Eastern Stand Time greetings fellow progheads! Setting the clocks back is always bittersweet for me; while I love the extra sixty minutes Sunday morning lying prone and unconscious, the pre-dinner sunsets get me feeling melancholy for summer. The best cure for the "lack-of-daylight" blues
is--what else--a prog music album review!
Although I asked you to adjust your reading habits to a bi-weekly format, I am (as usual) going off script and posting a new entry in this, my "off week." My loyal followers will recall a review I wrote in March 2014 for Il Rumore Bianco; a band with but one EP at the time, "Mediocrazia." Dedication to their craft has paid off as the band--just as I predicted-- will be releasing their second album, "Antropocene" November 11th and asked me to write a new review.
Having been on the search for all things prog over three years, it is still personally gratifying when a band or artist asks for my humble opinion of their work; a responsibility I never take lightly. So join me in the Concert Closet as I set the GPS for a return trip to Verona, Italy and embark on some quality time listening to "Antropocene."
First serving on the buffet platter is a calorie laden serving of ""Al Crepuscolo Dell'anima." In keeping with complete transparency and full disclosure, Italian is not my mother tongue. However; in the prog garden, music speaks to your heart and soul...and the depth and emotions are bursting through loud and clear.
The song opens with a jazzy, "Transatlantic meets Jaco Pastorius" feel to it. The bass line draws you in throughout the entire piece while drums and guitars work in harmony to create a sturdy yet fragile foundation to relay a message of hope. There is an urgency permeating the music as it enters your auditory canals and runs the length of your spine. Not intended to be a spoiler alert--but the gunshot following the spoken word at the end will chill you...and make you want to go back and right the injustices the world never seems to run out of...an extremely moving piece...
Going back for a second serving, I find "Tempio Pallido" flowing gently through the headphones. The soft piano opening belies a gentler, softer side to the band...top notes of Under the Psycamore and Sir Chronicles waft through the air like cotton candy threads at the county fair. Il Rumore Bianco plays with an understated intensity...the ability to strike so many affecting chords and thrust so many conflicting colors at the canvas while maintaining a sense of calm and serenity is rare and appreciated. Il Rumore Bianco shares acreage in the prog garden with Seven Impale, Gentle Giant, and Gekko Projekt. This is a band that, while seeming to prefer the rain, can have a lot of fun in the sunshine as well.
Liner Notes...originating in the aforementioned Verona, Italy in 2012, Il Rumore Bianco is Allesandro Zara on lead vocals, Giacomo Banali on guitars, Michele Zanotti on guitars and saxophone, Thomas Pessina on keyboards and synthesizers, Allesandro Danzi on bass, and Andrea Sbrogio on drums. If the studio is not crowded enough, the band includes additional musicians Federico Lonardi on guitar, Eddy Fiorio on synthesizer, Umberto Sartori behind a second drum kit, and Carlo Cappiotti on backing vocals.
Il Rumore Bianco released their debut EP "Mediocrazia" in 2013. Having poured forth a solid foundation of sound, the band supported the album with extensive touring throughout northern Italy. Three years after the fact, "Antropocene" is the band's sophomore release and first full length album. Il Rumore Bianco stays mainly in the deeper, though-provoking section of the prog garden, but they are quite capable of straying "outside the lines" and pushing a button or two in your limbic system. You may be tempted to focus on the smoky haze that seems to have settled over their sound but just keep walking...the lens clears as the big picture comes into focus.
My final selection for review this week is called "Tephlon." This particular cut hits harder and strikes deeper as Michele's saxophone comes right at you from the start. Top notes of Weather Report, Chick Corea, and Traffic flow through the headphones like an electric current firing up an amplifier. The sound comes at you from all directions...building layer upon layer with keyboards and drums that underlie the sax as the bass keeps you mesmerized from just outside the light's bright arc...Il Rumore Bianco is a band well worth expanding your music library for.
"Antropocene" will be available November 11th and I ask all my loyal followers to peel back the curtain and check it out for yourselves. You can learn more about Il Rumore Bianco at the band's website Il Rumore Bianco. Their debut release is available now at IRB Bandcamp in case you cannot wait for "Antropocene" to drop Friday. As always, social media makes it easy to contact and follow the band at IRB Facebook and get the latest musings and rumblings from Twitter @IlRumoreBianco. The band also has a YouTube channel at IRB YouTube where I suspect additional videos will be posted following the release of "Antropocene."
Since the new album is not out yet, I cannot post a clip...but rest assured that when the clock strikes twelve Friday morning, it will have been well worth the wait. Il Rumore Bianco is adding an impressive entry to their resume, which will continue to grow and expand as the band reaches a wider audience and extends their reach through the prog garden. Following a band as they grow, watching and listening as their sound evolves and matures (like a fine Italian wine), is really why I started the search for all things prog in the first place.
Those of you who have been following my journey know that prog rock is the center of my musical universe, and discovering new and lesser known bands and artists are the driving force behind why I do what I do. The search for all things prog is more than just a catch phrase; for me it truly is a journey that been as fun as it has been educational. Il Rumore Bianco is but a snapshot of the ever growing paradise that is the prog garden.
Now the search for all things prog continues on its global quest to bring to you my loyal followers the latest editions to the prog garden. Updates such as this make it especially rewarding; I hope you enjoy the success stories as much as I do. But now is not the time to wax philosophic; there is too much undiscovered acreage in the prog garden. The search for all things prog marches on...until next time...