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Aton's - A.I 2984  CD (album) cover

A.I 2984



Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.94 | 9 ratings

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3 stars Aton's is an Italian band that was around in one form or another for over 20 years but this is my first experience. They are something of a mixture of traditional symphonic prog with neo-prog and mainstream pop/rock. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a minor influence by Talking Heads or other punk/new wave pop groups.

Songs are generally pretty rocking but there are occasional acoustic passages played on Ovation 6 string. All of the musicians are very good. The vocals which are in Italian are pretty good and very optimistic sounding as is the music in general. (Of course I can't understand the vocals so I don't know what the songs are about, but the music sounds upbeat.)

The title track opens the disc at over 8 minutes in length. Theatrical vocals burst forth right off the bat in a Christian Decamps style but not quite so over-the-top, maybe a low-calorie Decamps sound would be the way to describe them. In fact it's funny this song sounds more like French prog to me than Italian. Finally around 6 minutes Pietro lets rip with a nice electric solo and he definitely can play some guitar. "Scacco Matto" is a laid back pleasant pop song with some nice bass playing and a short piano ending. "Principessa" plods along mid-tempo sounding like early 80s new wave. "Il Soldato e il Drago" starts with a repeating descending chord pattern that blossoms into an expressive acoustic section. This track sounds to me like it could have been influenced by Jester's Tear. Good song. "Figli Del Buio" starts with gentle finger-picking before the band joins in for a song that to me sounds like a track from 10,000 Maniac's "Wishing Chair" album. You heard it here first. Aton's sounds like 10,000 Maniacs with male Italian vocals instead of Natalie, which begs the question: Is Aton's folk rock? Or were Maniac's neo-prog? OK, neither one, but tell me this song doesn't sound like Maniacs circa 85. Things change drastically around 6 minutes to a funky bit and then a nice guitar solo. "Sulla Ferrovia" starts with heavy phased power chords leading into the clean electric picking quite typical here. "Vai" features one of the best vocals here, very emotional and filled with longing. The chords are sad ones but still the song leaves some hope in the bass parts and beautiful guitar solo. My favorite track. "Liberta" closes the album with a gorgeous example of acoustic talent throughout, with the sounds of ocean waves behind the guitar and vocal. Great ending. This album seem to build and get better in the 2nd half.

To be brutally frank, the sound quality of this CD version (Mellow 312) really does suck. But it's not a deal breaker for me. I have an imaginary line with regard to sound quality. Below that line I just can't enjoy an album. This one is about two clicks above that line so I would say it is listenable but don't expect a great production.

This is a good album although it is far from essential. I really enjoyed the upbeat sound and the personality of the band. If I had to briefly describe their sound here it would be "a marriage of 80s pop/rock and prog." The two bonus tracks have much better sound quality than the album itself which reminds you with every play how badly a remastering is in order here. Lyrics included (in Italian only.)

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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