Album: Fate Of A Thousand Worlds
Review: Jason Spencer
Thoughts: Gran Torino are an instrumental band hailing from Italy. They have a really interesting, almost psychedelic style, but they are definitely Rush-influenced in their guitar style and tone. Sometimes I have trouble connecting with instrumental albums, but I feel that I did pretty well with this one.
A hard-edged guitar tone combined with an atmospheric, key-driven ambiance is a tough thing to achieve at times, but these guys really seem comfortable in this type of composition. They utilize quite a bit of piano, but it is often a wackier style. In fact, I would venture to say that the piano leads the music while the guitars provide a background texture. The keys are certainly fast-paced, while the guitar is usually slow and soulful when it is in the spotlight.
I think the overall goal of this band on Fate Of A Thousand Worlds (2013) is to transport the listener to another place. I feel that they have achieved that goal, as the sound is ethereal and filled with organs and synth. The tone is also very serious and somber, which has an especially strange effect considered the wackiness of some of the piano. But, it works somehow.
I think the essential tracks on this album are 'Empty Soul' (the best), 'The Battle Of Velasquez', and the epic tracks 'End Of A Planet' and 'Fate Of A Thousand Worlds'. The album becomes progressively more ethereal and otherworldly, and it closes with a psychedelic, dreamy, synthy journey. Indeed, this album seems to be very good at story-telling in its own way, and I'm very glad I chose to experience it. I can't say it is a modern masterpiece, but I will say that it is exceptionally good and definitely worth any prog fan's time.
The band was included in our Podcast #26 and you can listen the track 'Absolute Time' HERE.