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Ingranaggi Della Valle - Warm Spaced Blue CD (album) cover


Ingranaggi Della Valle


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.07 | 208 ratings

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4 stars Roman band Ingranaggi delle Valle is returning with a slightly more experimental sophomore album, having thrilled the prog community with their rather epic debut "In Hoc Signo". The main core of Mattia Liberati on keyboards, guitarist Flavio Gonnellini , violinist Marco Gennarinni and drummer extraordinaire Shanti Colucci are now complemented with a new vocalist in Davide Savarese, a full-time bassist in Antonio Coronato , as well as multi- instrumentalist Alessandro di Sciullo, who provides both keyboards, vocals and guitars to the heady mix. Guest appearance by iconic bassist Fabio Pignatelli, he of Goblin fame, only enhances the magic. This infusion of new blood has created a new sonic tangent, less jazzy perhaps and more atmospheric and stretching the bizarre even further

The 3 part "Call for Cthulhu" opens, continues and closes this mesmerizing recording, a true progressive sandwich that encompasses many of the stellar attributes that were unleashed on their debut but adding a ton of depth and atmospherics to their rather complex brew. Part 1 "Orison" remains mostly instrumental, as it highlights once again the spectacular interweaving of all players, obviously in tune with each other as if connected spiritually as well as musically and blending in some odd details, like the choir-like Mahavishnu Orchestra stylized voices that enhance Savarese's wild rant. Gonnellini does some serious screeching on his guitar as Colucci defies drum logic with a wild beating of the skins.

The Teutonic-tinged "Inntal" is a10 minute + affair that bewilders with initial delicacy, electric piano and booming bass setting the table, followed by sweet Mellotron waves. The various tangents come together unconditionally, a slow forming structure that reeks of Anglagard-like obstinate symphonism, Colucci doing his finest Bill Bruford imitation/tribute in syncopating the arrangement , exploding into a furious hurricane of insanity, violin in tow. The Mahavishnu- Larks Tongues-ear KC influence is overt and delightful, what with the violin, guitar, bass and drums creating a heady amalgamation of notes that stun and conquer. Bizarrely comes the unexpected German recited poetry (guest Florian Lechter) , as if to add to the bewildering confusion. Axeman Gonnellini shreds again in fine fashion, stripping, shearing and blasting unmolested.

Part 2 of "Call for Cthulhu", a perverse but short "Through the Stars", deafeningly unnerving and spectral, echoing bells and floating ghosts, very soundtrack Goblin. This seems the appropriate preparation for the highlight marathon "Lady Niva", a pulsating slash of melody and urgency, heavily dominated by cowering Mellotron washes, as the rhythmic tandem of Coronato and Colucci carve up quite a storm, while Savarese scales the octaves with a dissonant and hop-scotching vocal display that seems to ache with pain. Out of the 'warm blue', a mirrored pool of Frippian guitar streaks collide with a layered keyboard panorama that serves only to ratchet up the pulse, veering into almost Soft Machine/Isotope universes, clearly devoted to the jazz-rock idiom , before reverting to the initial symphonic storm. A hypnotic and repetitive piano note kills this masterpiece track off.

Obscurity tumbles on the sober "Ayida Wedo", a delirious blend of mathematical keyboard cubism (a la Richard Barbieri), a morose bass line and shifty drum beat. Clanging shards of guitar phrasings and Mellotron sweetness only add to the melee, then swerving into a demanding listen and frightening images that sear the brain. Complex, brooding and immaculately dark, perhaps in tribute to the Starless and Bible Black.

"Call for Cthulhu" finale "the Promise "fences in this troubling opus, a definitely engaging and unsuspecting ending that keeps the listener on a constant precipice, perhaps even vertigo. Organ, Mellotron and manic drumming create a tension-filled universe, a controversial flute solo from guest Paolo Lucini fueling the madness, the discomfort and the raw aggression. The experimental mid-section evolves into a cloudy universe of noises, effects and impressions, slowly rebooting the insanity and supplying the coup de grace.

Redefining the past by aiming for something unique, Ingrannagi delle Valle are part of the new vanguard of Italian prog (RPI or other various genres) that constantly keep the flame going, burning bright. This is very demanding music, requiring a devoted listen at all times, whether listening to the whole or the individual instrumental parts, it's a labor of love quite out of the normal context and augurs well for the future, with so many up and coming Italian groups , such as the magical Il Paradiso degli Orchi (still my favorite of 2016) and the arriving soon albums by Promenade, Il Rumore Bianco and La Bocca della Verita, that I just cannot wait to discover.

4.5 earnest spread-out sapphires

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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