TenMidnight – The City of Angels

Italy and its progressive rock scene never ceases to surprise us, now since the first time I listened to this album I felt absolutely please, and happy with the music my ears were listening to.

Ten Midnight was an unknown band to me, now I know they were formed back in 2003 and so far have released three studio albums. The one I am reviewing is called “The City of Angels”, an ambitious project who saw the light the last year (2010), and an album that made it to my top ten albums of the year. It was really a positive surprise.

The album released under Mellow Records features twelve compositions and more than an hour of great progressive rock music. The band’s members (or as the booklet says, “The Angels”) are Robby Bovini on vocals and drums, Matteo Giaculli on guitars, Titti Bolzoni on bass and Bob Ranzi on keyboards. This album was inspired by John Crowley’s novel entitled “Engine Summer”; once again, music and literature go together.

Now the music. It kicks off with “Waking up”, a short but interesting introduction with synths creating a spacey feeling. It leads to “Early Memory” which happens to be the longest composition, an eleven-minute track that offers exciting and complex music. It starts with some robotic noises, then it totally changes, flute appears and makes a gently and beautiful sound. A minute later the vocals appear, and then the band begin to build up a pretty interesting structure. During the whole song, you will find cool musical elements, maybe some catchy moments where you will feel like singing, and overall a pretty strong song with good changes on it.

“Running in the Wind” is a fascinating track, with a great keyboard introduction that reminds me to some older bands such as ELP or Le Orme, the atmosphere is intense and will make you feel interested. Then the mood and rhythm changes and becomes calmer, though there are some heavy-like guitars. However, the vocals sound so melodic and create a gently relationship between music and listener.

“Over the Horizon” starts with a cool guitar sound that accompanied by bass and drums create a friendly harmony. That instrumental intro ends after one minute when vocals appear and the rhythm turns softer. Anyway, we can appreciate some nice changes during those seven minutes.
In “Life Valley” we listen again to a kind and charming sound, the keyboard work is great, the rhythm is so cool and enjoyable. I like the voice a lot, very Italian, hope you get what I mean. There is a nice violin contributing in this track, (they have some guest musicians as well). The words “I am free” will be stuck on your head; and there is a great guitar solo. This is one of my favorite tracks.

“The Bread Tree” has again some spacey atmosphere created by synthesizers. The instrumental passage is pretty nice, then when the vocals appear the direction of the music changes drastically. I liked the order of the tracks, I can link the previous ones with this, and enjoy the music and some parts of the lyrics (I can understand a little bit of Italian) so that helps. This song is another great one, full of elements, colors and nuances.

A thing I don’t really liked, was the decision of one song completely in English. The title track has that, I adore when the bands sing with their mother language, and here, the change is evident, though that may not be a thing that important, it is to me, actually it makes me not paying the deserved attention to the song, which is in fact a nice piece of music with a combination of both, acoustic and electric guitars.

“Syntax error” is a peculiar piece with vocoder speaking all the time the title of the track. This is the shortest composition. “Cats” has an attractive sound, the drums and guitars speak of themselves. Seconds later a minor changes happens when guitars appear and gives an enthusiastic and warm rhythm. There are nice bass lines on this instrumental track.

“Memories” catches our attention with the flute introduction; later vocals and keyboards appear. There are some parts where the music is soft and in moments I lose interesnt (just in few moments), but minutes later a great change with flute and the other instruments returned my interest, though it ends very soft and calm.

“Revelation” is a short track with piano and vocals creating a gently atmosphere. There is a vocal game that sounds pretty nice. “Rewind” sounds like the opener song, this is just a one minute closer.

Again, I say I was surprised by this album which I really like. I invite RPI lovers (and prog lovers in general) to listen to it. My final grade will be four stars.

Enjoy it!


1.Waking Up (2:52)
2.Early Memory (11:52)
3.Running In The Wind (5:14)
4.Over The Horizon (7:05)
5.Life Valley (5:20)
6.The Bread Tree (8:10)
7.The City Of Angels (5:44)
8.Syntax Error (1:28)
9.Cats (4:31)
10.Memories (6:32)
11.Revelation (2:02)
12. Rewind (1:00)


* Robby Bovini – voice, drums, additional synth
* Bob Ranzi – keyboards, samplers, vocoder
* Tiziano Bolzoni – bass
* Matteo Giaculli – guitars

Guest Musicians
* Gabriele Carboni – flute (2)
* Silvia Manca – violin (5)
* Carlo Perri – flute (10)
* Fabio Zara – words creator

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