Nowadays hardly any band is able to release an album without the help of a crowdfunding campaign. This was also needed to finance the second album of the Italian progressive rock band Eveline's Dust. Otherwise The Painkeeper never would have arrived in my mailbox and I could not have enjoyed the follow up to Time Changes (2013).
First let me introduce the band members, before I will go deeper into the musical content of this release. They consist of Nicola Pedreschi (keyboards and vocals), Lorenzo Gherarducci (guitars), Marco Carloni (bass) and Angelo Carmignani (drums). On their second musical effort they got some help from two guest musicians; Federico Avella (soprano saxophone) and Carolina Paolicchi (background vocals).
As with many progressive rock bands before them they managed to come up with a true concept album. This work is based on a poem entitled Il Custode Di Dolori, which in English means The Pain Keeper. The content of the story is in a way a variation on the old devil's pact story. The music that comes along with this story is rather entertaining. During a classic LP time of just 45 minutes and a total of nine titles between two and eight minutes, they take the listener on an exciting and above all very entertaining musical journey.
The pieces that you hear are atmospherically very strong without being too quiet. You can enjoy many strong piano runs next to the melodic guitar parts played on the keyboards and electric guitars. The excellent sounding soprano saxophone and the drumming are moderately jazz-influenced, giving the songs an organic feeling with a lot of groove. Jam-like sequences go hand in hand with firmly and clearly structured passages. Interestingly, they require virtually no bombastic sound measures. As complex as the sound is, you always have the feeling that the band has set out to preserve a clean and straightforward sound. So they avoid every extreme as technical exaggerations or unnecessary soundscapes and are at all times master of the musical situation they create.
All of the songs are played wonderfully, sovereign composed and ensure a great flow from the first to the last piece. The fresh sound of these young Italians from Pisa is an extremely successful blend of different musical styles. They are showing only occasionally the typical Italian-prog style their fellow countrymen are famous for. Their modern sound is sometimes very relaxed and slightly jazzy, then again a little dark, but without bombast. They can sometimes sound like Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson and other times you hear as if they are inspired by bands such as Echolyn, King Crimson or Gentle Giant.
It has to be said that I was pleasantly surprised by the music that I heard on The Painkeeper. This for me unknown quartet mixed some musical genres into a great sounding musical style and do that very well. It's a style that wasn't easy to describe at first, but I hope I managed to give the readers of our website an idea what to expect on this release. If you don't just try to listen to their music on their website. I strongly believe you will be just as surprised as I was when I heard their awesome compositions the first time. So bravo to Eveline's Dust.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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