Stramonio - Seasons of Imagination

Year of Release: 1997
Label: Northwind Records
Catalog Number: NW003
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:22:00

[Stramonio o]riginally formed back in 1992 under the name Trilogy Suite, then playing straight melodic metal. After a few years, a couple of demos, change of name and some replacements, the band has evolved into the more popular prog metal category, which has became an Italian trademark the last few years. Stramonio is the latest offering from Italy and with this album they will hopefully get their name out there, as this is one of the best prog metal CDs I have heard this year.

Stramonio is a six-piece and has [their] basis in a strong rhythm section. The style is something in the middle or straight prog metal and prog metal light. Their sound is progressive throughout the disc and can in some parts be pretty complex. There are loads of proggy parts and passages to interest the prog fans. The closest comparison that comes to mind is that this sounds like Dream Theater meets Ice Age.

I think Stramonio has found a perfect sound and mix of progressiveness, beauty, emotion and heaviness. The use of prominent keys, acoustic guitar, twin guitars and violin is simply irresistible. On top of that they have a pretty good mid-to-high ranged vocalist, which is a rarity when it comes to Italian prog metal. I am very impressed by the presence of melody on this disc as well as the obvious talent of diverse and beautiful songwriting and song-structures. All songs feature great accessible melody lines, hooks and choruses. And the constant underlying undertone of the music is very inviting. I'm sure that most fans of melodic prog metal will enjoy this disc. The production is good, balancing all instruments well, and definitely much better than what I expected, knowing this disc is coming from a rather small label.

I can't find any weak links on this disc, as I think the musicianship, songwriting and songs maintain a rather high standard throughout. A warm welcome and regard to Stramonio and Northwind for bringing such quality music to the public.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Awake The Jester / Ashes In The Wind / I Swim In The Air / Get Lost In Time / Without You / The Song Of The Harvest Fly / Vital Elation

Federico DeVescovi - vocals
Nicola Balliana - guitars
Luca DeLazzaro - keyboards
Cristiano Zarvettor - bass
Roberto DeCesero - drums
Luca Arrighini - guitars

Special guests
Daniele Ragonese - violin
Marco Crestani ? flute

Seasons Of Imagination (1997)
Mother Invention (2002)
Time Will Tell (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: February 20th 2005
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden

Artist website:
Hits: 938
Language: english


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