When I think of rock or metal from Italy, I have some preconceived notions. On the metal side, there's thrash, power, progressive, symphonic, to name a few, or some combination of several styles. On the rock side, definitely AOR/melodic rock, hard rock, and the current renaissance of sleaze and glam rock. But straight traditional progressive rock? Aura's second release Deliverance caught me by surprise.
According to their press material their debut (which I haven't heard), A Different View from the Same Side leaned more towards progressive metal influenced by Queensryche to Spock's Beard. For Deliverance Aura steps backwards to those early days of prog in the 70's. This work abounds with melody and curiosity in atmosphere which can only be described as dramatic. Most of that latter quality is driven by spiraling arrangements that are not necessarily driven by complexity, but rather accessible intrigue. Certainly this can be side of a long piece like the opener, The Arrival, but also Resurrection and A Candle's Dream. Sometimes a song can be a bit heavier in movements, like The Eden's Tree or A Candle's Dream, but never approaching progressive metal like, say, Symphony X or even Dream Theater.
Keyboards, both synths and piano, have a large role in Deliverance, creating ambience and pivotal expression. Both are notable on The Arrival, with two impressive solos. The instrumental Efraim works both angles of synths and piano. Yet, even with the strength of this presence, every player/instrument has room to stretch on this album. Giuseppe Bruno certainly launches into some fine, and often fiery, solos as on Egypt's Call, The Glorious Day, and again mentioning The Arrival.
The simple conclusion is that Aura's Deliverance is fine and entertaining work of neo-classical progressive rock. It moves with the accessible intrigue and precision found only in the best of the genre. Strongly recommended.
The simple conclusion is that Aura's Deliverance is fine and entertaining work of neo-classical progressive rock. It moves with the accessible intrigue and precision found only in the best of the genre.