Wednesday, 26 October 2011

BLACK AND WHITE MEMORIES


Il Ruscello is an Italian prog band based in London and formed by three musicians from Milan, Silvio Cavallo (vocals, acoustic guitar, drums), his brother Giampaolo Cavallo (bass) and Luca Herb (guitars, synthesizers, piano). After some experiences in local pop rock bands they decided to focus on a project inspired by the halcyon days of Italian progressive rock. Their goal was to record something new but featuring the same sound and spirit of the early seventies and their main influences range from PFM to Le Orme.

Il Ruscello 2009

Their debut album, “Paesaggio solare (estate 1972)” was conceived as if it was directly coming from past recording sessions, featuring vintage atmospheres and sounds. The album was recorded in London between January 2008 and March 2009 and was released on the Italian independent label BTF in September 2009 with a beautiful artwork and a booklet that recalls the early days of the RPI scene. Well, in my opinion the result is not completely convincing...

On the long opener “Il cielo in un ruscello” (The sky in a stream) the blending of the different “sources of inspiration” is a little bit clumsy, especially when they skip from a passage in “PFM style” to what to my ears sounds like an appalling parody of Le Orme’s “Frutto acerbo” from “Contrappunti”. Lyrics are naives, to say the least. A gaze towards to horizon permits to discover a strange landscape featuring walking flowers, boars biting the grass and whispering butterflies while concrete buildings reflect themselves in a quiet stream... Bah!


“La grande città” (The big city) is a little bit better. It’s a suite in two parts -  “La notte di una città” (The night of a city) and “Il risveglio di una città” (The awakening of a city) - that tries to describe in music and words the nightlife of a metropolis, from dusk till dawn. The vocals and lyrics are not the strength of this band but at least here you can find some really well crafted instrumental passages.

“La quiete” is a beautiful short, dreamy instrumental track featuring piano and acoustic guitar that leads to the title track, “Paesaggio solare (estate 1972)” (Solar landscape – summer 1972). Well, in my opinion it’s originality here is missing, in fact here you can find some melodic lines that seem to be picked out from “Maggio”, while some keyboards patterns remind me of “La fabbricante d’angeli” both songs by Le Orme from their 1974 album “Contrappunti”. The lyrics describe a pastoral landscape featuring two shining fireflies, a screaming heart of carnation flower and other amenities...


The long and complex final track “Orizzonti” (Horizons) is by far my favourite one on this work. Almost twelve minutes of good vintage prog rock featuring well balanced changes in rhythm and atmosphere. The lyrics here seem just touches of colour and not linguistic tools used in the attempt to tell something but the effect is good...

On the whole this album is not completely bad but it’s very far from essential in a prog collection. I think that Il Ruscello is a band with a good potential but in my opinion their qualities are still unexpressed...


Il Ruscello: Paesaggio solare (estate 1972) (2009). Other opinons:
Jim Russell: Il Ruscello is one of the most exciting RPI debuts in some time as it comes from a band aiming squarely to produce an album of equal beauty to the greatest Italian albums. That's right, this is not the usual bit of retro flavor being used by guys wanting to capture the modern prog/prog-metal fans. These guys sound to me like they are literally trying to recreate the Summer of 1972 for you---as in, let's go back in time and give the music fan the chance to hear a classic RPI album hot off the press... They possess the talent and the love of the classic composition to have a real shot at it. The tendency of many recent Italian retro bands has been to embrace the very heavy edge, throw in some metal riffing, or some angular Crimson/Deus Ex Machina edge on top of a classic Italian symphonic influence. Il Ruscello is not looking for that. They are trying to capture the sunshine of the pure, overblown Italian symphonic gem without reservation... (read the complete review HERE).
Assaf Vestin: I find this a compelling album; the music is too good to not listen to... They take simple melodies and make them more interesting and special and build up on them to create an appealing piece with their craftsmanship. Worth getting! (read the complete review HERE)

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Sunday, 23 October 2011

A TASTY RECIPE

Court is prog band from Varese that was formed in 1990 by five skilled young musicians: Paolo Lucchina (vocals), Mosè Nodari (guitars, oboe and recorders), Luigi Bonacina (bass), Andrea Costanza (guitar) and Francesco Vedani (drums, flute and recorders).


