Episode VIII – On The Road

Hi Folks!
I think this will be the last entry on the blog (the last one about the recordings of “In Crescendo” at least)…The album is finally going to be completed. We saved the big one for the last…The longest track on the album (it comes in at about 12 minutes)…and the hardest to play, probably.

Anyway, “In Crescendo” is almost finished and our feelings at the moment are a mix of excitement, tiredness, and anticipation with the conviction that we have achieved another relevant step in our musical path. This album is about love, hope, death and disillusion, and I think the music fits those themes very well… But, we can talk about the concept when the album is out there, and you’ve had a chance to listen to the disk…

As always, a record is also the result of the effort of several people “outside” the band… So I want to say thank you to Giampiero Ulacco, Devilnax (“Vedere Cammello!”), Mauro Marani, and Jim Wilkinson for helping us so much during those 6 months. 

At the end of the month we’ll be touring Europe with Jon Oliva (check http://www.kingcrow.it/tour.asp for dates) So, I hope to see you there! Oh, and we’ll see you Americans in Atlanta in September…
So, It is time to hit the road again… 

Here are some photos by Devilnax, that were done during the filming of the videoclip for the song "Morning Rain" - directed by Mauro Marani

(Diego Cafolla)

martedì 12 giugno 2012 5 Comments

Episode 7 – Parallels

Hi there!

Some good news here!

As some of you know, we’ll be touring Europe in June/July with the legend that is Jon Oliva. Savatage were one of my early influences. Something like 15 years ago, I was a lot more into “Classic Metal”, collecting records, T-shirts, etc. The first time I encountered the music of Savatage (Streets- still my fave of theirs) I was impressed with the elegance of the music, and the beauty of the arrangements and melodies. So, many years later, we are going to share the same stage, and to me it is a kind of a “dream come true”. In addition, we’re very excited to play again in countries like Germany , Holland and Switzerland, since we have great memories of the past gigs there. 

For two of the gigs, our bass player Francesco “Cecco” D’Errico will be substituted by our friend Angelo Orlando, the guy who recorded Phlegethon.

So I hope to see you there, check our website for the dates!

On the other side (of the Atlantic Ocean) we’re going to play in September at ProgPower USA, in Atlanta. I can’t tell you how much we’re looking forward to this gig. We’ve just started to think about what songs we can play there with a 60 minute slot. We want to play a good amount of Phlegethon, and some new songs. So I think we’ll have to start rehearsing the new ones soon. But which ones? Hard question…

Anyway, we started the rehearsals in the new studio while we’re recording in parallel in the old one. The recordings are going well, with just 2 and a half songs left (one of them clocks in at 12 minutes in length, so still a lot of work to do). The last song recorded, with the (maybe) workin’ title of “Summer 1997” is a kind of a two part song. The first part is very melodic and atmospheric, while the second one is heavy…It is a “Crescendo”, with some beautiful Mellotron sounds and some very interesting drumming. At the moment, it is one of the best pieces on the record in my opinion.

On the visual side, Devilnax almost finished all of the artwork, and it is amazing! As always, we try to combine the visual aspect with the music, the concept, and the general vibe of the album. We talk and listen to the music, and then talk again for hours about what is the essence of the record, and how it’d be represented by the cover and the whole artwork… We just aim for something meaningful other than “simply” cool and his work is always impressive in that way. He’s also working with Mauro Marani on the new videoclip. 

Don’t miss the video with the six of us rehearsing for the tour!

See you soon!

(Diego Cafolla)

Making Of "In Crescendo" : Episode VII

The new "Sound Under Pressure" Studio (work in progress)

mercoledì 23 maggio 2012 Leave a comment

Episode 6 - Springtime!

Spring is finally here, the sun is shining, the air is fine…and we’re closed in the studio!
Anyway, the song “electro” (workin’ title…you know) is done and I can say it is very good (ok, I think it is great but it’d sound a little bit pretentious, so…). It is a 7:50 minutes long piece in which you can find almost every ingredient of our sound. Like some electronic sounds, some Spanish-like guitars, some very heavy stuff, some funky stuff, odd time signatures, and other things …All in that song, and to me, it works very well…sometimes more is more….oh and probably it is our first song in years with the chorus in a major key…curious

So another song completed from the white board!!

