on display. Presented as a one-song concept, split into eight parts, on the ‘future of humanity’, micro-narratives sit atop dense energetic excursions suffused with discordant melodies and rampaging flair. Caparros’ guitar work in particular is superlative – equally capable of flamenco flourishes, Holdsworth-esque runs, finger-tapped figures and certainly not shy of dropping a weighty riff or the odd shred when needed. Breakdowns are spacious, the drumming (Iban Sanz) impossibly tight, and, despite an avant-garde, virtuosic and complex vibe, it’s eminently accessible: no mean feat. If you need a shortcut, try Path To Sirius, by turns heavy, jazzy, busy and light, with brief flashes of The Mars Volta, Opeth and the ECM back catalogue. No one claims the music industry is a meritocracy, but the fact this is self-released tells a sorry tale indeed.

Tim Batcup

Tim Batcup is a writer for Classic Rock magazine and Prog magazine. He's also the owner of Cover To Cover, Swansea's only independent bookshop, and a director of Storyopolis, a free children’s literacy project based at the Volcano Theatre, Swansea. He likes music, books and Crass.