Their debut album, “And You'll Follow The Winds' Rush 'till Their Breath Dwells”, was recorded in Germany and released in 1993 by the indie label Music Is Intelligence. It features a very interesting and fresh blend of rock and classical influences... If you like bands like The Strawbs, Gryphon and Amazing Blondel I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

A short instrumental opener “Rising The Tale” leads to the long and complex epic “Alviss’ Revenge” that tells a cruel story inspired by Nordic Sagas... “Flying from the south / Maidens came through the dark forest / Young Goddesses they were Valkyries / On the seashore they set to rest / Spinning precious flax...”. The music flows for more than fifteen minutes avoiding the kingdom of boredom...

“Lovers” is a beautiful, tragic prayer, a particular ballad with a dramatic “Romantic” feeling while the next track, the dreamy  “Eckol” reminds me slightly of Gryphon and Angelo Branduardi... “I’ve fallen asleep dreaming of colours growing inside / I’ve fallen asleep dreaming of colours growing inside / Night! It’s the time, I’ll have my best / See you next sunset, Eckol my friend...”.


The long and complex “Cries” is a beautiful “anti-war epic”... While the music goes through many changes in rhythm and atmosphere the lyrics describe the celebration for the return of a victorious army... But in the crowd someone can’t stand it, a soldier who is speaking up against his mind: “There is no meaning, nonsense is war / We claim for us the rights of lands / As slaves we humble before a tyrant / And him we pray though he slew us / I lost my will in lies of king / I blinded my eyes and denied my dreams / I lost the chance to smile to dawn / To hope at dusk and fly by night...”.

“Willow Tears” is an amazing instrumental for guitar, while “Mirth For A Guest” is another short and joyful piece that recalls Gryphon. “The Song Of The Omniscent Dwarf” is a long ballad that every now and again reminds me of Amazing Blondel and that tells the story of a dwarf cheated by the God Odin and petrified by the sun. The instrumental “R.” and “Fading The Tale” close this excellent work.

The whole album can be legally downloaded for free from the official website of the band. So, have a try! Click HERE


Four years after their excellent debut work Court released “Distances”, an album featuring less folk and medieval influences and a soft, refined rock sound that every now and again could recall Pink Floyd. Here you can find “wider spaces”, “purer sounds” and “crimson reveries in a cage of beauty and grace”.  

“Does my singing live just when someone is enjoying it? / Or maybe it behaves like the wind that blows over seas although there are no leaves to stir? / I say: It lives because someone has lived and sang it... it lives because someone has lived...”. After the short instrumental opener “Shantàl (Far)”, the hypnotic and melancholic “The Turn I Was Gifted” drives you in a dreamy mood, followed by “Joy” (where the rhythm takes off like a “Zeppelin”), “The Spell Of The Rain” and the acoustic instrumental “View Gone”. The words and music draw moony soundscapes where acoustic guitars and flutes are in the forefront... Then comes the amazing long, complex epic “Sumptuous Moment”, inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson, my favourite track on this album, closer to the sound of their previous work, where folk influences are blended with a strong classical romantic flavour. Good also the other epic “Carved Box” and the soft instrumental “Close”... “The box is now closing / With her walk through the time / Kept safe inside...”.

Since the album can be legally downloaded for free from the official website of the band, have a try and judge it by yourselves! Click HERE


Court’s third album, “Frost Of Watermelon”, was released in 2007, ten years after “Distances”. It’s more heterogeneous and features a richer sound. The line up features a new guitarist, Marco Strobl, who stepped in taking the place of Andrea Costanza and during the recording sessions the band was helped by some guest musicians... The “recipe” is tasty and well balanced, including “ingredients” such as classical and acoustic guitars, mellotron, recorders and glockenspiel along with powerful bass lines, electric guitars and “smashed pumpkins”. Well, this band is not stuck in the past and you can find on this work not only echoes of Genesis and Pink Floyd but some “grungy passages” as well.

