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Deus Ex Machina - Imparis CD (album) cover

IMPARIS

Deus Ex Machina

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.63 | 38 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars This album comes with different artworks whether it the Cd alone or it includes the DVD. To most progheads, this should be a no-brainer and the double disc affair will sell loads. Actually no matter the artwork, none of them are interesting in the least, but the title miht just be a 2for1, since the studio album Imparis is coupled with Live In Paris DVD. Both were recorded while they were attending the festival Les Tritonales of that year.

The studio album is their sixth (if Cinque was their fifth) and although I've only three of them (now 4), Imparis is clearly their best, being a giant step forward after the clumsy, sombre Cinque. Alberto's troupes are in full fighting form and recorded the album over three days in a Paris studio in late spring 08, even if the sixth and final is a live rendition of a previous track (also included in the live DVD disc) from Cinque. I've always found it hard to write about DEM's music, mainly because of its eclectivity, as each tracks goes through so meny changes that it's almost useless trying to describe it, unless citing them all. Sooo what permeates from a DEM album is the great amount of energy, a desire to stay away from straight-forward rock, and avoid predictability by heading in a systematically different direction than what you'd have expected them to head in. There s one major exception in this album: the jazz- rock of Fin Del Mondo (end of the world), when they do get predictable except when you'd have wished for the track to be instrumental, Alberto's intervention midway through being catastrophic, but outside that bit, the track is certainly the album's second highlight, after the delightful slow-evolving but crescendoing intro of Galio Oro. Once the track is in full force an Emersionian Gentle Giant-esque soundscape slowly evolving into another crescendo (ala Starless) evoking Soft Crimson. The shorter tracks also have more spunk and jazzier ambiance than anything they'd done on Cinque.

As for the Live DVD, three of the six tracks present on the Imparis studio Cd are also played in the concert as well as two from Cinque and two (three including a drum solo) more are from Equilibrismo, so you won't get the band to foray in their early catalogue. This Les Tritons performance is a typical one from DEM, with the group performing the tracks very close to their studio version. With bits of other concerts tagged on at the end of Les Tritons' appearance, it might have been interesting to see early footage as well, but once again, aside from Italian TV clips, there isn't much to sink your teeth into. But the concert was the main object and the rest is pure bonus.

What's not apparent on Cd , but evident to anyone who's seen the group live is their singer's Alberto Piras' strong stage presence, dividing the crowds into two camps. The first accepting him and gesticulations between his sometimes distant interventions, the others being actually slightly irritated over his attempts to find something to do during the many instrumental passages, this taking easily 2/3 of a concert. Alberto's antics are actually fresh over the first two songs of the first concert you've seen from DEM, but over a full concert, he's mildly irritating. Other prog singers have solved this by learning an instruments, and I could easily see Alberto playing percussions. In the same idea, it might also be a good idea that the violinist during his lengthy absence might learn a wind instrument, in order to vary the group's sound a bit more. But now, I m nitpicking

DEM is the modern extant of great Italian groups like Area and are one of the very few new generation groups to be really worth it, along with their protégés DFA in the very same genre others like Periferia Del Mondo or Torre Del Alchemista being left wayayayay behind in terms of relevance.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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