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Phoenix Again - 'Look Out' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/69/2e/51/phoenix-again-look-out-3-1424810764.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 24, 2015    
 
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'Look Out' is surprisingly pleasing and enjoyable stuff from a generation-spanning bunch with an interesting past.

Here's an interesting album from a band with two distinct incarnations and a curious history; in both cases, it's very much a family affair. The original Phoenix dates back to 1981, a real life "band of brothers" from Brescia, Italy, that featured the Lorandi boys Claudio, Sergio and Antonio along with drummer Silvano Silva. The original band dissolved in 1998, after several line-up changes, leaving little behind by way of recorded output.

After the death of the eldest Lorandi brother (Claudio), the original members decided to resurrect the band and so we now have Phoenix Again. They released the commemorative album 'ThreeFour' in 2010, and now we have 'Look Out' – a predominantly instrumental album of 1970s and 1980s influenced Progressive Rock, with the emphasis very much on "Rock"! The current line-up, which still features Sergio (guitars), Antonio (bass) and Silvano, is augmented by Marco and Georgio Lorandi (sons of Antonio, guitars and percussion respectively) and the keyboards and cello of Andrea Piccinelli.

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The first thing that strikes the listener is the sheer quality of the musicianship and composition. The second is the quality of the production. All are quite remarkable from a little known band with a relatively "light" discography. Check out, for example, the near Gregorian intro to opener 'Adso Da Melk' and the fused Blues/Jazz/Prog extravaganza it becomes. Or check out the clean guitar lines of 'Summer' and the relentless attack of 'Winter'. There are even hints of an early Black Sabbath influence in the drama of 'Oigres'. Title track 'Look Out' is a joyful (if slightly overlong) Prog Blues romp while 'The Endless Battle' gives the album a real mid-point energy boost. A personal favourite is album closer 'Dance Of The Three Clowns', on which the band displays a deft touch and venture successfully into the world of Orchestral Rock.

If I have a doubt, it's merely that the album is pitching to a niche market, and is unlikely to have significant crossover. The general absence of vocals doesn't help in that respect, though I'm not sure that their presence on the well-intentioned 'Invisible Shame' is entirely successful.

'Look Out' is surprisingly pleasing and enjoyable stuff from a generation-spanning bunch with an interesting past. At the risk of being tautological, if it sounds like your kind of thing, then you'll probably dig it.

Michael Anthony

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