[Review] ZIO – Flower Toriana

The UK Progressive band ZIO was born from an idea of ​​the Karnataka drummer Jimmy Pallagrosi with the collaboration of important artists who are well known in the modern Prog scene. Franck CarducciLiz HayesMarc Fascia and Oliver Castan to name a few, are part of this project with sci-fi themes and related to the world of video games. On January 25, 2020 they publish the self-released debut “Flower Toriana” composed by 11 tracks, recorded and mixed at Posh and Rock. The album opens with “Ride along” brief introductory track with a deep bass and layers of keyboards on which a passionate vocal is drawn. With “X-Ray” we get into the album, it starts with a powerful Neo Prog theme guided by synth melodies. The massive rhythmic session with solid guitar riffs, the male and female vocal intertwine with choral inserts. Softer moments alternate with more aggressive openings and in the second part it becomes heavier with an excellent instrumental section almost Prog Metal. “Wings inside” begins with a melody of piano and mellotron, the vocal enters and a majestic Prog song comes to life, despite the duration of just over 3 minutes, it has an excellent development through calmer and more powerful moments. In the second part, instrumental and with the synth again protagonist, the intensity increases, the vocal returns and closes. “Gold & Power” is a short song with layers of voices and a repeated note of bass synth, penetrating and hypnotic. The development is more electronic with more modern sounds, original and full of synth orchestral hints. “Straight up from underneath” begins with a melodic Prog theme, which changes continuously between the various tempo changes. An original song with many positive ideas and unpredictable developments, one of the best moments of the album. The guitar becomes the protagonist of a good solo and the song ends with an outro falling with orchestral arches. “Jupiter” starts with the noises of a phone call, then starts a powerful Prog Metal track with dark tones. Openings with positive melodies alternate with dark atmospheres with the orchestral layers that guide the sound. The rhythmic session is intricate and the rocky guitars, male and female vocals duet perfectly, another high level test. “Erwin’s opera” begins with the acoustic and electric guitar in a melancholic atmosphere, with the entry of the singing the song develops a more expressive and elaborate “song,” scheme. In the second part everything changes, returning to the Heavy territories, with a dark touch and an instrumental section that enhances the bass lines and the guitar. The drum at times dizzying, with double pedal and intricate rhythms and the vocal transforms becoming more decisive, calm returns and the song closes. “Inner city: Shoronna” between rhythms and dark synth inserts a passionate female vocal and with the entry of the instruments of the instruments everything becomes more elaborate. The organ creates an anxious background, and the guitars are solid and sharp, one of the most complex tracks in the structure, the band’s technique is unquestionable. “Ma petite histoire” is a short interlude with piano ,. Guitar and female voice that guides us towards “Interstellar list.” It starts with a spatial synth that opens the way to a song with different facets, Hard Rock, Pop and Prog merge together with an almost Dance touch, the band’s original ideas are winning. Engaging and changeable, a song that will make you move and want to dance and the simplicity with which alternate the changes is impressive. The album ends with the title track “Flower Toriana,” a short outro with expressive vocal layers and accordion, a pleasant ending. The feature that stands out immediately is originality, in an album that mixes different styles, between Prog Metal and Rock with quality and technique. Music is elaborated at times symphonic in others more Heavy, with the two voices that duet and dialogue best with each other. A fresh, smooth and pleasant album, recommended listening that enhances the technique of the artists involved, both bands and guests. This debut lays the foundation for making talk long and positive about this band.

Tracklist

01. Ride Along (2:19)
02. X-Ray (6:23)
03. Wings Inside (3:23)
04. Gold And Power (2:35)
05. Straight Up From Underneath (7:04)
06. Jupiter (7:04)
07. Erwin’s Opera (6:49)
08. Inner City Shorroma (7:51)
09. Ma Petite Histoire (1:29)
10. Interstellar List (5:52)
11. Flower Torania (2:06)

Lineup

Jimmy Pallagrosi (Ksiz, Franck Carducci, Karnataka) / Drums
Marc Fascia / Guitar
Olivier Castan / Keyboards
Lzi Hayes / Bass (2,3,5,8,10)  

With
Hayley Griffiths (Karnataka) / Vocals as Torania
Joe Payne (The Enid) / Vocals as Alan
Heather Findlay (Mostly Autumn, Mantra Vega) / Vocals as Belbi
Franck Carducci / Vocals as Nato
Richard Henshall (Haken) Lead Guitar (7)
Alex Lofoco / Bass (6,7)
Cagri Tozluoglu (Karnataka) / Additional Orchestration (6, 8, 11)
Alphonse Alfano / accordion (11)

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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