BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH
Dropshard is a new glamorous discovery, that come from Italy. After listem their first album “Anywhere But Home“, I was very impressed with this band's sound and the album, despite the band was formed in the 21st century, in 2007, the musicians on the Dropshard band not follow many influences from the masters of 70's, however, Dropshard's music follows in the same direction of the best Progressive Rock from glorious age from years 70's, in the meantime, their music is tightly focused on the years 80, with many references around Neo Prog style, the musicians have a strong influence in various directions, with startling ability to introduce a variety of musical elements into their compositions, combining different components from many musical styles such as Progressive Rock, Art Rock, Hard Rock, Crossover Prog and Neo-Prog, complementing all the musical arrangements with a high symphonic level from the musical structure, concluding, Dropshard show us a modern progressive rock music, vibrant and powerful. Dropshard has their own sound and their music reflects the musician's feelings and their emotions. They know how to play a well balanced and exciting music, with excellent arrangements, exploring all the resources from all the instruments. In all musical passages, the guitar solos are constant, keyboards flows around a soft harmony, the bass and drums drives the rhythm in a pulsating accordance, complementing with a strong, powerfull and vibrant vocals by Enrico Scanu, his voice reflects an extreme harmony, around all the arrangements, giving a strong musical feeling into the compositions. It's possible mention a hundred of Italian Progressive Rock bands that knows how to fuse the emotional feeling together with the musical intellectuality into perfect compositions. Now, certainly we can include Dropshard in this select and precious group of new Italian bands. The musicians, it's apparent that this young guys are not afraid to experiment new musical ways, and in this case, you can believe, the formula works fully in all compositions. "Silk" contains eleven tracks, almost 70 minutes of a pure musical emotion, no doubt, all tracks have an excellent musical performance, despite being a Italian band, the lyrics are sung in English, but, of all there are some that are incredibles, of course here are my favorite songs from this incredible album: "Insight", "Eyes", "Cell 342" this song shows a exceptional musical performance and vocal, in the same vein of bands like "Marillion", "IQ", "Pendragon", "Pallas", "Rush", "Unreal City", "Elora", "Martigan", "Il Bacio Della Medusa" and others on the same line, following my preferred selection, we still have: "Tied Together" this track is very beautiful, very symphonic and melodic, including nice and amazing guitar solos. Following, I like a lot from the songs "The Endless Road", this song is the apice from the album, almost eleven minutis of a pure musical delight. Closing the album, also, I like the songs "Maya" and "Memento", but, the album also includes a bonus track called "Libera Me", not listed in the booklet. Concluding, Dropshard's music and "Silk", runs totally around a melodic masterpiece, while some arrangements are fast, in others, are very atmospherics. Do not think twice to listen to this wonderful album and know more about this young band, you can bet that you will not regret. Brilliant and fantastic, an amazing album and band, highly recommendable...
line-up on Dropshard album are:
Dropshard, formed in 2007, have reached over the years the attention of the international public devoted to Progressive Rock.
The sound of Dropshard roots in the 70s Prog and in the contemporary Prog/Alternative scene, creating an interesting and innovative contact point between these different genres.
Clean and basic sounds, mixed with the deep and expressive voice of frontman Enrico Scanu, are the hallmark of this band.
Dropshard have released two studio albums.
The first one, Anywhere But Home (distributed internationally by Sonic Vista Music, an English record label), came to life in 2011. Here the style of the band finds its first expression in a suite of eight movements and in the bonus track Freedom Supermarket (one of the most acclaimed songs in Dropshard’s live performances).
2014 is the year in which Dropshard achieved artistic maturity with the release of their second studio album, Silk (Sonic Vista Music, now in its second printing), hailed by international critic and by the public.
Silk’s first single release, Insight, is included in the compilation The Art Of Sysyphus Vol. 81 published by the German magazine Eclipsed Magazin, which also includes remarkable tracks by Steve Hackett, The Gentle Storm and Special Providence.
Silk also ranks among the top 10 best Prog Metal/Rock albums in 2014 chart by the famous web portal progarchives.com.
Dropshard have also excelled in live promoting by participating in many Prog festivals: Exprog Mogliano Veneto, during which they shared the stage with renown Prog artists such as Marillion, Tony Levin and Le Orme (2010), British Electric Garden Festival (2011), three days dedicated entirely to Prog music and Verona Prog Fest (2014).
Thanks to their success over the years and to the high technical skills of the band, Dropshard opened for Leprous at Legend Club Milan during their 2015 European tour.
Alex Stucchi - Bass, Backing Vocals
He starts his musical career in a punk rock band playing bass guitar with his childhood friends. He receive his first instrument as a gift from his father: a starter kit with amplifier that will be soon replaced by a Fender Jazz Bass.
