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Plurima Mundi - Atto I CD (album) cover

ATTO I

Plurima Mundi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.40 | 5 ratings

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LinusW
Special Collaborator
Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars Regardless of what tickles your fancy music-wise, you're likely to find at least something amiable with this collection of songs. While clearly not afraid to go full-out prog, there's still an almost equally strong pop sensibility to some of the movements here, unfortunately in somewhat less graceful and less inspired arrangements.

Plurima Mundi is a band with a knack for effortlessly jumping from style to style, with an equal part of good fun and serious skill in the compositional department to make it all work in the end. Ortos Confusus, the first track, is a perfect example of it. Melodramatic melancholia grows into a sunny, kind of Irish violin melody that falls into a sprawling, "╔ Festa"-propulsive theme that truly makes me think of the greats in Italian prog. Once you come back from the comparisons the music is now in jazz territory with walking bass and a nifty, playful piano beefing up the soundscape. And after that there's even more - symphonic, spiralling whirls of violin-saturated up-tempo sympho-rock that eventually concludes this song in a fashionably abrupt way. And that's just four minutes of music.

Nei Ricordi Del Tempo has a tender, slightly lounge-infused sound with soft-spoken guitar and the ever-present violin accompanying the emotional presence in Grazia Maremonti's vocals. Bordering on the sugary mediocrity of many Italian ballads, it's salvaged by some more of that tasteful, subtle intricacy and a strangely Kansas-esque excursion towards the end. Nice!

The "epic" Laboratorio 30 is definitely the high-point here. Initially busy and nervous and with that slightly disturbing touch of stressful paranoia that makes Dedicato A Frazz and Ys such gems. This is a powerful showcase of the band's assembled talent. Classy, classic and clever RPI played with passion. A pleasant return to more mellow and melodic territory serves as a welcome, under-stated break before the frenzy takes over again. For some reason though, there's a jarringly sweet middle-section where the violin instead shows an uglier side as sappy "string arrangement" backing. Rambling on for a bit too long that one, but soon forgotten during a jumpy, intense display in a calculated pseudo-Gentle Giant type of section. Great fun with mathematically applied guitar and fabulous, edgy solo runs from piano and violin (again reminding me of early Kansas). Vocalist Maremonti truly blossoms here, taking command of the song in a powerful and emotional display of why Italian is such an operatic language.

In the last song Aria, vocal duties are shared with Lino Vairetti from Osanna, in the most crossover of all the songs. A driven composition, with symphonic sensibilities and a twitchy, nervous atmosphere to it. Seamlessly, it sometimes grows into a funky rhythm pattern which works strangely well even in this more symphonic territory. A fine song, but somewhat failing in living up to its full potential.

At large, that's how I feel about the album as a whole. Plurima Mundi at this point in time tries to do so much at once they sometimes just don't feel focused. There's a bit of an unpleasant tension between the different parts. Not truly musically disjointed, there's too much talent involved for that. It's just not proper crossover potential, but rather quick jumps from one part of the spectrum to another. With so much capacity, it seems like a waste to me, especially since the complex, proggy parts are what they do best.

Some trimming could take this band to great heights.

3 stars.

//LinusW

LinusW | 3/5 |

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