The next one is called “Mumble Mumble” (Someone asked me why I choose that workin’ title when I wrote it…can’t remember now), it is a more “direct” song in terms of length, about 5 minutes, but with a very weird time signature …For musicians interested in those kind of things, the main verses are like: 7/8 + 7/8 + 7/8 + 15/16 ….pretty sick…for us at least
Devilnax has finished the cover image for “In Crescendo” and it looks very beautiful and…diverse. You’ll see.

Spring is finally here, the sun is shining, the air is fine…and It’s time to stop writing and go outside….CIAO!

P.S.: Don’t forget to check the video “Episode VI” (these videos are edited by Cristian, our Keyboard player, so thanks to him)

(Diego Cafolla) 

venerdì 27 aprile 2012 4 Comments

Episode 5: Snow & Eggs

Hi Folks!
Back again, and “Morning Rain” is finally finished.
We had some extra work this month… Thundra and I are finishing the new recording studio…The “Sound Under Pressure” studio is moving to a bigger and nicer place, as you’ll soon see…
Devilnax, Cirstian, Thundra, and myself, last week met Mauro Marani of Insign Creative Lab, who is the guy who directed the videoclip for the song “Evasion” . We talked to him about some ideas for the new video. He immediately got the main “vibe”, and just started coming up with great ideas for it. So, I think we’re headed in the right direction to do something interesting on the visual side. In the meantime Devilnax started working on the artwork, shooting weird photos, and doing other curious stuff with eggs…those creative artists sometimes go a little bit psycho…

We just listened to the pre-productions trying to figure out how the music could be represented visually. And we ended up with a bunch of weird ideas…I have to confess that it probably won’t be your typical Prog Metal artwork (even if, let me say, I honestly don’t think we’re a “Prog Metal” band in the classic sense of the word)…but the idea is interesting. We have to look at the real thing to know if it works in the real world .
Giampiero Ulacco is workin’ hard on the mix of the first song. Usually I let him work alone for a first version of the mix, then I’ll listen to it and join the process, suggesting changes and other weird stuff (I know he’d say “breaking balls” hehehe…)

You know, we’re waiting for it with a little bit of curiosity, mixed with anxiety and anticipation (of knowing how the record is going to sound …). Anyway, as said, we started another song titled “Electro” (on the “infamous” whiteboard of course….see previous posts for more info). It is the longest track beside the “Suite” (it is about 7:30 in length) and one of the weirdest in terms of structure and key changes… Anyway, I think it’ll be very funny (hard??) to play live... you know, the harder it is to play, the more fun you have, at least when you play it well.
So we have another video Episode…you’ll catch with your ears, a glimpse of “Morning Rain”...but you’ll have to wait for the record to hear the whole thing I guess…
See ya’…
(Diego Cafolla)

lunedì 19 marzo 2012 Leave a comment

Episode 4: The Song is Over

“The Song is Over
It’s all behind me…”

