Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Hello again fellow progheads!  Now that everyone has their own copy of "Outer Light, Inner Darkness" by The Aaron Clift Experiment, it is time to pack up the Concert Closet and continue the search for all things prog.  This week we log some serious air miles heading from Texas, USA to Rome, Italy and the exciting sounds of Inior.

Classifying themselves as "...a contemporary progressive rock band..." seems a bit vague...so naturally I am only too happy to dig deeper, peel back the layers of that onion, and discover what lurks in the heart of Inior.  As they say, prog blogging isn't just a job--it's an adventure...

My search for all things prog has thus far revealed a few surprises, among them that most Italian prog bands lean toward the metal side of the garden.  Inior is no exception; however this is a band that sees metal through a different lens.  Inior is--like most things Italian--heavy on the ornate.  However, they do it without being ostentatious...laying it out with loud colors and multiple layers of sound while avoiding the "look at me" bravado.  So let us stride confidently to the buffet and sample the offerings...

The first song this week is a smooth, eclectic piece called "From Blue to Red."  The opening riff brings with it strong hints of what Steely Dan jamming with Weather Report might sound like.
Strong guitars are backed by solid drumming while dark vocals seep in through a crack at the base of your right ear.  Leaping through moods like a tiger through a flaming hoop at the circus, Inior taps into strong emotions here, stirring images and memories time tried for years to bury...

Striding back to the buffet for another serving, I am rewarded with "Dust," a tune with a more somber underside.  Inior smooths out the bumps on this piece, hitting with pulled punches and kicking with soft shoes.  Vocals start a race around the perimeter of your inner skull, darting to and fro as if being chased.  The song builds on that Italian ornate theme, layering keyboards and vocals on top of subtle guitar work held together by drumming that keeps everyone accountable.  Inior paints with a bright brush and is not afraid to expose darkness to the light.

Liner Notes...Inior is Flavio Stazi on lead vocals, Marco Berlenghini on guitar and vocals, Domenico Dante on bass, Daniel Mastrovito on keyboards, and Daniele Pomo on drums.  Hailing from Rome, Italy, Inior began in the prog world circa 2003 as Apple Device, the brainchild of Marco and Flavio. Performing gigs, building a sound, honing their skills, and (of course) going through the obligatory line-up changes that are the growing pains and life experiences of many a band led to the disintegration of Apple Device in 2011...and the birth of Inior in 2013.

The main focus of Inior is the concept album--a staple in the prog world.  The band released their debut album, "Hypnerotomachia" in November 2014.  Loosely translated as "the fight for love in a dream," the album focuses on the the human journey and the disgregation of appearances from society to inner self.  Yes; deep run the roots that  nurture the music growing in the rich soil of the prog garden...    

My final selection for review from this elaborate buffet is called "Starslave."  Once again Inior opens with a sound as smooth as a suede jacket.  Top notes of Yes permeate this tune, and I pick up aromas of The Alan Parsons Project wafting in the air.  The vocals delicately pierce the soft wall of sound Inior has built within the song...painting a mood of tranquility and inner peace.

The clip below is a deeper cut called "The Paper Ship." A mesmerizing piece that delves into the inner soul searching for a way out,  Inior goes way below the surface here yet you feel as though you are gliding on the glass-like surface of a still lake.  This is a band akin to a fine scotch; sip slowly and purposefully, take your time, and savor the experience.  Learn more about Inior at http://www.inior.it/en/ and discover their music at
https://itunes.apple.com/it/album/hypnerotomachia/id937202195.  Of course you can follow the band on Twitter @INIORofficial and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/inior.

Once again fellow progheads the search for all things prog has unearthed something remarkable.  The trip to Italy was seven days well spent; sounds to soothe and guide that search through inner self. Inior goes deep without going dark...ornate without being ghastly.

Italian prog is almost a genre unto itself and the prog garden is richer because of it.  Progressive rock has many facets...many sides.  Inior occupies a section of the prog garden that produces richer, more robust fruit.  Yet as delightful and eye opening as this week has been, it is time for the Concert Closet to make yet another discovery...until next week...


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