Album Review: SCIOLENT – Chiaroscuro


As I’m writing this review, I’ve probably listened to this album dozens of times. This is the type of album that motivated me to start reviewing in the first place. A band of this caliber not being signed or at least getting some exposure is ludicrous in every sense of the word. The (one-man) band I’m talking about, of course, is Sciolent.

“Chiaroscuro” is one of those albums that, musically, a person finds to be perfect in every way, but either the rest of the world doesn’t think so or the artist just isn’t very lucky, because few others get to share that glory. In place of the archetype ‘Alternative Music with some Progressive Rock’ influence that most Progressive Rock bands use, Sciolent actually plays something of an opposite, adding the Art influence to a very evident Progressive Rock structure.

There’s nothing more valuable than a good opener track; it starts the album off on the right foot and in many cases, can make or break a listener’s enjoyment.  Following the intro in the shape of “Embrace,” “Balliamo Sott’Acqua” starts out a bit slow, and it’s certainly forgivable, because it picks up fairly quickly. During its almost six minutes the song is changing moods, making it for an amazing experience, overall.

Probably one of the most standout factors of any art rock recording is the melody work. In many cases – more so with Progressive Rock than anything – the melody work is at the forefront of the music in a very obnoxious manner, and it overshadows the rest of the things going on in a song. With Sciolent this isn’t the case; as I said earlier, he seemingly takes a Progressive Rock structure and blend it with other elements to produce what I find the sound of Progressive Rock SHOULD be. In Sciolent’s case, the piano is used pretty regularly, but it’s never obnoxiously placed at the forefront of the music, and instead falls into place with everything else that’s going on. Between the catchy chord progressions, melodious leads, and soothing passages, Sciolent’s piano work is definitely worthy of praise.

In conclusion, this album is something that everybody who listens to Progressive Rock on ANY scale should listen to, hands down. I believe the term ‘the best artist you’ve never heard of’ comes into play here, and with an album this good, it’s incredibly easy to say. In a scene where there are numerous clones and rehashes, this album is a breath of fresh air.

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