Artist: La Maschera Di Cera
Album: Le Porte Del Domani
Review: Diego Camargo
I can’t review Le Porte Del Domani (2013) without going into the original story.
Exactly forty years ago one of the biggest Italian bands, Le Orme, released their masterpiece called Felona E Sorona (1973). That album is still named as one of the finest Prog Rock albums, not only from Italy, but worldwide.
Felona E Sorona (1973) is a conceptual album with a story of two planets which revolve one around the other, without ever coming in contact. One planet’s called Felona and it is shiny and flourishing, the other planet is called Sorona and it is dark and home to all kinds of bad things. Then on the second part of the album/concept the fate of the two planets is inverted.
The original concept was left unresolved at the end of the album so, forty years later Fabio Zuffanti (bass & writer), Alessandro Corvaglia (vocals and 12 string acoustic guitars), Maurizio Di Tollo (drums and percussions), Agostino Macor (keyboards) and Andrea Monetti (flutes) decided to continue that story.
I did play both albums back to back and I have to say that this is quite an experience. Not that Le Porte Del Domani (2013) is an exact continuation in terms of sound, cause it is not. After forty years, of course, things change, especially in the ‘kitchen’.
To me the drums sound in Le Porte Del Domani (2013) is a bit poor and the bass sound is absolutely out of place, especially after listening to Aldo Tagliapietra’s bass in the original Felona E Sorona (1973).
For the listener’s luck Fabio Zuffanti is a great composer and he keeps the same line of the original album with memorable melodies.
Two names must be mentioned here, Agostino Macor and Andrea Monetti. Agostino plays some awesome synths and keyboards while Andrea makes La Maschera Di Cera have a unique sound with his flutes.
Le Porte Del Domani (2013) couldn’t start better. ‘Ritorno Dal Nulla’ makes you remember Felona E Sorona (1973) immediately. ‘La Guerra Dei Mille Anni’ brings the acoustic sound of both bands and then we have a new album and a new band, not just a Le Orme’s copy. Smart move!
‘Ritrato Di Lui’ is more like a big intro for ‘L’Enorme Abisso’, and then things turn out to be better and better.
‘L’Enorme Abisso’ has the kind of synths that make every Prog lover jump and even shake their head. Again, the drums are the flaw in terms of sound. Cause Maurizion Di Tollo can drum, that’s for sure. But the recording doesn’t help. A pity cause this is a fabulous track!
’Ritratto Di Lei’ opens the second part of Le Porte Del Domani (2013) as a mini intro and is followed by ‘Viaggio Metafisico’ and it’s not quite what I expected. Drums once again on a lower level of sound. ‘Alba Nel Tempio’ follows the same path but ‘Luce Sui Due Mondi’ returns to the Folk sound with a high symphonic edge.
‘Alle Porte Del Domani’ closes the album with a hard rock feeling. But a weird one, full of flutes. A completely Space Rock journey as the story asks for.
I didn’t really listen carefully to The Gates Of Tomorrow (2013) (the English version), cause I think Italian is a beautiful language to listen to so I cannot say a thing about that album. What I can say is that Le Porte Del Domani (2013) is a bold attempt of a hard working guy (Fabio Zuffanti), the bar was settled very high and La Maschera Di Cera almost did it!
It’s just a pity that the album drums sound is not that good, that would make Le Porte Del Domani (2013) go really high in my chart.
The band was included in our Podcasts #6 & 8 and you can listen the tracks 'L'Enorme Abisso' HERE and 'A Word For Two Words' HERE.