The first core of the band was formed in 1986.
The first contract was signed in 1993 with Cygnus Records
(Vynil Magic) which will introduce the first cd release:
In 1999 Mellow Records produces the second cd “Diamanti”
and in the same year the band participates, still on behalf
of Mellow Records, to the compilation tribute to the 70’s Italian
progressive music consisting in a 4 cds box set entitled :
"Zarathustra's Revenge" and including the cover
“Sotto i ponti” by Pierrot Lunaire.
released 11 November 1999
The good response of ''Ultimo Miraggio'' helped Mad Crayon sign a contract with Mauro Moroni's Mellow Records and the band covered the Pierrot Lunaire track ''Sotto i ponti'' for the 97' ''Zarathustra's Revenge'' compilation.Next came the preparation of the new album with drummer Stafano Fabiani out of the picture.He was replaced by Federico Tatti on guitars/sax, while the band was helped by Stefano Crudele on drums, Simone Durante on Hammond and Eleonora Ricci on additional vocals.''Diamanti'' was recorded at SoundonMusic Studios in Rome and released in 1999.
Do not get fooled by the weak opener ''La ballatta dell'uomo nudo '', which sees Mad Crayon experimenting with rock, funk and prog sounds with a questionable result.The rest of the album follows the same line as ''Ultimo Miraggio'', though this time the whole effort is sung in Italian.The band's style is firmly rooted in the vein of GENESIS, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI and BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO,adding a breeze of fresh air in contemporary Italian Prog and standing next to bands like NOTABENE, ARCANSIEL and RANDONE.The excellent melodic guitar lines are alive and well supported by the massive use of keys with romantic piano lines, symphonic synthesizers and fiery organ on the forefront.Vocals are decent though they were never Mad Crayon's strong point.This is definitely the ability of the band to switch from soft melodic textures to dynamic parts with dominant solos always with a sense of harmony around.The long instrumental parts are now given an extra dimension with the addition of saxes and the acoustic passages remain well-crafted and very sensitive.Though the album lacks a really stand-out composition, it is well-crafted from the start to the very end.
While Mad Crayon's ''Diamanti'' has not really anything new to add to the modern prog scene, the high level of musicianship, the memorable melodies and the nice arrangements make it worth adding in a prog collection.Fans of Italian Prog should definitely check this out.Strongly recommended, maybe a bit less inspired than the debut of the band.