Lining Redox – The Moral Scenery
Release Date: 10/12/2020
Running Time: 51:00
Review by Simon Black
Italy has been quite unique in the Metal world in recent years. The biggest contributions to the scene have definitely come from the Symphonic and uniquely Operatic work of the extended Rhapsody family of bands (which is what I refer to the four or five key acts who have at one time or another shared one or more principle members), so it’s nice to hear a new band that although clearly influenced by that movement, is not actually part of the extended family of musicians at its centre.
‘Death’s Cold Lifeless Sound’ at nine minutes and thirteen seconds takes a long time to get going, and as the opening track of the album is not as immediately engaging as it should have been. It rambles somewhat, and needs a little more structure but oh my, when Rayan Resuli and Mattia Rodella open up with that guitar instrumental section at the end that wait all seems worthwhile. It’s a brave and epic song, of the sort most acts in the genre would hold back to the end of the record, but Lining Redox are laying their stall and their influences out clearly for all to hear
‘Faithless’ and ‘Thunderquake’ are a lot shorter and to the point and benefit from a more traditional song structure and format, whilst being no less technically proficient, with keyboardist Gianluca Minto given chance to shine in particular in the latter of these two tracks. Whereas the likes of Dream Theater, who are clearly a massive influence on this album (even to the point of some melody lines sounding particularly like they could have come from the fingers of Petrucci and Rudess) tend to show off the musical skills of their instrumentalists fairly evenly within a song, Lining Redox tend to favour one player in each individual track in turn. I’m going to keep coming back to the comparisons between these two acts, not just because of the musical tropes they share but for the same reason that “Images And Words”first caught my attention in 1992 – because this album has the same ‘wow’ factor as that benchmark Progressive Metal record.
The bulk of the album’s running time is actually taken by the epic three-part ‘Transcending’, coming in with the combined running time of a whopping twenty-four minutes and six seconds, it really cannot be ignored. Now, as time goes by the only problem with opting to do prestigious multi track epics that spread in three or more parts is what to do if one of them unexpectedly becomes the hit and becomes forever an orphan in your live set. That would be a nice problem for any band to have of course. However, it also means with all that material to play with that the instrumentalists start to share the workload evenly between them, although avoiding the synchronised soloing that is one of the trademarks of the likes of Dream Theater. Where this massive mid-album epic works so well are the complete changes of tone away from the traditional Metal tropes into the kind of paces and tempos that would not sound amiss on a Pink Floyd album, with some nice instrumental breaks on piano and sax to really mix up the sound. The album’s title more or less brings things to a conclusion and is a much heavier and tightly arranged piece. Musically this is top drawer stuff, and with a few more tracks of this more focussed songwriting consistency, these boys are going to be a force to be reckoned with…
Where I have a slight challenge are the vocal performances, which sometimes lack flow. Matteo Mancini has a good tone and timbre to his range, with a lovely clear and emotive sound, however some of the tracks don’t seem to have been written with his range in mind (most notably that troublesome opener – which is another reason why it’s an odd choice to introduce people to the record). The press release alludes to an unstable line up leading to this debut, so perhaps this is an older piece written around someone else’s voice, but either way experience in both writing and performing this material will likely iron out this wrinkle whatever its root cause is. One final DT comparison: although the Images album was their major label debut, it was not their first record and I get the feeling that whatever these chaps bring to the table next is likely to be the point of coalescence. Nevertheless, this is a damn fine piece of music from a band to watch.
02. Death’s Cold Lifeless Sound
05. Transcending Pt.1: Deceiver
06. Transcending Pt.2: Stillness
07. Transcending Pt.3: Defiler
08. The Moral Scenery
Matteo Mancini – Vocals
Rayan Resuli – Guitars
Mattia Rodella – Guitars
Gianluca Minto – Keyboards and Scream/Growl Vocals
Nicola Prendin – Drums
Nicola Baesso – Bass Guitar
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