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Deus Ex Machina - Gladium Caeli CD (album) cover

GLADIUM CAELI

Deus Ex Machina

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.08 | 32 ratings

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Atavachron
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I wanted to like this record. I wanted to be glad to have found this freshman effort by the talented Italian band with the cool name and swank surrealist cover art. And what is there not to like-- fine musicians all; drummer Marco Matteuzzi the heart of the group with an off-the-hook, tight and bright performance, Mauro Collina's strong Les Paul right in the pocket with Alessandro Porreca's bass and the perfect synths of Luigi Ricciardiello on harmonic support. And 'Expergi' is a fine first number creeping open through Ricciardello's synth wash, rising as the band overtures. Alberto Piras has a Brad Delp-like wail that fits the music if distracts and the tune swings with cock-rock confidence. 16-minute 'Arbor' has Collina on a sensitive solo blues/folk improvisation before the rest amble in, a well-built heavy shuffler with room left in for plenty of jam. DeM alternately remind of Zeppelin circa 1973 and classic Italian power acts as Osanna, Area and Balletto di Bronzo, with hints of ELP and American corporate rock. It is conceptually but not always creatively successful, making it a reasonable debut.

I wanted to like this record. To appreciate the mix of complex precision with the adrenaline rush of live music and, as with any unheard music, to look forward to listening again many times. But like a relationship gone bad that just won't die - the empty hope that somehow things will work out - it lingers waiting to be more than what it is. But you both know it's over and the writing is on the wall. The title is a slightly soggy love tune featuring some fine keywork from Ricciardiello, and 'Ignis ab Caelo' is folkie and quite good, Alessandro Bonetti's violin fitting in nicely with more great band kinetics from the drums/bass/guitar trinity. Finally we get 'Dialeghen', fourteen minutes of great heavy symphonic rock with contrasting passages of synth and church organ flurries, acoustic balladry, pumped-up power prog and a level of inspiration the band couldn't seem to maintain.

I wanted to like this record. And in fact I do, I'm just not attracted to it. It's not the relationship I'm looking for. It's not my type, and though fine on the surface it is a romance doomed to fail. But that doesn't mean someone won't love it, and to them I say carry on.

Atavachron | 3/5 |

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