[Review] Black Kalmar Skull – The Magic Of Life

Black Kalmar Skull is the project of the Italian composer and poly-instrumentalist Matteo Zanforlin, with whom he proposes Progressive Rock with different facets including Post-Rock and Stoner. The seventh and new album “The Magic Of Life” was released on July 10, 2022 and contains 8 tracks ranging from 4 to over 13 minutes in length. The opener “The Libertarian Song” characterized by an intertwining of distorted guitars and keyboard orchestrations, a rhythmic session with continuous tempo changes, in Prog style. The guitar takes center stage, with Pink Floyd-style solo inserts, which leave space in the central part for dreamy keyboard melodies that accompany us all the way to the end. Guitar arpeggios open “Angel In The Sun” on which a warm and expressive vocal is inserted, creating an atmosphere that combines tradition with more Neo Prog traits. In the central instrumental section the guitar offers an intense solo, to then return to the vocal and close with the last verses this track with softer and more dreamy features. The orchestrations characterize the first part of “Believe me,” a track that follows the softer and more synphonic sounds of Prog, with a good mix between guitar and keyboard. The sound of these songs is contaminated by Pop and with a softer matrix, very intense and with passionate vocals. “Love Yourself” is characterized by an orchestral background and a darker atmosphere than the previous ones, on which a voacal is inserted that alternates stanzas with more melodic choruses. With a blend of modern and retro prog traits, it presents a good guitar solo in the middle, then returns to the vocals and closes with another good solo insert. Continuing to explore the softer and more melodic sounds of Prog “Everytime” is developed on guitar arpeggios that are intertwined with dreamy orchestrations. The vocal is warm and expressive and the song flows linear, a pleasant track that unsice traits Pop and Prog. “Chili And Chocolate” begins with heavy guitar and keyboard riffs, the rhythm session is more energetic, showing a heavier facet of the artist’s sound. Entirely instrumental the track develops with a prolonged solo of edgy electric guitar. Guitar arpeggios and orchestrations open “It’s A Game” on which the vocal and a soft rhythmic session are inserted. With intense sung verses and a mixture of Pop, Prog and melodic traits this pleasant song develops. The album ends with the longest track “The Magic Of Life” a long instrumental suite with intertwining guitar and keyboards inside. Long guitar solo plots, pompous tatiera melodies and continuous tempo changes, one of the main passages of the disc, which pleasantly closes this listening. An album that combines the Symphonic Prog with forays into Pop, with melodic and warm sung parts, with good intertwining between guitar and keyboards. Sung and softer tracks alternate with other instrumentals with long guitar solo textures. An artist who takes care of all aspects from composition to execution and production of the album, with some good ideas and some intense passages.


01. The Libertarian Song (10:37)
02. Angel In The Sun (04:34)
03. Believe me (07:02)
04. Love Yourself (05:24)
05. Everytime (04:16)
06. Chili And Chocolate (04:57)
07. It’s A Game (04:20)
08. The Magic Of Life (13:31)


All Music composed, recorded, mixed and produced by Matteo Zanforlin

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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