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Secret Alliance - Solar Warden

Secret Alliance
Solar Warden
by Emily Schneider at 18 February 2020, 3:16 PM

Italy has always been a prime center for music, from the days of classical all the up to the modern day. SECRET ALLIANCE confirms my opinion with their outer cosmic Progressive Hard Rock album “Solar Warden”. SECRET ALLIANCE was founded by guitarist Gianluca Galli (SILVER HORSES & MANTRA) initially as his solo project, but found he was wanting to create music with some extra complexity involved. He recruited the incredible Ricardo Confessori (ex-ANGRA) and fantastic hard rock bassist Tony Franklin to round out the constant members in every song. There are many guest musicians on this futuristic/sci-fi inspired album including Frank Gambale (CHICK COREA BAND) and Alex Masi. These great musicians create a futuristic world in sound.

When I initially read the premise about this album, I was almost anticipating something really space-age in sound, maybe with some synthesizers blended in. Instead, I was surprised that it sounds more like retro Hard Rock with weird time signatures and key changes. There's a bluesy vibe stirred in too especially in the opening track “We're All In” and in the third track “Walking Man”. “Last Day” is the first track to actually have a prominent progressive feel with some intriguing time signature changes happening throughout. The bass lines and guitars contrast really well in this one. Finally a bit of synth action at the end of the song too! “The Wardens” comes in with a nasty (in a good way) bass line. There's a really great solo in this one and the chorus is so catchy! “Daily Miracle” was the first song to make me think 'so, this has been a great hard rock album… but damn, these songs are way more intricate than I thought'.  The guitars paired with the drums from Ricardo are stellar. “No Faith” is the main track that let the vocals shine brightest. Andrea Ranfagni  really brings it with some angsty/cynical vocals. “Comet Smile” starts out pretty slow, but then chaos ensues in the middle and you can imagine a giant meteor whirling toward the planet. “Dark Side” is the heaviest song on the album. The riffs are gritty and I get a slight Grunge Rock feel from this song. “Abun D'bashmayo” is the closing track and has this strange dreamy vibe about it.

Overall, “Solar Warden” is one hell of a Hard Rock album. I didn't catch the Progressive sub-genre all that much, but it might be something that will take multiple listens (beyond the 3 times I listened) for me to notice more of it. The riffs are great and catchy, the guitars were definitely the main highlight of this album for me. The general feel of this album wasn't as melancholy as described, but I'm pleased that it was more 'steal a space pod and explore the galaxy' through most of it.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. We’re All In
2. The Countdown
3. Walking Man
4. Last Day
5. The Wardens
6. Daily Miracle
7. No Faith
8. Comet Smile
9. A New Tomorrow
10. Superheroes
11. Dark Side
12. Abum D’bashmayo
Lineup:
Gianluca Galli – guitars
Andrea “Ranfa” Ranfagni – vocals
Ricardo Confessori – drums
Tony Franklin – bass
Frank Gambale – guitar
Alex Masi – guitar
Andrea Bartolini – bass
Andrea Castelli – bass
Record Label: Punishment 18 Records
     


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Edited 07 April 2020
 

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