[Review] Michele Conta – Endless Nights

Michele Conta is an Italian keyboardist from the Asti area in Piedmont. Lovers of Progressive Rock will especially appreciate it for being a member of La Locanda Delle Fate. With the band he recorded “Forse le lucciole non si amano più,” a masterpiece of Italian Prog, appreciated all over the world. Following the album, he has experience as a session musician in some recording studios, leaving his musical career to finish the studies. Passion never faded, in fact, the album we are talking about “Endless Nights” contains 40 years of work. Accurate and thoughtful is the choice of both the collaborators and the recording studios, where Galvin Harris stands out at the drum, recording at the legendary Abbey Road. An album composed of six medium-long tracks, imbued with the personality of an artist who has contributed to make the Progressive genre great. Available on CD and Digital, was released on October 25, 2019 via AMS Records. The opener “È nell’aria” starts with a sweet piano melody, which with a sudden change and the input of the instruments turns into a Prog theme with solid guitar and an aggressive rhythm. Time changes are constant and keyboards, and guitar dictate to perfection, in the middle another change takes us to a more symphonic ground. Dreamy melodies, solid rhythmic session and Michele Conta‘s keyboards take us back to the 70s. An acceleration in the final with an excellent guitar solo closes the song in a crescendo, an impact opening. The second track “With you on the walk of my life” starts with a softer and calmer atmosphere than the previous one. Enter the singing in English, passionate and warm, in the central instrumental section, an excellent duet between the keyboards and the guitar increases the intensity. Between more aggressive accelerations and soft and symphonic openings, the vocals return for the final verses. An excellent track inspired and full of emotion, which shows the flexibility of the artists involved. In “Notte infinita” the whole is more orchestral with piano and choirs, which soon leave room for instruments that create a theme driven by the synth. A faster rhythm, symphonic, choral and with a melancholy melody, this track leaves room for Michele’s expressiveness and his keyboards. The guitar fits perfectly into the final in a synth-woven solo, a beautiful phrase that closes the song. “Growin’ up” is another song sung, more rocked, with Prog cues. Sung moments alternate, always with a beautiful passionate voice and with high-level symphonic instrumental traits, piano melodies are exceptional. Another excellent test, which ends with another good guitar solo. Chimes of bells, acoustic guitar and vocal in Italian, characterize the beginning of “In riva al mondo.” A sweet dreamy melody and the text that is a tribute to the beauty of life and the memory of a loved one who no longer exists, all within a dedication of love. Of rare beauty, an exciting listening for text and melodies, all composed and executed with extreme sweetness. “In riva al mondo che bella è la vita…” The album closes with “Fiori Nascosti” which opens with a sweet, soft orchestral intro, which seems to take up the previous song in a lighter way. A quick change with the entry of the electric guitar with a massive riff turns everything into a faster and more aggressive piece of Prog. Synth takes the scene, guitar and piano create excellent layers. Between intertwined melodies and solos, the piece closes with a short vocal line. 40 years, but absolutely worth it, an album cured in every respect, both musical and vocal. Pure Symphonic Prog, rare these days to listen to a work like this, seems to come out in the golden years. The mix between classic and modern style succeeds perfectly, as does the mixture of soft openings and more powerful mounts. For all Prog lovers it is certainly a pleasant listening, with high leveled musical passages. In a 2019 that has seen interesting and high-level releases, “Endless Nights” cuts its space with merit, a delightful and recommended listening.

Tracklist

01. È nell’aria (06:17)
02. With you on the walk of my life (06:33)
03. Notte infinita (05:23)
04. Growin’ up (06:19)
05. In riva al mondo (06:07)
06. Fiori nascosti (08:16)

Lineup

Michele Conta (Locanda delle Fate) / Keyboards

With
Ermanno Brignolo / Guitar and Vocals
Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson) / Drums
Lele Melotti / Drums
Sergio Pescara / Drums
Gianni Cicogna / Bass
Max Arminchiardi / Guitar
Gianni Branca / Drums
Leonardo Plumbini / Cello
Effe Quartet / Cello, Strings

Michele Conta |Bandcamp|YouTube Channel|

AMS Records |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|YouTube Channel|

Abbey Road Studios |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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