“I will be back again / Just to step and fly away / Believe me / I founded my world on a dream...”. In my opinion the highlights on this album are the dreamy “My World” and the hypnotic, mysterious instrumental “Bridge To Maya”. Interesting also the long and complex suite “Mad and Child” and the acoustic ballad “When I Lose”. The overall result is very good, so... “Sprinkle on the frost of watermelon” with slivers of dark chocolate, put the bowls in the fridge and serve cold”!

This album was immediately followed by a tour in the USA and the young Jacopo Favrin replaced Luigi Bonacina on bass. The tour culminated in an unforgettable concert in Hollywood, the band was spotted by some US promoters who convinced them to enter the Los Angeles Music Awards and in November 2007 Court were awarded Best Alternative Band by the jury. In 2009 a new vocalist, Marco Pedrini, took the place of Paolo Lucchina. The story continues...


Read the interview with the band on Progarchives, click HERE


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Friday, 21 October 2011

PSYCHEDELIC LIGHTS IN A DARK CITY


VU METERS are an Italian prog band from Rome that was formed by three experienced musicians coming from different experiences: Stefano Pontani (guitars, loops – previously with Ezra Winston, Anagramma and Mathilda Mothers), Fabrizio Santoro (bass, guitar, mandolin, keyboards – former member of Nodo Gordiano and Oak) and Ugo Vantini (drums, keyboards – in the past with Ezra Winston, Divae, Twin Dragons and drummer in a recent line up of the reformed “seventies cult band” Il Balletto di Bronzo).


Dark City”, their debut album, was released in 2007. It’s the result of long “jam sessions”, it’s completely instrumental and features six long, complex tracks. The music flows like magma from volcano slopes, blending delicate beautiful melodies with fiery and raw passages with the rhythm section in the forefront. The mood is dark, unquiet like the art cover by Ugo Vantini...


In many passages this work could recall King Crimson (as in the opener “Brain Washing”, in “Tetsuo” or in the hypnotic “AC/BC”) while in other moments you can find here a particular jazz feeling melting in “pastoral and melodic” guitar solos (as in the excellent “Swarm Intelligence”). In some passages you can perceive some echoes of bands as Perigeo, in others of Goblin (as in the final part of the mysterious, beautiful title track), but this work has its own strong dose of originality and grows listen after listen... Definitively not bad for a self-production! Have a try!

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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

OF WIND AND WATER


OLOFERNE are an Italian band from Chiaravalle, in the Province of Ancona. The line up features Alessandro Piccioni (vocals, bass, flute), Giacomo Medici (vocals, guitar, percussion), Giuseppe Cardamone (violin), Gianluca Agostinelli (guitars), Stefano Procaccini (guitars, bass) and Marco Medici (drums, percussion).


They started their musical project in 1999 trying to blend different influences ranging from medieval atmospheres to folk rock and progressive. In 2001 they recorded an eponymous debut album that was released and distributed by the independent label Ethnoworld/Venus in 2003. Since then they have alternated concerts and activities for theatre maturing a very good experience on stage. In December 2004 they released a second album that obtained a very positive feed-back by critics and media, “Le Parole del Vento” (The words of the wind), self-produced and featuring collaborations with artists such as Gastone Pietrucci (La Macina) and Sandro Severini (Gang).


After an intense activity on stage, in 2008 they finally released a third self-produced album “Segno d'acqua” (Water sign) which in my opinion is their best so far...

The opener “L’argonauta” (The Argonaut) is a kind of musical travelogue on the wings of poetry, full of toasts and fragrances, where echoes of Latin America are mixed with a suggestive Mittel-European flavour. It recalls an electric tango featuring Gypsy violin counterpoints...

