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Nodo Gordiano - Sonnar CD (album) cover


Nodo Gordiano


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.03 | 70 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Sonnar" is the fifth studio album by Roman band Nodo Gordiano and was released in 2020 on the independent label Lizard Records with a renewed line up featuring, along with founder member Andrea De Luca (strings, keyboards), the fresh energies of Filippo Brilli (winds), Davide Guidoni (percussion, keyboards) and Natalia Suvorina (vocals). According to the band, this album is dedicated to the inspiring works by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and was conceived "as a hypnagogic journey... divided into three parts revolving around the experience of the Other, separated from each other by demons who, as in the tomb of the Anina, guard the mystery of the Outside, and ends with the verses of the Vedic hymn to Surya, a memory of the solar symbolism that, even in darkness, pervades it". The overall sound is dark, challenging and every now and again it could recall King Crimson with a pinch of Oriental flavour, as you can guess looking at the evocative artwork by Davide Guidoni...

The opener "Only Fool! Only Poet!" features lyrics adapted from Friedrich Nietzsche's "The Song Of Melancholy" (In "Thus Spoke Zarathustra") and starts softly... The pace is slow, the almost mystical atmosphere takes you to a desert land where in a cave there's a sorcerer who is singing. To escape from the blinding light and the glowing glances of the sun you dive like an eagle into a dark inner abyss as the echoes of the music soar towards the sky trying to reach the dark side of the moon... The following "Limbic Rendez-Vous" is an instrumental track (vocals here are used just as in instrument to add a touch of colour) drawing you into an emotional labyrinth where memories get lost like a lizard in the middle of a battle of glass tears...

Next comes "Charun", a disquieting instrumental track where percussions take the lead conjuring up obscure tribal rites. The title refers to Etruscan mythology where Charun is one of the psychopomps of the underworld, a demon whose responsibility is to guide newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife...

The long, complex suite "After Dusk" (20:47) is divided into eight parts: a) Promenade; b) Debut; c) Hey, Mr. Professor!; d) Sgalambro's Ghost; e) Pometine; f) Pale Gallery; g) Transhipment; h) Nightdrive. This piece, featuring nightmarish atmospheres and hermetic lyrics, if I'm not wrong, is freely based upon "Toby Dammit", an episode from the horror anthology film "Spirits Of The Dead", directed in 1968 by Federico Fellini and staging a personal, modern version of a short story by Edgar Allan Poe entitled "Never Bet The Devil Your Head". The music and lyrics evoke an eerie 21st century schizoid girl, a man haunted by painful memories and ghosts, silent shadows moving around at night and a desperate race with the devil on the edge of madness...

The title of the following "Vanth" refers to a chthonic winged figure in Etruscan mythology, a female demon that is often accompanied by Charun. It's a nice instrumental piece full of tension and mystery leading to the final title track. "Sonnar" features lyrics freely taken from a Vedic hymn to the god of sun and begins softly. The mood is dreamy, then the rhythm rises while an invocation emerges from the darkness like a revenant fount from the past as flames of fire burn and blaze and places, faces and stories melt into the light...

On the whole, a very good work, even if it might need many spins to be fully appreciated.

andrea | 4/5 |


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