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Abash - Il Viaggio...Ritorno al Sud CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Spicy, energetic 4th album

"Il Viaggio...Ritorno Al Sud" marks the return of Abash-hard to believe it has been almost a decade since their well reviewed previous album "Madri senza terra" in 2006. This modern RPI/Crossover band have been around since the late 1990s and their line-up has remained mostly consistent over the years.

I've not heard all of their albums but Abash do have a sound all their own. While there are some old school RPI sensibilities in the band's DNA, they are not dominant, and there are other ethnic influences at play, perhaps African and middle Eastern. They also veer occasionally into heavier realms, not really heavy, not metal, just a meatier instrumental flex with even a bit of a fusion element at times. If that sounds pretty all-over-the-map, it can be, but they are excellent musicians and the sound is further enhanced by the vocals of Anna Rita Luceri, who brings great passion and expressive ability. I'd say they sound a bit like a cross between Izz and I Treni All'Alba. I get a travelling minstrel vibe from them, a bit of exotic spiciness, although these feelings are contrasted with very modern sounding rock instrumentation and production.

They are feisty right from the gate with the opener's deceptively serene piano intro turning into a workout of heavy guitars, synth, organ, bass, and eventually dramatic vocals. There are some very ambitious vocal arrangements in places, notably "Stasira Canta." The male and female vocals are doing different things completely adding to the depth of the piece. No surprise I enjoyed most the tracks that had the Italian flavor, or at least some toned-down folk flavors. The lovely acoustic "Bayati" features Luceri's beautiful "la la" vocals over light percussion, accordion, and mostly acoustic picking, a nice vibe of sitting at an outdoor sidewalk cafe in some little village. I was somewhat less thrilled by the heavier and more manic sounding sections. In general the songwriting on this album loses me the "funkier" it gets. When the band moves more into that area it gets a bit repetitive or contrived, to my ear, despite the strong vocals. They close it out with a live track recorded at "Teatro Cilea" Reggio Calabria in 2012. Here the band shines with great command, a festive power-folk song that makes you want to dance! I think Abash is a better live band, I think they reach a fruition there that is hard to match in the dryness of studio production.

I've always recognized the talent and understood the great appreciation for Abash. My personal star rating may be lower than others simply as a matter of taste.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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