Mechanical Butterfly are a prog rock band from Italy that certainly has a similar vibe to Italian legends, Goblin, at first. Their album “The Irresistible Gravity ” gets off on the right foot with two instrumental tracks, the intro “Suoni dalle stelle” and the very epic, Goblin-esque “Labyrinth of Doors.” I love both of those. Plenty of atmosphere and musicianship.
From there, things take a different path. I actually thought they were an instrumental band. But they do have a vocalist and while Francesca Pulvienti can sing, her style doesn’t fit the proggier stuff so the band compensates by getting heavier. On tracks like “Marks of Times” and “The Alchemist,” which have proggy moments mixed with a more straight ahead, the band adopts a more hard rock sound to fits Pulvienti’s desire to scream, which she seems to enjoy doing.
This makes for a bit of an odd mix at times. I prefer the instrumental breaks more than the very basic, verse/chorus/verse pattern that many of the songs head off in. She has a loungy, jazz quality to her voice on the piano ballad “Emerald Tears” which is isnt bad.
“Sparks Within a Downpour” has a basic, metal chorus mixed with an alt-rock verse. But the middle section is GREAT, very proggy. Although I am left a bit confused at this point. The band are very talented players but I am left wondering if they each want the band to sound different. There’s potential for greatness here and there are great moments. The problem is there are other moments that sound forced.
I think Mechanical Butterfly is one of those bands that probably don’t need a vocalist. The band have enough ideas on their own and frequently seem like they are making room for the vocals. Add in that Francesca Pulvienti doesn’t have the range for prog, this might be a “marriage of convenience.” It will be interesting to see where the band goes next. One path should be chosen.
1. Suoni dalle stelle
2. Labyrinth of Doors
3. Marks of Times
4. The Alchemist
5. Emerald Tears
6. Sparks within a Downpour
8. La Fenice