The following track “Volver” (Back) is in the same vein and features a lively rhythm and swirling flute passages... “I run away and I’m distracted by voices coming from the south... Don’t be afraid, fight the wind if it wears you out...”. 

Next comes “L’amore della salamandra” (The love of the salamander), a piece full of sensuality where the sexual act is celebrated like an old ancestral ritual by a beautiful witch... “It’s two minutes to 3 a.m. / I’ve already set everything for you and me / There’s a fertile moon, the salamanders are breeding / Hot stuff is running in the veins...”.


La Piedra del Paranà” (The stone from Paranà) is another good track. It begins softly and the mood is dreamy, then the violin and flute lead to a lively dance where dreams can sail across the ocean and you can breath the clouds while melancholy and whispers flow away... “When my body will become of water / Death will die and I’ll be the stone of Paranà...”.

“La preghiera del marinaio” (The sailor’s prayer) and “A largo di Punta Stilo” (Off Punta Stilo) are linked together and form a mini suite about a naval accident that happened on March 22, 1965 near Punta Stilo, on the sea off the coast of Calabria. During a military exercise two ships of the Italian navy, the frigate Castore and another ship named Etna (as the volcano), collided and four sailors died. This piece is dedicated to the victims: Aristide Duse, Vittorio Celli, Domenico Franzese and Franco Pardini... “What’s up? What are these waves? Where is Aristide? / It’s the end, I’m drowning, it’s night... Domenico is not with me / The water is coming in too fast / Virgin Mary, help me!...”. There’s surprise but soon the rage against an incompetent captain takes over, there’s anguish and fear... “Captain, my captain, where are you? Maybe you’re already sleeping below deck / I hope that the sea will cover you as well... In a moment I understood how salted is the sea / It’s the mirror of those stars that you won’t see upon me...”.
 
The frigate Castore

“Controcanto” (Counter-singing) is a powerful ballad challenging the fate and the wind with its strong melodic lines... It’s about a song that soars against the wind in a warm night where the heart is open and makes you feel master of your destiny... “You look for the moon... You look for the fortune / But the wheel is spinning fast and it will never stop...”.

Byzantium” and “Oggi i pensieri sono alberi” (Today the thoughts are trees) form another mini suite that begins by slow and hypnotic bass lines while evocative sounds in the background draw a mysterious Oriental atmosphere... “Today the thoughts are like trees / Thanks to the sun there’s more shade for me / I seem free among my Britons dreams / But from trunks to obstacles the step is short...”. Then rhythm takes off and thoughts become flying leaves, voices of a choir that mixed together are going out of tune... “Please do not sing, leave me alone...”. This track features the jazz-musician Leonardo Sbaffi as a special guest on saxophone who adds a touch of colour.


“Fa# come Fard” (F# as blush) is a lively ballad that was already present on Oloferne’s debut album. Here we find a new arrangement with violin and flute in the forefront. The piece is dedicated to Astarte, the goddess of music... “If the hell does exist / It’s just an impression or a moment...”.   

The last track “Il segno d’acqua” (Water sign) is another beautiful acoustic ballad. It’s about the wish to set off on a journey across the sea running after the dreams. But this wish is counter-balanced by the fear of the waves... “My tattooed anchors are sinking into the wine / Today I missed one more time the train leading to my destiny...”. After a pause appears, as a ghost track, a short recitative passage, a tribute to Herman Melville’s novel “Moby-Dick” that concludes this very good album dedicated to water.


Oloferne: Segno d'acqua (2008). Other opinions:
Ken Levine: Oloferne's third disc is their most modern and polished, with an energy hitherto only hinted at. While the mystical and ritualistic mood of their debut is long past, the group seems to have achieved a better balance than on their sophomore effort. In fact there is a bit of a retrenchment towards their folk roots albeit at a higher octane level. The sound remains highly informed by the increasingly confident vocals of Alessandro Piccioni and Giacomo Medici , and the delightful celtic meets classical violin of Giuseppe Cardamone... (read the complete review HERE).


