Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Review: Camelias Garden - You Have A Chance (2013)

Artist: Camelias Garden
Album: You Have A Chance
Year: 2013
Label: Fading Records

 Diego Camargo


Thoughts: If you ever wonder what happened to Prog Folk, Camelias Garden, this new Italian band, is your answer!

Camelias Garden and their debut album, You Have A Chance (2013), is an amazing blending of Prog Folk, wonderful and well-crafted pop melodies and the old and good Symphonic Italian Progressive Rock. You can also find a tiny bit of Post Rock in a couple of tracks.
Camelias Garden were able to pick up all their influences, like Premiata Forneria Marconi in their first album, Storia Di Un Minuto (1972), and made it up-to-date, refreshing and meaningful.

Formed in Rome in 2011 by Valerio Smordoni (vocals, keyboards and guitars) as a one man project, Camelias Garden slowly evolved into a full band with the addition of Manolo D’Antonio (acoustic and electric guitars and vocals), Marco Avallone (baixo) and Walter Palombi (drums and percussion).
In You Have A Chance (2013) they also had the helping hand of Francesco Favilli (drums and percussion), Carlo Enrico Macalli (flute), Andrea Bergamelli (cello), Eliseo Smordoni (bassoon) and Giovanni Vigliar (violin).

As soon as the first track ‘Some Stories’ kicked in I was in love, right away. Camelias Garden sound is melancholic, beautiful, soft, and full of emotion. The second track ‘Dance Of The Sun/The Remark/Dance Of The Sun (Birth Of The Light)’ is completely 70’s Italian Prog without being a copy.

In fact, it is quite incredible how the band managed to fill their songs with acoustic guitars driven music, full of good pop melodies, and at the same time fill everything with superb synthesizers and keyboards and occasional distorted guitars. That’s what they did magnificently in ‘The Withered Throne’ and ‘We All Stand In Our Broken Jars’.

‘A Safe Heaven’ is a beautiful piano piece while ‘Knight’s Vow’ is pure good Pop. ‘Clumsy Grace’ reminded me of some Jeff Buckley moments, which is wonderful.
Prog Folk including flutes and mellotron on ‘Mellow Days’, which is the longest track on the album with nine minutes and a half. An amazing Track.
To close the album there is ‘Till The Morning Came’ with a wonderful choir intro and ‘Some Stories (Reprise)’, closing the cycle perfectly.

You Have A Chance (2013) is something astonishing that came completely without a warning. An amazing piece of superb music that should be listened to with your mind clear and your ears wide open.
Can’t forget to mention the beautiful artwork by Hanna Mosley and Chiara Mastrantonio.
Resuming, Camelias Garden recorded a flawless debut album!

The band was included in our Podcasts #13 and you can listen the tracks 'Dance Of The Sun+The Remark+Dance Of The Sun (Birth Of The Light)' HERE.


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