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Secret Chiefs 3 - Traditionalists: Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini CD (album) cover

TRADITIONALISTS: LE MANI DESTRE RECISE DEGLI ULTIMI UOMINI

Secret Chiefs 3

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.20 | 23 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This album by Secret Chiefs 3 is actually done completely by one of the satellite bands that records under the SC3 name. The satellite band featured here is Traditionalists, who is the incarnation of the band that does songs in the style of movie soundtracks. That is what this album is, a soundtrack from a movie that doesn't exist. The name of the non-movie is 'Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimit Uomini', which translated from Italian to English is 'The Severed Right Hands of the Last Men'. The music is based on and inspired by existing Italian horror/suspense films called 'giallo horror films'. Soundtrack composers like Ennio Morricone, Bruno Nicolai and others are sources of inspiration for this album.

The album is made up of 30 tracks, all of them with durations less than 3 minutes (except for two tracks that manage to barely crack the 3 minute mark, and the entire album run time is just under an hour. Some tracks are quite dramatic, spooky and cinematic as you would expect, and others, like 'Sophie's Theme' are very European sounding with mostly orchestral elements. There are wordless vocal elements scattered throughout, mostly elements of horror.

Trey Spruance, the one constant person in the SC3 collaborations, plays most of the instruments, but there are several other guests that pitch in playing additional keyboards, string instruments, percussion and so on. At times, the music is quite accessible as far as soundtrack music goes, but at other times it can get quite chaotic and intense in an avant-garde manner, sometimes shifting suddenly from one style to another, but remaining mostly orchestral throughout. From time to time, you get a more modern feeling, like on 'Agenda 21' that features an upbeat and jazzy bass line supporting dissonant chimes, swirling flutes and strange guitar power chords. There is also a sense of humor that shows up every once in a while in the music itself as is the case with 'Zombievision 2012' and also with the intentionally terrible rhythm loop in 'RFID Slaverider'.

The music is ever changing, but there are a few running themes that pop up in differing variations throughout the album, that helps to keep a line of coherent themes. For a soundtrack that mixes modern and orchestral elements, is does have a surprising amount of variety to keep things interesting. I find the entire thing to be quite interesting and never really lose my interest because it is full of nice surprises as far as musical elements go. The fact that there are so many short tracks really does not take away anything from the album as the tracks mostly flow into each other and become small parts of a greater whole. While going through the album, it helps to keep track of the individual section as the go by track by track, because it helps you keep your place in the entire sequence and it helps to break up the entire album into each individual thought and idea. I find it all even more enjoyable by doing this.

As with every other SC3 album, I find this one quite enjoyable even if it is a non-soundtrack. You can almost even see the scenes that are depicted in the music, and that is quite a feat to pull that off so believably. I can't help but consider this a masterpiece, like most of the SC3 music. The music is meticulously composed and played, every note is important. The amazing thing is how it all flows together so well, because you run into some really strange shifts through the music, but it all seems like everything fits into the whole picture so well. Once again, I find it difficult to give this album anything other than 5 stars, it is quite the masterpiece in my opinion.

TCat | 5/5 |

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