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Monday, 17 October 2011

HISTORY AND MODERN SOUNDS

Absenthia are an Italian prog band from Vicenza that was formed in 2005. The line-up features Igor D’Aoconte (vocals), Alberto Saccozza (bass), Massimiliano Piazzon (drums), Enrico Baù (keyboards), Paolo Miotti (guitar) and Ferruccio Caoduro (guitar). Their music blends influences ranging from PFM, BMS and Le Orme to folk, Italian melody and prog metal in a very original, convincing way. The band has a strong theatrical approach with the operatic vocals of Igor D’Aoconte in the forefront. The history of Ancient Rome is the main source of inspiration for the lyrics of their debut album, the excellent self produced “Tenebrae Vincunt”, which was released in 2009.


The album opens with “Commentarii – De Bello Gallico VII”, a beautiful ballad inspired by the life of Julius Caesar and his assassination. The lyrics deal with the immortality of ideals and great achievements that can be reached only after death... “When I am nothing but ashes / You will understand the true reminders that weave time / The flesh can die but the dream will come back in your head / In my death is concealed the secret / You will inherit my eternity...”.

The second track is the aggressive “Atomica Achillea”. The Achillea is a kind of medicinal herb that the ancient Greeks used to treat wounds. Here uranium is compared to a medicinal herb: what might have happened if the most ferocious armies ever on earth had had atomic bombs? Perhaps just the end of humankind and the beginning of a new world of dreadful peace...


“Absira e la battaglia di Teutoburgo” is a complex piece, romantic and powerful at the same time, a love song set in the middle of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 A.D. The character of the female slave Absira is a kind of metaphor for the pleasures of life that are wasted in the name of greed for power and money... “Absira silently dies in the twilight / The blood on her dress is like spilt wine... The flames are dancing around a dying love...”.

“Aria – Ricordi di un soldato” (Air – Souvenirs of a Soldier) is a beautiful ballad full of pathos and energy where a soldier remembers his past days and a woman... “Days never come back / The memories of a time that’s gone will fade away in the wind / But here inside me there’s still your souvenir...”.


“La danza dei miei Satiri” (The dance of my satyrs) is another great track, full of rage and despair for the ambiguities of life and the greediness of people. Then comes the fast, heavy marching beat of the next piece, the rebellious “Catilina e la congiura degli stracci” (Catiline and the conspiracy of the rags), which deals with the living hope of a man that fights against a corrupt class of politicians with a weapon called reason, without mercy. This track was inspired by the character of Lucius Sergius Catilina (108 BC - 62 BC), a Roman politician who attempted to ovethrow the power of aristocratic Senate...

In the dramatic, sensual “Amore e Psiche” heavy guitar riffs are counter pointed by fiery organ chords. The lyrics here are inspired by the tale of Cupid and Psyche by the Latin prose writer Apuleius. Next comes the dark, mysterious “Argonautica”, inspired by the character of Medea, an enchantress in ancient Greek mythology. The operatic approach of the singer here is more evident than ever.


“Spartacus” is a powerful track dedicated to freedom and to the dignity of people that die fighting in war because of the stupidity of dictators or politicians. It was inspired by tghe character of Spartacus, a famous leader of the slaves in the Third Servile War...  “Blood on the dust / Smell like ambition / That flies away from this joy / Theatre of death...”. The last track, “Lo schiavo infante e la matrona romana” (The young slave and the Roman matron) is a particular ballad that tells of a love story between a young slave and his older matron. The young slave was taken away from the house of her mistress and became a gladiator, but after many years he comes back to enjoy an ageless sentiment... “Livia was talking about her husband who never came back...”.
On the whole this is an excellent album. At the moment you can purchase it only from the official website of the band where you can also listen to some samples and download three tracks for free.