September 2004, together with classmates Sebastiano Benatti and Tommaso
Mangione, he discovers metal and progressive. He later joins Antares and
with the new band he began to explore and appreciate new sonorities and,
influenced by great contemporaries bass players, he
In June 2011 Alex moves away from Dropshard to look for new collaborations and to improve his bass guitar skills; he takes lessons from Giovanni Bellosi (Evil Wings, Phantom Lord). He also begins playing with Ananke and Chakrah (Mike Le Pond, Pamela Moore, Roberto Tiranti).
His main influences are Tony Levin, Chris Squire and Stuart Hamm. He is a programmer specialized in web developing, web design and web mastering.
Enrico Scanu - Lead Vocals, Flute, Percussions, Acoustic and Electric Guitar
Fascinated by music since he was 13 years old, he listened to his father’s LP and was impressed by Progressive Rock music of the seventies. He spends his youth listening to Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, P.M.F, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Pink Floyd.
During these years he begins taking classical guitar lessons with master Jesus Eduardo Alvarez; then he starts to play electric guitar, firstly influenced by american grunge (Pearl Jam), then by Progressive Rock (Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation and Porcupine Tree). In the meantime he also takes vocal lessons, a passion born singing with his friends music from classic rock band such as Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.
In september 2009 his path crosses that of Dropshard which leads him to a new musical way that reflects his soul.
He tries to develop his vocal performances taking in spiration from his favorite singers: Daniel Gindenlow, Jeff Buckley, Demetrio Stratos and Peter Gabriel.
Sebastiano Benatti - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Born in the 1987, with both musician parents.
After taking some few steps in the study of pianoforte and bass, he founds love in the electric guitar. After a few year, he becomes really appassionate in the music composition. With his friend Tommaso, Alex and Giacomo he lay the foundations for the Antares band, becoming then Dropshard, inedit music project.
Sebastiano loves several kinds of music, thanks to the several influences he came through. From his parents recieved the love for early, renaissance, popular and classical music. It’s not over! It is his father that give him Led Zeppelin’s first album and Deep Purple’s Machine Head to change his perspective. Adolescence guided him through rock, metal and progressive music.
Since 2011 he is part of the Locomovettes choir from Osnago, that expand his love for singing a cappella.
Tommaso Mangione - Acoustic and Electronic Drums and Percussions
After a short time behind the keyboards, at age 14 he discovers his passion for drums and cymbals: it’s love at first sight! Together with bass player and friend Alex Stucchi he joins Event Six, a live project with guitarist Massimo Nussi. He graduates in Audio Engineering in 2008 and becomes percussionist for the Besana Marching Band (now Besana Secutores), which leads him to the stage of the Sanremo Festival. In 2012 he’s drummer for Progressive Rock band Willow.
His technique is constantly evolving, eager to find alternative ways – such as the combination of acoustic and electronic drums – to represent the percussion field of the band.
His main references are Bill Bruford, Billy Cobham, Gavin Harrison, Manu Katché, Pat Mastellotto and Mike Portnoy. He cultivates a passion for video editing and photography and he’s morbidly fascinated by comics, LEGO and Geocaching.
Valerio De Vittorio - Synths, Keyboards, Piano, Hammonds
Starting taking piano lessons almost by chance, Valerio instantly fell in love with the instrument and music in general. Since then he’s been perfecting his technique and knowledge of music with different teachers, studing classical music as well as modern styles like jazz, pop and rock. He has played with different bands, without any preconception for genres, sharing the stage with the Italian blues band Tacsi or the Vasco Rossi tribute band Sensazioni Forti, playing in tens of venue for hundreds of shows.
He discovers progressive music thanks to Dream Theater and quickly joins a tribute band, the Dream Team. He then becomes a member of the progressive metal band Drivhell, with which composes and records an EP and a full album, A Journey as a Life, receiving very good reviews.
The year 2008 is very important for Valerio’s career, as he joins the progressive band The Watch for the last leg of its tour dedicated to the Genesis music. He then joins the band, with which he’s still touring at present, with a new show every year.
While playing around Italy, Europe and Canada with The Watch, Valerio is also a music teacher. He likes many kind of music, mostly progressive but maybe his real love are soundtracks from movies and videogames.
Thanks to it’s new place in the band Dropshard, Valerio can explore again new flavours of music, sounds for its keyboards and any ideas he’d like to put in notes.
His biggest influences are Dream Theater, Genesis, Pain of Salvation, Evergrey, Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Michael Nyman, Placebo, Coldplay, Sting and many more…
in nowhere in particular, Italy, between March and July 2014
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