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RanestRane - A Space Odyssey, Part Two - H.A.L. CD (album) cover

A SPACE ODYSSEY, PART TWO - H.A.L.

RanestRane

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.01 | 66 ratings

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Bucklebutt
5 stars It's tough to rate this album for me considering the progarchives rating system. This isn't particularly an essential ablum, but for people like me who love themselves some sci-fi Space Rock/Rock Progressivo Italiano (Neo-prog?), it is. If you are not a fan of Space Rock or Rock Progressivo Italiano or Neo-prog, then you are not likely to find anything here that will change your opinion, but for those who are I thoroughly recommend.

The album is intermittent with dialogue taken from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. I'm a big fan of this film. The dialogue segments taken from the film are dealt with very well, with the band playing over the dialogue with spacey atmospherics. Again, if you aren't a fan of the film or the use of audio tracks in this manner, be wary.

'Jupiter Mission' is a short track featuring lovely operatic vocals and introducing the spacey atmosphere. The track builds and feels as if it's about to explode but stops abruptly leading into the next track..

..'Discovery One'. A spacey synth riff and wailing guitar introduce us to the general feel of the album. The highlight of this track for me is it's fantastic chorus, I find myself singing along without having a clue what is exactly being said (oh yes, I butcher it).

The next track, 'Broadcast News', is a real gem. Here a dialogue segment introduces us to the crew of ship with a mission statement. An absolutely beautiful instrumental section follows with a great little synth solo and some downright tasty drumming. Another audio segment introduces to the "full-proof" artificial intelligence system H.A.L. through a dialogue segment. H.A.L. tries to reassure us that we are in good hands, what can go wrong right? A great guitar solo follows, ending with a last bit of dialogue Interviewer: "Do you believe that HAL has genuine emotions?" Dave Bowman: "Well, he acts like he has genuine emotions. Um, of course he's programmed that way to make it easier for us to talk to him. But as to whether he has real feelings is something I don't think anyone can truthfully answer."

Man, HAL creeps me out. Why the hell would they would they program him with "emotions"?

'Freddo al Cuore' is a nice slow track which slowly builds to a breakdown with a gorgeous guitar solo with some great drumming. The calm before the storm.

'AE-35' starts with HAL talking to Bowman: "I know I've never completely freed myself from the suspicion that there are some extremely odd things about this mission.( Nice rhyme there HAL - maybe HAL just wants to be a singer or poet or something) I'm sure you agree there's some truth in what I say." After some chatter between the two, HAL informs us of a "fault in the AE-35 unit". The beginning of the storm. There is a shift in atmosphere as a haunting synth solo backed with a pounding drum bit explodes into one hell of a haunting jam.

'Space Walk' starts off with an audio of someone breathing heavily with a sound of seeping oxygen in the background reminding us that this is happening in space, thousands of miles from the comfort of our atmosphere. Soaring vocal passages evoke a feeling of despair throughout the song. This is a more restrained track with some very solid playing all around without taking focus on the poignant and evocative vocals and atmosphere. Great outro jam.

'La perfezione che si cerca' takes us back to a pretty straight forward track. That's not to say that it isn't great, nothing to hate here.The ending guitar solo and drumming steal the show here. "It can only be attributable to human error." reminds HAL regarding the supposed failure of antenna on the ship, which HAL himself falsified. HAL... you literally heartless bastard!

'Sono Come Morte' is yet another fantastic track. Absolutely beautiful instrumental passages definitely make this a highlight of the album.

Dave Bowman: I'm not sure, what do you think?

Dr. Frank Poole: I've got a bad feeling about him.

Dave Bowman: You do?

Dr. Frank Poole: Yeah, definitely. Don't you?

Oh hell yes I do. In space, rogue AI governing survival chances, what could go wrong?

'Buio Interno' is a vocal and piano driven ballad where Daniele Pomo shows us his vocal chops. Beautiful piece.

The album comes to an explosive end with 'Computer Malfunction' which is a bombastic track with all the bells and whistles. The 'computer noises' at the end send a chill down my spine much like the movie. We are living in one hell of a time where Kubrick's fears seem more real and impending then ever. A great ending to a great journey.

So all in all, I unabashedly love this album. I even sat on this review for a few weeks to ensure I wasn't being swept up in the moment. There is not a weak track on the whole disc, the musicianship is downright fantastic. Easily one of my favorites from 2015, probably listened to it more than any other album considering I love to drum along to it. What would have Stanely Kubrick thought? Who knows, he probably wasn't much of a prog fan. But as a fan of both the movie and prog I feel that this album does do the movie justice evoking the horrific implications of space travel and unruly AI, even if it relies a bit heavily on it the material. I think I'm gonna go watch myself some 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Bucklebutt | 5/5 |

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