Italian composer and musician, Mirko Pirozzi, who plays piano, guitars and bass, has worked with many independent artists and record labels from across the world and has released various solo albums, including ‘Mozambeach’ (2015) and ‘Mozambazar’ (2014) and ‘Planets’ (2016). Now Pirozzi has dropped yet another full-length album, the 14 track progressive-rock release, “Ice Balls”. Mastered by Nathan Reiner, the first thing that catches your eye, is that there are more real live musicians than tracks on this album – 25 to be exact. A highly unusual equation in the modern music world, but when you’re showcasing music that contains a brass and string section, over and above the percussion and regular rock rhythm ensemble, it becomes easier to understand.
As usual, Mirko continues on his journey of highly eclectic, colorful and hybrid compositions. The opening track, “Ice Balls (Overture)” is all you need to convince you of the above statement – Its mix of jazz and rock, combined with the elements of classical and medieval music. There are probably more musical tones, timbres and styles on this track than what most artists have on an entire album.
Moving ahead through tracks like “The Coast Sound”, “Call From Venus”, “Enchanted Swords” and “Too Many Years”, on the first part of the album, it will amaze you how this massive ensemble blend complex and well-layered compositions with a standard of casual listen-ability, making the album as easy to enjoy as it is impressive from the standpoint of a classically-trained musician.
If you’re a fan of such ’70s prog rock bands as Pink Floyd, Yes, ELP or Rush, this is music that will positively blow your mind! Why? Because Pirozzi adds brass and real strings to that formula. So it’s like taking those bands and matching them with a Jazz-Fusion unit.
The results are what you hear here, especially on outstanding tracks such as “Witches In The Space”, “The Princess”, “Watermelon Man” and “Flowerfish” – stellar performances by all band members, intricate songwriting, plenty of power guitar riffs and solos from Mirko Pirozzi, and all-round arranging brilliance. This album is an explosive instrumental venture into the fusion of progressive rock. It’s has deliciously warm analog tones, but pleasantly seasoned here and there with digital electronic effect.
The electric guitars, electric bass, the drums and all spectrums of the percussion, brass and strings provide stunning, gorgeous and cataclysmic individual compositions within a common concept production that is navigated by the guitar and keyboard adventures of creative maestro – Mirko Pirozzi. It’s timeless music. It’s just as hot now because no-one else is doing it.
These guys know how to play instruments. They don’t muck about with buttons and false effects. They just play it – they actually pluck strings, bang drums and press keys, with none of that sampled or looped nonsense. In a nutshell, it’s totally musically orgasmic.
Once you hear it, you’ll never forget it. It might just become a part of you forever. If you like jazz/rock fusion or progressive rock, this is the album to have. This has a blend of music you will hardly find anybody else doing today, and certainly not on this scale with real musicians.