SoulenginE were formed in Milan in 2007 on the initiative of guitarist Ettore Salati (who is also a member of RedZen and of the Alex Carpani Band) and keyboardist Fabio Mancini who had just left their previous band, The Watch. Later the line up was completed by bassist Nando De Luca and drummer Giacomo Pacini and the band began to work on new compositions blending vintage sounds and new ideas with a wide range of influences going from progressive rock to jazz, from fusion to psychedelia. After a hard work, in 2012 they released their first full length album on the independent label Ma.Ra.Cash Records, Mind Colours, featuring a nice art work by Davide Guidoni that in some way tries to catch the spirit of this work, a variegated mix of musical colours and dizzy reveries. The album is almost completely instrumental but never boring and the all the members of the band showcase a great musicianship.
The excellent opener “Polheim” begins softly with a strummed acoustic guitar pattern and a dark organ background, then the rhythm rises while keyboards and electric guitar begin to embroider charming melodic lines. Polheim (Home at the Pole) is the name that Roald Amundsen gave to his camp at the South Pole when he reached it with his expedition on December 14, 1911 but this piece was also used to comment Dante Alighieri's immortal poetry in the Musea's tribute to his Divine Comedy. In particular, this track is related to the verses of Purgatory – Canto VI, where the Sommo Poeta compares Italy to a vessel without a pilot in a storm, a country that has became savage and unmanageable on account of the greediness and selfishness of its political class. Anyway, close your eyes and let the music drive! You're embarking on an adventurous musical journey through time and space.
Next comes the dreamy “Third In Line” featuring delicate piano passages and a spicy flavoured finale, a kind of oriental delight. It leads to “Rain Flower”, sprinkled with Latin rock echoes that could recall Santana, then it's the turn of the calm, jazzy “On The Other Side”, an evocative piece full of soft nuances.
The atmosphere of the following “Down The Street” is nightmarish and tense. It depicts a personal crises and features English lyrics written by Ettore Salati and Ettore's brother Giorgio (a.k.a. Joe Sal) on vocals. It is linked to “No Way Out”, a nervous, short instrumental. Then comes the dark “No Rewarding”.
“Asleep” is another piece featuring English lyrics and the guest vocalist Joe Sal. It's a reflective track that draws the imagine of a man who has to get out of his dreams to take his responsibilities... “I've been asleep / And I never thought how could it be / To be awake / See the light, feel the sounds...”. It leads to the beautiful conclusive track, “Challenge To An End”, a long, complex piece featuring another guest, Davide Gandino, on flute. Well, on the whole I think that this is very good album that it's really worth listening to. Have a try!
You can listen in streaming to the complete album HERE
SoulenginE: Mind Colours (2012). Other opinions:
Thomas Szirmay: A magnificent and compelling debut, SoulenginE is a crew to follow, perhaps eschewing the microphone altogether and forging an all-instrumental future, proving once again the majestic artistic creativity emanating form the "boot". Perhaps the loveliest artwork cover in recent decades only adds to their charm... (read the complete review HERE)
Jerry Lucky: Mind Colours is a very well crafted set of tunes. SoulenginE can clearly play, and they play well together. Needless to say if you enjoy symphonic prog with an Italian flavor I strongly recommend you investigate SoulenginE. Mind Colours features some great music and some excellent playing... (read the complete review HERE)