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Giant The Vine - Music For Empty Places CD (album) cover

MUSIC FOR EMPTY PLACES

Giant The Vine

 

Crossover Prog

3.41 | 11 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars Info from the band. "The band is founded in 2014 on the initiative of Fabio Vrenna who thanks to a site of announcements for musicians meets guitarist Fulvio Solari and drummer Daniele Riotti. From the beginning, the intention is to record the songs, written mostly by Fabio Vrenna. And so, in trio, the Giant the Vine start recording. The original trio is joined by Marco Fabricci, a Turin bass player willing to arrange and record all the bass parts, without ever meeting Giant the Vine. And Ilaria Vrenna (Fabio's daughter) share the piano parts and keyboards on the album. The name of the band is inspired by the Gentle Giant and the Genesis song One for the Vine. The "empty places" of the title are the empty places left by people when they leave, but the traces of their presence are still alive. The words "Thanks to Mark Hollis" of Talk Talk (who died early 2019), were inserted when the English artist was still alive, and unfortunately became posthumous while the album is in print. The disc is published on April 15, 2019. The music from Giant the Vine comes from three different decades. And tastes of the members are also influenced by a fairly broad historical period: ranging from the giants of the English progressive, to the punk of the early 80s, to the Tool metal or System of a Down. Today it is the music of Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Mogwai, who put together Fabio Vrenna, Fulvio Solari and Daniele Riotti. The experience of Mogwai is the one that most encouraged the band in the choice of instrumental production. After the release of the album bass player Antonio Lo Piparo joined Giant The Five and will join the band on stage."

Listening to this debut album I notice that the focus is emotion, and consider Music For Empty Places as a pretty intense musical experience (like Radiohead, Coldplay and Riverside). The band hosts two guitarists and two keyboard players, this gives the sound of Giant The Vine a lush and dynamic extra dimension. The contrast between the dreamy and bombastic parts often create a lot of tension: the one moment a slow rhythm with a hypnotizing atmosphere or dreamy with twanging guitars, the other moment an up-tempo beat with heavy guitars and drums or a bombastic eruption with howling guitar or majestic Mellotron. Another strong element in the music is the colouring with the two guitars and keyboards. From twanging guitar with flanger or a spacey guitar sound to howling electric guitar runs and propulsive riffs. And from delicate Grand - and distinctive electric piano to sumptuous Mellotron outbursts and mellow organ waves. The interplay is very intense, and the rhythm-section does a good and dynamic job. My highlights.

The Kisser (5:58) : It opens with a beautiful layer of dreamy orchestral keyboards, then the music alternates between mellow, up-tempo and bombastic eruptions. This is topped with a very pleasant colouring of the instruments: from heavy guitar with strong drum beats or catchy riffs to a spacey guitar sound and sparkling piano runs.

Gregorius (6:34) : First a bombastic climate with rock guitar riffs and Mellotron violins, then dreamy twanging acoustic guitar and a strongly build-up, volume pedal driven guitar solo with tender runs. Then again bombastic with sensitive electric guitar and Mellotron violins, halfway the music turns into a compelling mid-tempo with emotional guitar and powerful drum beats, with Spanish echoes. Finally a short slowdown and then a bombastic eruption featuring Mellotron violins and howling guitar with volume pedal (evoking Steve Hackett). The conclusion of this composition is very subtle with mellow duo twanging electric guitars, again with a Spanish flavour. Simply beautiful, what a dynamic track, my favourite one.

A Little Something (5:03) : It starts dreamy with warm acoustic rhythm guitars, a Floydian guitar sound and organ, shifting to a slow rhythm, then tender piano joins. Next a bombastic eruption with howling guitar, heavy riffs and propulsive drums, very intense. Finally a mellow atmosphere with slighty distorted guitar, a captivating contrast with the bombastic parts.

Past Is Over (7:24) : Another varied and dynamic composition that begins with a dreamy intro, then a catchy beat and again dreamy, featuring fragile guitar work. Now the music turns into a slow rhythm, a very compelling amtosphere, the bands its trademark! Halfway a dreamy climate with melancholical orchestral keyboards, then a sensitive electric guitar joins (again evoking Steve Hackett). In the end a bombastic eruption with heavy guitar riffs, a huge contrast with the many dreamy parts in this track, emphasizing the frequent tension in the music of Giant The Vine.

If you are up to a captivating blend of Mellotron friendly Classic Prog and intense modern prog, this is an album to discover!

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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