Formed in 2010, by composer and guitarist Filippos Gougoumis The Oneira has built up a solid reputation. Injection is their newest Prog inspired opus.
Release Date: 13th March 2020
Label: Rockshots Records
Linking up with drummer Erik Spedicato and keyboardist Gianpaolo Begnoni, The Oneira followed a path to produce songs that are well structured, have a tight approach with sensitive, melodious textures blended with rhythmic and crashing guitar and epic, polished piano lines, grandiose keyboards, and clear voices.
All these may be indicative of Genesis, Yes and Rush, but these are well-crafted compositions flowing with heavy rock and passionate vocals which are interwoven by instrumentals which offer all the grandeur that Prog likes to deliver without being overlong and tedious.
Right from the opening chimes, simulated by keyboard, it is obvious who this derivative Italian based band wishes to emulate. Well if you are going to copy, copy well and Oneira does just that. I found this, their third studio album from The Oneira thoroughly entertaining.
Still Free To Choose opens the album with some crashing chords develop into some silky vocals, the tune drives along cheerily, light vocal touches backed powerfully but the mix doesn’t overpower the vocals makes this a very appealing opening.
In Know That Feeling, Manuel ups the ante on the vocals and as this also lifts the backing there is clarity mixed with the powerful drumming and nifty guitar work.
Edipsos begins with a Latin tempo and cools matters down and shows the versatility of the vocals which evident throughout the whole album. The dreamy ambience of parts of the tune are interwoven by a more raucous guitar work before the keyboards offer a more dreamy fade out.
The multiple guitar effects are the most evident feature of Behind the Sun and Make My Day but although dominant, aren’t overbearingly long and boring.
Paint Your Soul, Trust No One and Over The Mountain all follow very much the same pattern as previous tracks and whilst not offering anything different musically other a more sombre mood but still till enthral and captivate.
The title track is both the closing and longest track; an instrumental where each group member indulges themselves take the opportunity to ‘throw the kitchen sink’ at us individually, impressing us with the best of what they’ve given.
At a shade under 48 minutes this an album, even though its difficult not to liken each track to classic prog bands, is well worth investing in if you wish to explore how modern bands try to emulate our hero of the prog era who are not recording or performing now.
The Oneira has shown their influence of the best of British 70s and 80s progressive bands since they made their debut album, Natural Prestige, in 2011 firmly planting them in the neo-prog genre. Their second album, Hyperconscious, followed in 2014. Although some of their earlier music has been criticized as including some leanings towards commercialism that cannot be said of this third album which firmly plants them in more retro style than new but definitely listenable.
Listen to Still Free To Choose here: