Melodic metal is not something new in Italy, as we had also seen with some emerging bands such as Awake The Sun or Revenience (coincidentally, they are both part of the Sliptrick Records roster). In order to discover Distant Landscape, let's move towards the Rome area, where we have recently met another band that has seemingly grown up eating Katatonia and bread, Rome in Monochrome.
In fact, the more recent works by Katatonia seem to have had a huge influence on the approach to composition and content of Distant Landscape's work. When "Insights" was recorded, the band was actually a duo consisting of Andrea Biondi (drums) and Marco Spiridigliozzi (everything else), helped on that occasion by the vocalist Judith in "First Insight" and "The Love Of A Mother For Her Sons", who is now officially a part of the line-up. As I write, the band has become a quintet, thanks to the additions of guitarist Alessio Rossetti and bassist Fabio Crognosi.
The fascinating cover artwork (by Adhiira Art) takes us to a world where our mind ventures into distant and dreamlike places. You can hear some Steven Wilson, some late Anathema, and generally speaking you can feel that a lot of attention was paid to the post- scene of the last decade or so. Spiridigliozzi's guitar lines weave in a definitely charming and successful manner, playing a big role in defining the overall tone of "Insights". As mentioned above, "First Insight" is the first track to feature Francesca Giuditta on vocals, in a nice duet that could bring some passages by Anathema to mind as well, while in the single "The Desire" the Katatonia-esque guitars come back.
"Insights" is yet another proof of the extreme dynamism of this scene all around Italy, and the great competence of Spiridigliozzi and Biondi, who now put Distant Landscape on the map with a stable lineup which — I believe — is ready to go tour around. Perhaps, this record's main flaw is the lengthiness of some parts, which could have maybe shortened or trimmed in order to make the album a bit leaner and more direct in general. With some chiseling here and there, and by finding an even more personal style, we might soon be dealing with quite a relevant name in the Italian scene.