This is my first exposure to the Italian band, Presence with it’s latest and seventh release, Evil Rose. They’ve been around since the early part of the 1990’s and have produced several albums between then and now on the Black Widow record label. Their brand of progressive rock includes a heavy (almost metal) and dark atmospheres in the form of gothic elements as well as symphonic.
The line-up consists of Sophya Baccini (vocals), Sergio Casamassima (electric & bass guitars), Enrico Iglio (keyboards) and Valerio Silenzi (drums). I recently reviewed Sophya’s debut Aradia which shows a different side to her music than on Evil Rose. I described her music as Kate Bush meets Goblin, well the Kate Bush part is intact on Evil Rose but the music part is more comparable to the band Daemonia.
They have an epic feel throughout the album especially on the title track” at just shy of the 19 minute mark coming in at 18:35 and the closing track, “Orphic“ at a bit past the 10 minute mark. The entire album save two covers; Queen’s “The Prophet Song” and Rainbow’s “Gates of Babylon” are a miss in my opinion mainly due to the loose instrumentation of the songs. Personally these should have been made available as a cd-rom than on the album proper. Aside from the cover tunes, the music flows seamlessly from track to track.
If you were a fan of their previous efforts then Evil Rose is a welcomed addition. While I enjoyed the music on Evil Rose, I feel the music on Sophya’s solo album has a more focused result with “accessible” songs .Either way, music on both show “beauty” in music. Aside from fans of the band, I’d recommend Evil Rose for fans of harder-edge progressive rock.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on October 17th, 2009