Marco De Angelis is an Italian songwriter, musician, audio engineer and record producer. He was ten years old when he got his hands on a musical instrument for the first time. A lot has happened since then and nowadays he has obtained a wide experience with musical instruments: from acoustic and ethnic instruments to the latest generation of electronic equipment. Moreover, he’s one of the few Italian Chapman Stick players and he plays the guitar, bass and keyboards in a wide range of musical styles. However, his main roots hail from the late sixties and seventies British progressive rock. In the past he already created several soundtracks for both others and his own.
Marco De Angelis is an arranger and artistic producer for a multitude of indie albums recorded in Italy, Great Britain and Latin America. He spent the last fifteen years as a freelance sound engineer and producer for some of the most important production companies in Italy. He also has his own professional recording studio in Rome for more than two decades and between 1995 and 2005 he had his own music label. All those experiences in the music business finally made him decide to record an album inspired by his many musical influences and most of all for his hunger to create a concept album as was common in progressive rock for many years.
The River (Both Sides Of The Story) saw the light of day in 2013. This concept album deals with dualism: good and bad, male and female, life and death, night and day, and so on. Obviously De Angelis played and recorded the main part of the instruments on this album by himself. I guess it was a wise decision to ask guest musicians like Cristiano Micalizzi and Marcello Catalano to contribute on drums and lead vocals respectively. Together with several backing singers they created a magnificent album that mostly shows how much he was influenced by the music of Pink Floyd. Especially the great electric guitar parts are strongly related to those of Dave Gilmour. Particularly albums like A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994) seem to be a great inspiration for De Angelis and in a way that also applies to the solo albums recorded by Peter Gabriel. The same kind of world music can be heard on The River (Both Sides Of The Story).
Although this album is a solo effort by De Angelis − his guitar parts are leading most of the time − I think singer Marcello Catalano deserves a lot of credits as well for his captivating singing on the entire album. The River (Both Sides Of The Story) is an album that contains only strong compositions and never gets boring. During the time I listened to it in order to write this review, I enjoyed it every time I gave it a spin in my CD player. And every time I heard new things that I haven’t heard before.
I truly hope that people who listen to this album will have the same musical experience as I had. I thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic concept album which is strongly related to the music made by Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel! So thumbs up for Marco De Angelis and the contributors who succeeded in creating an amazing progressive rock album!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)