Absenthia: Tenebrae Vincunt (2009). Other opinions:
Chris “Seventhsojourn”: Folk, metal and the Italian melodic tradition are all fused into a darkly operatic whole, with Igor D'Aoconte's vocals occupying the same ballpark as Demetrio Stratos. Oh yes, he is that good. The album is a broadly conceptual work with the band's observations of the modern world presented in allegorical form. It's drenched in Classical mythology and several songs incorporate overlapping references to particular characters from the ancient world. Common threads that run through the album include heroes and dictators, love and war, freedom and slavery, but the real strength lies in the way these all come together... (read the complete review HERE).


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Sunday, 16 October 2011

FROM THE WHEEL OF TIME...


Il Ballo delle Castagne was formed in 2007 on the initiative of two musicians coming from different experiences: the vocalist and lyricist Vinz from a “low-fi project” called Calle della Morte and the multi instrumentalist and main composer of the band Marco Garegnani from a project called The Green Man. The line up was completed by Diego Banchero (Malombra, Recondita Stirpe and Egida Aurea) on bass and Jo Jo on drums. The name of the band means “The Chestnuts Ball” and it was inspired by a legend involving the Pope Alexander VI (1431-1503) and his luxurious habits: the “Chestnuts Ball” was a kind of “Satanic Sabbath” where naked women used to dance in the light of candelabrums picking chestnuts from the floor with their mouths. The music of this band is an interesting blend of psychedelia, hard rock, progressive and new wave. Their eponymous debut album was released in 2009 and in the same year they released a 10’ vinyl single featuring two covers, Biglietto per l’Inferno’s Ansia/Confessione and Franco Battiato’s Paranoia. Their sophomore album was released in 2011 on the independent label Hau Ruck S.P.Q.R. and distributed by Black Widow Records. It’s a concept album inspired by Wheel of Time, a documentary film about Tibet by Werner Herzog. The title is Kalachakra and the album is dedicated to the Dalai Lama and to the struggles for the liberation of Tibet.


The opener “Passioni diaboliche” (Diabolical passions) is a beautiful track full of a dark energy and enriched by the female vocals provided by the guest Carolina Cecchinato (singer of a folk prog band called Egida Aurea). The lyrics are about the need to get free from the diabolical passions and the ancient obsessions which dance inside us. We set off on a spiritual journey leading to purification... “Following the immense trail of the blind souls / I’m among those who seek the path to the source from which the water flows...”.


The next track “Tutte le anime saranno pesate” (All souls will be weighed) is unquiet and features a mystical atmosphere... “You’ll pay for every sin / In the temple of eternity you will be judged / And for every tear, for every sin a stone will fall from the sky...”. The lyrics were inspired by the Bardo Thodol, a funerary text which is often referred to in the West as the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It describes the experiences of the consciousness during the interval between the death and the next rebirth. A black stone will be hung on the neck of the evil people while a white stone will be hung on the neck of the good ones...


“I giorni della memoria terrena” (The days of the earthly memory) features church like choirs and a martial marching beat. The music, credited to Eloy, leads you throughout the shadows of Death, as through the fog between earth and sky...

The evocative title track features a strong psychedelic, Oriental flavour... “They bring an ancient wisdom / They sing old legends / The air smells of spices and incense / Lotus flowers accompany our steps / Here everything is quiet / From here you can reach the eternal... Pilgrims and travellers recite mantras waiting for a new awakening... Listen to the wheel of time...”.


“La terra trema” (The Earth trembles) is more rock oriented and features electric guitar and organ in the forefront The lyrics were inspired by a famous film directed in 1972 by Werner Herzog and starring Klaus Kinski, “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”... “The sky gets dark when I look at it / The Earth trembles under my steps / Aguirre is my name / I bring civilization / The cross and the sword...”. The instrumental coda featuring a fiery violin solo is excellent

“La foresta dei suicidi” (The forest of suicides) is a suggestive instrumental track featuring nocturnal piano passages and restless wordless vocals. The mood is definitively dark and it could be the perfect soundtrack to visit the forest of Aokigahara, near Mount Fuji in Japan...


