Artist/ Band: Mangala Vallis
Title: Lycnathrope
Label: MA. RA. Cash Records
Year of Release: 2005
Artist/ Band Link (click for details/ ordering)

The Review:

A few years back I had the pleasure to review Mangala Vallis’ debut The Book of Dreams. The band didn’t win any originality awards but it did bring the classic 70's Genesis style into the modern age. Now they’re back with a brand new album Lycanthrope and this time around, the band have recruited Bernardo Lanzetti (PFM & Acqua Fragile) as a full time member to sings all the tracks. The special guest this time around is none other than David Jackson from Van Der Graaf Generator, who contributes his unique sax to two songs. Having these two “legends” on the album alone bridges the gap between then and now.

Mangala Vallis’ sound is a perfect blend of such bands as Genesis, Yes, Gentle Giant, Spock's Beard, and Marillion as well as some Italian giants PFM, Banco and Le Orme. What sets them apart from most of the newer prog bands is their use of vintage keyboards rather than relying on digital technology. One vintage instrument used in great amounts is the mellotron, especially on the 4 part "Werewolf Suite". Hammond, piano, and Moog synths are also featured on this release. This gives the album that full 70's feel but with a new millennium twist in the crisp production.

One must be forewarned about Lanzetti's vocals as they do take some time getting used to. Just think of a more accented Peter Gabriel..Since there’s many amazing instrumental passages it’s such a small factor to worry about. I think Mangala Vallis’ place in prog history is firmly secured but I would like to see them stretch out and tackle new ideas rather than revisiting the shadows of the past. I’m sure once they find their own identity, which I feel they’re capable of, they will be a band that will be talked about in the prog circles for years to come. I would recommend this album especially to the fans of Italian prog as well as the first Mangala Vallis album.

Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on April 4th, 2006


1. Echo Absolute (1:45)
Werewolf Suite:
2. Cosmotraffic Jam (9:49)
3. Call me Alias (7:14)
4. Lycanthroparty (5:24)
5. Hum/Animal Song (2:51)
6. The Boy that Howls at the Moon (13:36)
7. The Mask (11:43)
8. The Transparent and the Obscure (9:57)

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