Just a little quote from the glorious The Who - Who’s Next” album for saying.. The First song is done and sent to Giampiero Ulacco, ready for the mix! It’s always a special moment when the first song is completed and mixed.
Before, “the album” is still an abstract entity in your head and you have the strange perception the recording sessions are going to be endless (even if you have done this several times in the past, 5 actually, and you know it will not).
But it’s when you’ve finished the first song that the album suddenly became REAL! (And you know how it is going to sound…so it’s better that it doesn’t suck!!!) Anyway, as said before, the song is a straight forward piece, with a catchy chorus, electronic sounds, and a great guitar solo by Ivan… It falls into the “latest” progressive sound - bands like OSI, Porcupine tree etc....
That’s why the original idea was to record it as a bonus track, or, just a b-side for our official web site … But the guys think it works well in the context of the record, so I think it’ll be there… I think it’ll work well live…
Maybe its live debut will be at ProgPower Usa for our American Friends, who knows...
Anyway, as said, the song is over and it is time to start workin’ on the next one, titled “Morning Rain”. I love this song so much… I mean, I love the idea of the song I have in my mind, since we still have to record it (besides the demos).
But I am pretty confident it’ll be good enough when it’ll be REAL. So Ivan and I start with the guitars, then Francesco steps in for the bass, then Cristian with Keys, and Diego for the vocals.. Then all the weird things like bongos, bottle with sand, maracas, breath noises and other body sounds…. I know it is a little bit “unconventional” to record the bass AFTER the guitars, but for us it seems to work better.
Listening to the songs, I realize how complex this album is compared to our previous records. Every song is a little journey in so many ways, and is layered with sounds and things that don’t jump out at first listen, but make (we hope so) every listening a kind of a “new experience”, discovering little details each time… Don’t worry; it is not that kind of “look at me!!! I can do something THAT complex!!” album…I mean, two of the songs are complex enough in terms of structure (about 12 minute’s one and 7:30 minutes the other) with time changes, key changes etc… (What I call “Progitude” – that kind of Prog Attitude).
But at the same time it is full of atmospheres and melodies. For us, it is always about the never ending search of “Heart and Mind United in a single perfect sphere” - as someone better than us once said.
Ok, that’s all for this week.
Oh, just so I don’t forget, here’s a new little video and some photos…a promise is a promise! Bye!
Thanks to Jim Wilkinson for all the help and support! You’re THE MAN!
(Diego Cafolla)

lunedì 6 febbraio 2012 Leave a comment

Turning Knobs & Hitting Strings

Here again !

The song “Syntron” (workin’ title) is almost done. Just some acoustic guitars to add, and some other little details. Francesco did a great job on the bass, and for me it was the first time workin’ in the studio with him. And what a pleasure! He is such a tight and disciplined player, with great timing and control.
Great job Man!

Cristian, Thundra, and myself are currently working on the synths. For me, it is a Hate/love thing. Love - because I love the infinite possibilities of sound it has. But I hate how much time you have to spend on it, just turning knobs all the time , in search of the “correct” sound.
The song has a pretty “electronic” vibe, so we keep experimenting with noises and weird stuff…Something we started on Phlegethon, with songs like “Evasion” , but the new one is , in some ways, more prominent and aggressive.

Yesterday Diego started recording the vocals. So next week we’ll probably start to record another song which is (right now) my favourite track on “In Crescendo”, and one of the most beautiful songs by Kingcrow (for me , of course). It is titled “Morning Rain”.  See you next time with some video footage from the studio!
(Diego Cafolla)

lunedì 23 gennaio 2012 Leave a comment

Episode 3 : The Whiteboard

Hi there!
It’s time for a little update.
Drums are finally done!! 
So we prepared the studio for the recordings of the guitars and bass. We listened to a lot of amp-cabinet configurations and spent some hours to find the right sound for the guitars (for the ones of you who got the terrible “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” : we ended up choosing the Hughes & Kettner Triamp through a 2x12 Marshall cabinet - recorded with two shure sm57 plus a sennheiser md421 , Guitar : Fender Esprit ’84).

Then I prepared the “working plan”, a grid on a blackboard (ok, it is a whiteboard actually) with the tracklist on rows and instruments on columns. Just to be sure to not forget anything
As you can see in the photo, the titles are just the “workin’ titles” I use while writing the songs…(let me say that titles like “Mumble” or “Balladero” sounds really PROG!). We started recording with “Syntron” and right now guitars and bass are done.

The whiteboard doesn’t lie, this time we have 8 songs, which is our shortest tracklist ever (but not the shortest album …). The last track, titled “Suite”, is about 11 minutes in length and it is “the big one” this time. I don’t know if we’ll be splitting it into two parts in the final tracklist (the first “movement” marks about 2:10 minutes).
…And now ...I have to work with a Keyboard player ….so….Bye!
(Diego Cafolla)

lunedì 16 gennaio 2012 Leave a comment

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