GARDEN WALL - Path of Dreams & Forget the Colours 
Genre: Progressive Metal
Country : Italy
GARDEN WALL biography (at Progharchives:
Conceptual heavy prog band with a strong, intricate music, with a wide spectrum of feels and textures. The keyboards give the final touch, and the guitars are extremely heavy and crunchy. As a matter of fact, these Italians are, in my opinion, the most innovative and original contemporary progressive band.
"Principium" and their fourth album "Chimica" can be called stylistically as being somewhere in the middle between classic prog-rock and prog metal, with the former nearer to the classic prog-rock genre. An interesting and original way. Worth a shot!
Garden Wall - 1994 - "Path of Dreams
Review at Progarchives:
This 1994 disc, from Italy's Garden Wall, serves as another example of my belief that there is vitality in the old progressive rock genre yet! I'm glad that I didn't rush to judge PATH OF DREAMS after only one or two listens, because I find that the album has really grown on me over the past few days.
The band presumably take their name from a line in the classic Genesis song "I Know What I Like," and early Genesis influences are apparent in Alessandro Seravalle's accomplished guitar work, which often evokes that of Steve Hackett during the NURSERY CRYME/FOXTROT era. Tony Banks-like keyboards can also sometimes be heard, but Garden Wall have more than enough originality to move them well beyond the realm of a mere "clone" band. Certainly Genesis never rocked as hard and long as this group does on tracks like "Sex," "Oniros," and "The Cage," which are at times almost scary in the power and ferocity of their attack!
With over 70 minutes of music, PATH OF DREAMS also offers good value for your music dollar. The longer tracks are bracketed by shorter pieces, where the excellent piano of Mauro Olivo sets a haunting, carnival-like (almost ragtime) tone. Indeed, it is the guitars and keyboards that are the band's strongest assets; as with many groups who eschew their native tongues in favour of English vocals, I find the singing to be the weakest link here. Yet Seravalle is by no means a bad singer, and any shortcomings in his pronunciation, or the lyrics, are countered by the passion of the delivery (a prevalent characteristic of Italian progressive rock).
As progressive rock, PATH OF DREAMS inhabits the heavier end of the spectrum, and borders upon being "progressive metal," but for the more sensitive shorter pieces, the aforementioned lovely piano, and the strong use of keyboards. Overall, the music is somewhat harder than the type of progressive I normally prefer, and thus I give this (nonetheless GOOD) CD three stars. If you think (as I used to) that there's precious little life or originality left in progressive rock, give an ear to PATH OF DREAMS -- just don't judge this solid album on the basis of a single listen!
1. Prelude: The Gates of Hypnos
3. The Bride of The Wind
5. Interlude: Between Eros and Thanatos
6. Band Lauft
9. The Cage
10. Maj di Muart
11. Mortal Maj
- Alessandro Seravalle / singing, guitar, bass and some keyboards
- Camillo Colleluori / Drums
- Marco Ferrero / stick
- Mauro Olivo / keyboard
An impenetrable 71 minute barrage of the strangest and most complex modern heavy metal you'll ever find, to think that this band evolved from a hard rocking neo-prog type out oufit is quite simply staggering. Its length and the nature of its sound makes Forget the Colours an extremely difficult listen, combining dark and somewhat jazz tinged heavy metal riffing with Alessandro Seravalle's manic, theatrical vocals. While there's more than a little Van Der Graaf Generator influence to be found here, it's effectively combined with a modern technical metal influence to give it a truly unique sound and feel.
As I've already mentioned, the album's main strength lies in its complexity and originality. The playing is absolutely stunning, showing a very tight band dishing out some of the strangest metal riffs you'll ever encounter. I've heard certain people go so far as to declare it the most complex album they've ever heard, and while I wouldn't go that far there's no question that these guys can play. The album takes a few listens to be able to sit through, simply due to the unpleasant nature of the music. In particular the vocals can be difficult to deal with, sounding more like psychotic screaming than actual singing.
The downside, if it hasn't become somewhat apparent from my description, is that there's a definite lack of any melodies or coherent riffs to latch onto. This is a nonstop barrage of the most warped music you can find, and rest assured that it won't appeal to most people. Those with the patience to endure this experience will at the very least be rewarded with some of the most unique prog-metal out there, but this rather rare CD is not one I'd go around recommending to your average progressive metalhead. Approach with caution, especially if you're familliar with the Garden Wall of old (this happens to sound like a completely different band).