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Wine Guardian – Timescape Award winner

Wine Guardian
Timescape
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 17 July 2021, 9:30 AM

WINE GUARDIAN were formed in 2008 by Lorenzo Parigi (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Stefano Capitani (Bass, Backing Vocals) and Davide Sgarbi (Drums, Backing Vocals), with the aim of proposing a powerful mixture of classic heavy metal music. During the last three years the band went on along a path more and more experimental, coming across the music by contemporary Prog masters like OPETH and PORCUPINE TREE. On September 2020 the band signs with the Italian label Logic IL Logic, part of Burning Minds Music Group, for the release of their new official studio album titled “Timescape,“ which was released in 2021. The album contains seven tracks.

“Chemical Indulgence” leads off the album. It opens with a choppy, odd-timed rhythm and easy on the ears vocals, sounding like KARNIVOOL a bit to me. Harsh vocals then come in, as the song turns a bit more aggressive. I love the audible bass notes…Stefano dances in the background. It takes an ambient pause close to the half-way mark, with a softer approach. The harsh vocals return again towards the end. “Little Boy” begins with some chaotic sounds. The band toys with the meter like a veteran act. From there, it rolls forward with some charming sounds, waxing and waning between the two styles a few times throughout. The chorus is quite catchy. The guitar solo is fantastic!

“Magus” is a shorter song that opens with some clean guitars and a melancholy feeling, before the main riff hits you square in the jaw, with might and power. Some choppy rhythms develop from there, with an extended instrumental passage of bluesy lead guitar notes. Again, the melodies here and subtle but oh so pretty. It segues into “Digital Dharma,” which begins with more of those somber and soft melodies from clean guitars and vocals. Bleakness reigns in this song, but also hope. The transitions in and out of these two styles is seamless. Approaching the half-way mark, it grows angry, with some semi-harsh vocals. More choppy rhythms come into play towards the end of the song.

“The Luminous Whale” is a nine-minute beast, opening with bass guitar notes and some guitar accents. This song has an infectious energy to go along with dynamic breaks that really hold your interest throughout the track. Another wonderous guitar solo is laid down, and then the song slows and breathes. Then, it builds to a crescendo before retreating again into the shadows, ending on a long fade-out of heavy accents. “The Astounding Journey” is just that…a 12-minute ride to the ends of the universe. More choppy guitars and audible bass mark the beginning of the song, with melodic, catchy vocals. Along the ride, it changes its sound several times. Approaching the half-way mark, it slows to just easy clean guitars and some ambient leanings. From there, a mysterious sound develops, along with some Progressive elements. Towards the end, this charming melody develops within the confines of the corrugated riffs.

“1935” closes the album…the shortest song on the album, at just under five-minutes in length. I am sure there is a story behind the title of the song. It’s an easy-listening song, with clean guitars, and tranquil vocals. The sound is mesmerizing as it continues forward. The melodies are handed out there for the taking, with precision. It has a somewhat abrupt ending, though it’s not unexpected.

If you’re not careful, this album will sneak up on you. It’s chocked full of harmonies and pretty melodies that combine with Progressive leanings, in a way that is so catchy. Lorenzo’s vocals are smooth and charming. The band mixes in aggressive sounds with clean melodies that tantalize your senses. Like RUSH, it’s hard to imagine that this full and rich sound comes from just three musicians. I don’t even think that the band needs any harsh vocals. Though they are sporadic, they really don’t add a lot to the album. That being said, this was an outstanding listening experience that I enjoyed several times before writing the review.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Chemical Indulgence
2. Little Boy
3. Magus
4. Digital Dharma
5. The Luminous Whale
6. The Astounding Journey
7. 1935
Lineup:
Lorenzo Parigi – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Stefano Capitani – Bass, Backing Vocals
Davide Sgarbi – Drums, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Logic II Logic Records/Burning Minds Music Group
     


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