One of the key qualities shared by many fine prog bands is a steadfast refusal to compromise. Italy has a rich heritage of progressive bands – think Premiata Forneria Marconi for a rightly lauded example, and many Italian bands have, to their credit, insisted on releasing material sung in their own mother tongue.
That may limit their appeal in a predominantly English-speaking market, but on Le Porte Non Aperte’s album it’s the quality of the vocals rather than the language which may prove an insuperable barrier for many.
Preludio Al Sogno, a piano-led instrumental with manic laughter in the background, opens the album and shows some promise. But things head rapidly off the rails with Il Re Del Niente, a frenetic and largely tuneless romp lent the odd Jethro Tull flavour by Marco Brenzini’s flute.
But the principal issue here is Sandro Parrinello’s mostly shouted vocals, which cast a real blight on the material and render some of it borderline unlistenable. Which is a considerable pity as there are some entertaining musical ideas here on this debut album and fine playing, including from Parrinello himself.
Sadly, until they review his vocal approach though, doors will surely remain closed to them.