What we’ve got here is the second album of these Italian prog metallers, and it happens to be the one that introduced me to their music. The thing that pops into my mind is the obvious influence of Dream Theater. What’s mostly expressed through is, I have to say, remarkable musicianship. This album brings the virtuosity which is probably at the base of every progressive metal record, and the only complaint (and probably the biggest) is actually the originality. Experienced listeners will probably say that the work presented on “The Day After Flower” has been heard many times before, but at the other side all those people who think that the godfathers of prog metal (speaking of DT, of course) have been doing badly with their last few albums might consider this a breath of fresh air.
The biggest highlight of the album and my favorite track is actually the opening, “Hero”, with one of the best prog metal intro sections that I’ve heard in a long, time and vocal lines that range from almost whispers to loud falsettos. The singer reminds of Roy Khan in the lower registers and as mixture of Tony Kakko/Blackie Lawless in the high registers. I have to make special mention of an especially great keyboard solo that was certainly heavily influenced by Jordan Rudess.
The next song, “Feast” starts as one of those summer dance hits, and it’s probably the most mainstream song on the album.
“The Birth, The Death, Trance by the River”, shows, through its structure, the band’s heavy Dream Theater influence, especially in the beginning when it sounds like “As I am”. But then it continues to develop with balanced vocals, usage of effects, atmospheric, calm keyboards and excellent guitar solos.
“Burning Times (Never Forget)” brings a little change in the album’s flow, and I would say that it mostly sounds like a mixture of Therion-ish choirs, Nocturnal Rites’ riffing work and vocal lines, and strong keyboard work. Speaking of keyboards, Alberto Bravin plays another amazing solo, then of course, a guitar solo as a response.
In “Violet”, the singer somehow manages to be a cross between Roine Stolt and Roy Khan. The track is a pretty relaxing and “easy” piece that fills album very well. There is very nice acoustic guitar and keyboard work in the second part of the song.
“C.W.A. Prelude” is the only instrumental piece on the album, and here keyboards have the leading role in the first section, and guitar overtakes during the second half.
“Cold War Apocalypse”, follows, which is the heaviest piece, It is filled with heavy arrangements and excellent guitar solos, as per the band’s usual.
“Twilight” doesn’t bring anything special, but it has interesting effects. It might not be amazing, but it makes for decent filler.
The last song on the album, “Memento” is a ballad with lyrics in Italian, symphonic keyboards and one of those tracks that you can listen to while you dance with your partner and whisper in his/her ear.
To conclude, this album doesn’t bring anything new. It’s not really a groundbreaking release, but it deserves to be heard because of the musicianship. And these guys do have the potential to make something great in the future. Maybe, on the next album, who knows…
3.The Birth, The Death, Trance by the River
4.Burning Times (Never Forget)
6.C.W.A. Prelude (Instrumental)
7.Cold War Apocalypse
* Ricky De Vito – vocals
* Alberto Bravin – keyboards, mellotron and kaoss pad
* Roberto De Micheli – electric and acoustic guitars
* Alessandro Sala – 6 string bass
* Paolo Marchesich – drums and percussions
* Nicola Ardesi – soundscapes
* Marco Steffe – acoustic strummed guitars on track 5
* Stefania Camiolo – backing vocals on track 3