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Runaway Totem - Tep Zepi CD (album) cover


Runaway Totem



3.39 | 23 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. Dark, intense and oppressive music with powerful Italian vocals is perhaps the best way to describe this album. Less spacey and less of a Zeuhl flavour on this one compared to the previous one called "Andromeda". This record really has a gothic feel to it at times and I wasn't surprised to see that this band used to be on the "Black Widow" label.

The first track "Aurea Carmina" is dark and atmospheric with church bells slowly ringing out before the powerful Italian vocals come in. The organ is great before the vocals stop and various sounds come and go. Spoken words arrive late.This first song has really set the mood. "Sacro Re" takes things up a few notches as a heavy soundscape including some abrasive guitar opens the song. The instrumental work here is fantastic as the tempo slightly shifts. After a great 4 1/2 minutes a pastoral passage comes in including acoustic guitar and vocals. I like the background synths. The last minute of the song reverts back to the original melody. "Pardos" has some amazing chanting on it. It sounds like male and female choirs taking turns. Very powerful. 2 minutes in the song comes alive with some heavy guitar melodies that turn into scorching, ear piercing sounds 3 1/2 minutes in. The choirs are back 6 minutes in.This is great !

"Iperborea" starts off with clashing guitar, and then those incredible sounding Italian vocals as the guitar grinds away. Nice. Synths come in. Uplifting and powerful vocals after 3 1/2 minutes. There is what sounds like an explosion a minute later. Lots of atmosphere and spoken words. The guitar just rips it up after that. "Montsalvat" is spacey to open before the guitar pierces the tranquility. There is so much guitar on this album which is partly why I love it so much. Vocal sounds and guitar battle for supremecy until the song speeds up and brightens briefly. The last minute of the song is great. The final 3 songs are part of a suite called "I 4 Signori". There is a guest vocalist used on this section. It starts with "L'Isola Sacra" that begins with 2 minutes of instrumental work before the vocals come in. A fuller sound 3 1/2 minutes in. Guitar and drums lead the way as the song blends into "I Guardiani" which continues in the same vein. The final song "Akasha" is different as it opens with a spacey soundscape before guitar and drums join in. The drums pound away and the guitar is so raw and abrasive. I like it. Vocals 3 minutes in.

Excellent release from this great Italian band that likes to mix different styles of music into their sound. All I know is I really like the music they create. Bravo !

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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