Utopia - Mood Changes

Utopia Mood Changes cover
Mood Changes
Anteo Records
Utopia is a prog metal band from Rome, Italy. Their sound is deeply rooted in progressive with some fusion/jazzy influences. The remind me slightly of Dream Theater, maybe also due to Riccardo Fenaroli’s vocals, but they do have a less defined style, which is most welcome, fact of the matter on their debut, “Ice and Knives”, which was released in 2010. The band featured guest guitarist Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie, PFM) as a guest, so you can see that the whole thing is anything but completely coincidental.
On the other hand the band avoids being stamped as clones, as they seem more free to experiment with various forms. If I have a complaint, that is that Fenaroli’s voice is mixed a little lower than what one would expect, so it sort of “melts” a bit into the music, having to antagonize it in places especially at lower volumes, because higher on the compression, compensated sufficiently.
There are a number of quite interesting tracks, ie the rather epic prog “The Trickster” or the slightly more involved “Corpus Caeleste”, the more rocking “Your Mirror” or the rather temperate, softer “I’ll Be a Fool”, the pretty “funky” “Black Drop” or the quite self-descriptive title-track with its variety of “Mood Changes”. The band could probably improve their mix and overall production a bit, as it’s “missing something”, but is doing quite well in a highly antagonistic genre.