“Omega” is mysterious and spacey. The lyrics are about the last voyage towards the great return, the rebirth after a long and uncertain wandering into the void... “Inside of me lives the whole universe...”.

The last track “Ballo delle Castagne” starts with hypnotic percussion and recitative vocals in German. The words have been taken from “Jesus Christus Erlöser” (Jesus Christ saviour) a controversial work for theatre by Klaus Kinski... A powerful psychedelic finale concludes the album.

Well, on the whole I think this is an excellent work, challenging and never boring, featuring many literary quotes and musical ideas that are definitively worth to check out...

Ballo delle Castange: Kalachakra (2011).Other opinions:
Assaf Vestin: Il Ballo delle Castagne presents here an album with two main ingredients; one heavy psychedelic rock, and the other a psychedelic abstract and eerie exploration. This has grown on me gradually with each listen and only with concentrated and repeated listening, did this album reveal to me its beauty and nuances (or rather I exposed my mind to it)... (read the complete review HERE).
Olav Martin Bjørnsen: Fans of psychedelic art rock should take note of this one, in particular if they enjoy vintage-oriented material covering a broad musical canvas... (read the complete review HERE).

Read the interview with Il Ballo delle Castagne at progarchives. Click HERE



GOTHIC ATMOSPHERES FROM THE ETERNAL CITY


DUNWICH is mainly the brainchild of keyboardist and composer Claudio Nigris who started to work on this project back in 1985. The present line up was assembled in 2004, after three albums released in the nineties and a long pause. Now, along with Claudio Nigris, Dunwich features Francesca “Elayne” Naccarelli on vocals and Roberto Fasciani on bass. For their last studio album, Heilagmanoth, they got the help of a large number of guest musicians (including a choir and a string quartet) who provided an extremely rich musical texture. The result is a very interesting blend of metal, classical music, Celtic and Medieval influences.
 
The excellent artwork describes in some way the musical content. Esoteric literary works by writers such as Gustav Meyrink (in the dark and mysterious “La casa dell'alchimista”) and H. P. Lovecraft (“Escape from Innsmouth”) inspired some of the pieces while others were inspired by myths and legends as “Beowulf”. The lyrics are in Italian, Latin and English and the words seem just “swimming in the dark”, sung by the beautiful, operatic voice of Francesca Naccarelli, often backed by a powerful “church-like” choir while all along the album the keyboards and electric guitars perfectly interact with acoustic instruments such as flutes and strings.


One of my favourites tracks is “Il falso principio” that features an obscure and Medieval atmosphere and was inspired by the character of Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600), an Italian philosopher who was victim of a false principle and of his quest for knowledge. For this reasons he was burned at the stake as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition... “Blind is the man who can’t see the sun / Fool is the one who can’t know / Ungrateful is the one who doesn’t thank such as great light...”.


Other good tracks are the epic “La lama, il ghiaccio e il fuoco” (The blade, the ice and the fire) and “Terra di Ambra, Neve e Fuoco Nero” (Land of Amber Snow and Black Fire) that was conceived as a mystical musical journey through a forgotten, frozen land. Anyway, the overall impression I got from all the tracks on this album is very positive. If you’re in dark symphonic metal atmospheres I’m sure that this album will be an excellent addition to your collection...

Dunwich: Heilagmanoth (2008). Other opinions
Iván Melgar-Morey: Dunwich is a box of surprises... The metallic element is the preeminent and the album is some sort of Symphony X with operatic vocals, as if Dunwich had already ended a ´progressive metamorphosis from XV Century troubadoresque music to Prog Metal, a fantastic voyage through five centuries of musical history done in fifty minutes... (read the complete review HERE).

You can read an interview with Dunwich on Progarchives. Click HERE

More info about the band: