IMAGINÆRIUM

(UNITED KINGDOM)

THE RISE OF MEDICI

(2023)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Concept-album, Female vocals, Neo, Symphonic, Theatrical
"Born from the meeting between Clive Nolan and Eric Bouillette, the Imaginaerium project presents us a few acts from the Medicis' life through an awesome Rock Opera."
TONYB (27.03.2023)  
5/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
Born from the meeting between Clive Nolan and Eric Bouillette, the Imaginaerium project takes on a somewhat particular resonance in this year 2023, the publication of this first (and perhaps only) act following the guitarist's death. Bringing together some of the finest members of today's neo-progressive Rock, this project presents us a few acts from the Medicis' life through a rock opera where each protagonist of the story is personified by a different performer. In the role of the star couple, we find two regulars of Clive Nolan's productions, the sublime Laura Piazzai with her punchy voice and the no less charismatic Andy Sears (Twelfth Night). The whole thing is proposed with a beautiful vinyl book richly illustrated by Steve Anderson and packaged by Alexandre Lamia's (Nine Skies) meticulous production.

'Festina Lente' immediately sets the mood, with a bell-like rhythm, female vocals supported by Gregorian choirs in the background, heralding the wedding depicted by the bride-to-be in 'Duty of Love', carried by ethereal keyboards strongly evocative of the Renaissance and Italian violins, before turning to rock in powerful choruses. Throughout the album, we find this alternation of narrative parts with sober accompaniment in which the dialogue between the different performers blends with the instruments, and much more rhythmic and majestic passages, with the keyboards bringing an emphasis occupying the sound space, completely in the Clive Nolan tradition (the exciting 'Treachery' in particular).

As in any self-respecting concept, certain recurring themes slip into different tracks, as if to give more body to the whole. The melodies are well worked out and we can feel a real alchemy between the two creators of the project whose touch can be found in the construction of the different tracks, but also in their instrumental interventions. If Clive Nolan's keyboards are omnipresent under the different aspects that the musician has been able to develop throughout his career, Eric Bouillette's guitar interventions are more discreet, but with a great sensitivity. We'll particularly keep his magnificent solo on 'Legacy', a concluding track that takes up one of the album's themes with a harp accompaniment, before an electric intervention of some forty seconds that makes your hair stand on end and shivers run down your spine.

With a project like this, analysis of the details is of little importance. Let yourself be drawn into the story, let yourself be carried away by the music, by the texts and the images that accompany the whole, the emotion is within your reach. And don't hesitate to get the album in special edition, the second CD offering some interesting alternative versions, as well as an interview with Clive, Eric and Laura, which details the whole genesis of the project.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Festina Lente
02. Duty of Love
03. House of Dreams
04. Tide will change
05. Never close your eyes
06. Glass Throne
07. Treachery
08. Fall from Grace
09. Will I never return?
10. Fortunes Reverse
11. Return of Medici
12. Legacy

LINEUP:
Clive Nolan: Chant / Claviers
Andy Sears: Chant
Bernard Héry: Contrebasse
Elena Vladyuk: Chant
Eric Bouillette: Guitares / Claviers / Mandoline, Violon
Gokhan Ince: Basse
Isabelle Cambini: Harpe
Laura Piazzai: Chant
Mark Spencer: Chant
Scott Higham: Batterie
   
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