Date: October 3rd, 2022
Guess what “thoughts arrived like butterflies” when I saw the name of this Italian act? Being pretty emotionally distressed and vulnerable, all the while believing music to be a phenomenal catalyst for such frames of mind, I dove into it.
What came out of “Mediterraneo” is both what I expected and what I didn’t expect. As for the part I didn’t expect, Even Flow turned out to be a galaxy away from grunge which their name insinuated. On the other hand, the feeling that exudes from this EP is everything that was promised to the listener with “Mediterraneo” as a title.
First of all, it’s got that sunny, summer optimism vibe going for it. I mean, just check out that fabulous cover artwork. Okay, the title track might suggest otherwise, considering it does open up to an “Egyptian suite” that does sound as if Amon-Ra is about to unleash some vengeance upon the servants of the pharaoh. Though the track evolves into a seven and a half minute long epos later on, the beginning stands as a threat.
Apart of the title, closing track, the rest are on the positive side of the sonic spectrum. For a progressive metal band, Even Flow doesn’t go all out trying to prove their musical prowess. Rather, they concentrate on the mentioned atmosphere. That’s where they are the most comfortable, too. Listening to this short material is a lot like that cover art. A ray of light penetrating into the deepest darkest, to reveal the beauty hidden at the bottom. A guiding light of sorts, leading the ultimate beauty from deep within to the surface.
Doing so and painting such a picture with nothing but music is a task not many can achieve. Doing it without pretentious aspirations means keeping a whole lot of ego at bay, especially in a progressive metal band. Though Even Flow clearly stems from the roots of Dream Theater, particularly with the selected sound of keyboards and guitars, adding a bit of that Evergrey or Pain Of Salvation charm is a neat little bonus. Then again, the bombastic opening of the EP in “Ocean Lies” brings Symphony X or Labyrinth to mind. Really, the Italian quartet hand-picked their influences from the top of the pile and used them to their own advantage.
Still, nobody can call upon originality when speaking about Even Flow. Nor do they seem interested in reinventing anything. Their driving force remains artistic beauty, extracted from the very core of every note they put side-by-side. As best demonstrated by the piano-driven autumnal ode, “Leaves”. Even in the declining nature does Even Flow find something to adore. Just take a listen to the track. “Ray of Light” and especially “Revelation Day” echo out the above mentioned influences. While the identity of the band might remain somewhat blurred with such an approach, one cannot deny the identity of the songs themselves and the impact they bring upon the listener. In that regard, the Italians are spot-on.
What’s more, I believe the short format they’ve selected for “Mediterraneo” fits them quite well. Even Flow do have a couple of full lengths behind them, but they are no strangers to shorter outlets. Not having heard anything but this here EP, I retain my doubts about their ability to score on a full record, but with five tracks and just over twenty three minutes, this band is majestic. So, who knows, I might just be wrong when it comes to the two full lengths. The future will show.
For now, “Mediterraneo” is just what I needed to help battle my inner demons. Without even knowing it, I got rather lucky not to be shot to pieces with a subpar rendition of “Ten”.