I must be honest and say I wasn’t sure that Manticore Records were still going after more than 50 years, but here they are with the latest release from Turin-based prog band Syndone. The band have been around since 1989, led by Nik Comoglio (Hammond, Moog, Juno dist., Mellotron, keyboards), and this is their eighth studio album. - Riccardo Ruggeri (vocals), Marta Caldara (vibraphone, timpani) and Gigi Rivetti (piano, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, Hammond, clavinet) have all returned from 2018’s ‘Mysoginia’ but there is a new rhythm section in Simone Rubinato (bass, fretless, Taurus bass) and Eddy Franco (drums & percussion). I enjoyed their last album a great deal, and there is also plenty in this one to cause interest.
They are indicated as being RPI on PA, and as I have not heard their earlier albums I cannot comment if that is correct for those but certainly is not right for what they are currently performing which is far more eclectic in so many ways. They bring in elements of Indian styles in keeping with the lyrical ideas where we hear of Georgio Perlasca, a hero against Nazism, but there are also times when we feel as if we are being thrown whole heartedly into the Hammond worlds of Vincent Crane and Jon Lord, with Keith Emerson just getting a look in. The bass is often very smooth and quite at odds with the maelstrom taking place above. There are plenty of guests, including the Budapest Scoring Symphonic Orchestra, and this all allows the band to really spread their musical wings. All lyrics are in English so can easily be understood by the non-Italian, and it crosses not only musical boundaries but time as it spends a great deal in the early Seventies while also dropping into the Eighties.
This is progressive music in its truest sense where the band is attempting push and create new styles instead of sitting inside a recognised genre or sub-genre, and the album is all the better for it as one never knows where it is going to lead. Fully worthy of further consideration.