Marco De Angelis is an Italian sound engineer, producer and multi-instrumentalist that has been recording songs ranging between cross-over prog, classic rock with hints of pop music for years. It took me a while before writing about his debut album, The River: Both Sides Of The Story, and the first thing I thought after my first listening of it was that this is a tricky album to listen to: If you’re expecting a classic prog rock album, well, you’ll probably think “crap”. It happened to me. But I played it again and again and, yes, the music is actually quite good. The River: Both Sides Of The Story has numerous prog rock moments but for sure it doesn’t fall in this music genre.
The River: Both Sides Of The Story is a concept album that, as the title itself suggests, deals with the duality of life: good and bad, male and female, night and day, and so on. De Angelis played the main part of the instruments on this album and special guests of the record are the drummer Cristiano Micalizzi and the singer Marcello Catalano. Their contribution is notable and together the three artists created an album that is well performed – I particularly appreciate the electric guitar parts.
My overall opinion about The River: Both Sides Of The Story is that it’s for sure a nice and enjoyable début album but due to the lack of a profound sound it didn’t conquer me. I liked the prog rock moments that are mixed so often with the several pop oriented tracks.
The album kicks off with ‘Tell Me Why’ and you are already into the music world of the Italian artist. The blend of prog and pop is evident and constant throughout the eleven movements of the album. From the first tracks the artist and his band show to have full potential to compose some good progressive rock. And, in my opinion, that’s the direction they should look at. ‘Never Look Back’, ‘What Do you Feel Now?’ and ‘Take It Away’ are the proff of what I’m saying.
Their execution is perfect and they demonstrate the ability the artist has in the prog rock sound. Music loses its complexity and deeper sound in songs like ‘Fly High’ that passes without leaving a mark and if you are looking for a more complex music, this is not the right album for you.
The River: Both Sides Of The Story contains nice melodies, great instrumental passages and lots of twists and turns. The combination of the instruments with the voice voices of Marcello Catalano adds an extra dimension to the music. For sure the album demonstrates the fact that Marco De Angelis has the talent to do something more and even better.
What can we do? let’s keep an eye on him!

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