Leon : Wandering Vagrant is a band from Italy that was founded in 2015 by band leader Alessandro Rizzuto. A year later they worked hard on writing songs with the aim to release an album, these songs were recorded by the end of 2016 and ready for release. However, it took until April this year before the music was officially released, why this is the case is unclear but perhaps the gentlemen thought to get a record deal and it turned out to be disappointing. Eventually the CD was self-released and got the name 'Get Lost'.
Wandering vagrant is a bit of a peculiar name, would they really mean a drifting hobo? I assume that the band is named after the boss in the computer game 'Risk Of Rain', where Wandering Vagrant is a boss that needs to be defeated. Not that it has anything to do with the music, but just a funny fact. Musically the Italians are strongly influenced by a number of famous names in the prog genre, the ones that are obvious to the listener are Riverside, Porcupine Tree, and the melodic Opeth. In fact, if I wouldn’t pay attention during the instrumental pieces, I would think that one of the aforementioned bands is playing. Instrumentally, the band performs quite well, perhaps not as amazing as the big guys in the genre, and the songs are actually quite well written. There are, however, a number of small points of criticism that keep me from being super enthusiastic. For starters, singer and band leader Rizzuto has an incredibly strong accent and the level of English leave’s room for improvement. Texts like 'It grows more strong' (instead of 'It grows stronger') I find quite disturbing, especially if it’s also sung with a strong Italian accent. Other than that the man has a nice voice and certainly can keep up with the likes of, for example, Mariusz Duda (Riverside). On some occasions I feel that he could’ve come up with a better vocal line, sometimes there are some notes that are not pleasant to the ears. What compensates this, however, are the backing vocals of Francesca Trampolini, who doesn’t just have a nice voice but also performs really well on keyboard. I'm also not that crazy about some drum parts, I sometimes miss some feeling and can be a bit static, perhaps that's why drummer Marco Severi was replaced by Nicolló Franchi after the recordings? Lastly, nothing but praise for the guitars, they really make the difference on the album.
All in all, I must honestly say that Wandering Vagrant has delivered a very good debut album, 'Get Lost' is definitely better than what I get for reviews on average. There are a number of small points of criticism but, when added up, it’s enough to lower the score a bit, other than that de score is well deserved. If the band can grow some with the songwriting, and Rizzuto can work on his pronunciation, then I can see a bright future ahead for this band. If you think that Riverside, Porcupine Tree, and the more melodic Opeth are very cool, I would recommend to listen to 'Get Lost', but I would predominantly advise people to keep an eye out on this group.