Italian progsters Stairs of Life have come up with an understated gem with this unassuming little four track EP.

Heavily redolent of Steven Wilson’s Blackfield project (vocalist Luca Aldiso is a singing spit of Aviv Geffen), the soporific, woozy air created on Man in a Glass will weigh heavy on your eyelids if you come to the release after a few beers, easing you into the arms of Morpheus with it’s comforting, smooth charms.

That’s not to say anything here is boring, of course; The title track features a superb, Gilmouresque solo from Alessio Erriu, whilst closing composition Our Lady of Grace has a restrained rockingness to it that’ll shake you from your slumbers and have you out of your chair given half a chance.

You Are Gone is probably the closest the band get to ‘heavy’, with riffs and organ meshing to provide a strident backdrop to Aldiso’s thoughtful delivery, and drummer Fabio Vitiello building up a nice wall of tom tom abuse to back the whole structure up. But this is heavy as a relative term, the band never needing to resort to mere dull-minded riffage to get their point across, preferring always to let their craft and skill do the talking.

Some may see this as cookie-cutter prog, and whilst there’s certainly nothing new being added to that particular genre by Stairs of Life on Man in a Glass, there’s enough here to make this worth any prog fans time and effort – seek it out. You won’t be disappointed.

Stairs of Life release the Man in a Glass EP through Sliptrick Records today.