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Despite having formed in 1996 and releasing their first album in 1999, L’Enigma Della Vita is only the third album from Italian’s Logos (their second came out in 2001). This may explain why, in spite of my love of Italian prog, they passed me by and hadn’t heard them until recently. Better late than never though and on the strength of this album I’m really glad to have discovered them at last. L’Enigma Della Vita is a highly accomplished piece of work – great musicianship for starters. Clearly a band who have spent years learning and perfecting their craft. The loss of guitarist Massimo Maoli and replacing him with second keyboard player Claudio Antolini alongside band leader/keyboards/vocalist Luca Zerman gives the band a lush symphonic sound. It is too simple to define Logos as a symphonic prog band however. Despite their RPI credentials Logos are on the modern edge of the genre and atmospheric psych touches sit alongside neo (I was even reminded of IQ here and there) too and with an up to date production placing it firmly in the current century.

Before you think that Logos may be sitting on the lighter side of RPI though, at this point I want to mention the powerful and inventive guitar work of Fabio Gaspari. Previously he’d been responsible for bass (which he still doubles up on) and acoustic guitar. His electric work while always tasteful adds a powerful edge in contrast to the many haunting and melodic passages. Drummer Alessandro Perbelini’s unfussy style is spot on, aiding Gaspari in laying the foundations with a solid rhythm section though not lacking subtlety when required.

The eleven compositions are inventive, taking surprising turns here and there as they expertly weave new and old prog elements but one thing that ties it all together and raises the bar is the bands ear for strong melodies, something that sets it well above some of the disappointing (mentioning no names) new prog I’ve come across recently.

L’Enigma Della Vita should go down well with anyone looking for a modern equivalent of Le Orme played with more balls and is the best RPI album I’ve heard in quite a while. Certainly the best this year and I’d rate it highly against any prog album in any sub-genre I’ve heard this year also. Highly recommended.

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