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Nichelodeon - Incidenti - Lo Schianto CD (album) cover

INCIDENTI - LO SCHIANTO

Nichelodeon

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.87 | 4 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
5 stars Claudio Milano and friends have been on hiatus for a very long time now and like mad scientists locked in a lab have been taking the last several years to alchemize their cauldrons of strange sonic sounds and preserve them in recorded form. Along with NICHELODEON and INSONAR, Milano hasn't been heard from since 2013's "Ukiyoe (Mondi Fluttuanti) / Quickworks & Deadworks" when they dazzled the world with a unique mix of experimental rock, avant-prog and modern classical music. So outside the realms of the current prog scene and discontent with retreading the endless cycles of retro prog that recycles 70s sounds, Milano has returned in 2021 and unleashed his most bizarre and most demanding works to date.

For those who love truly progressive music that pushes boundaries and expands musical horizons, Milano has been instrumental in keeping the Italian scene relevant by taking his theatrical vocal talents and commingling with some of the greatest talented vocalists and musicians on today's scene. Even more adventurous than the last album, INCIDENTI - LO SCHIANTO (Incidents - The Crash) released officially under the moniker NICHELODEON / INSONAR & RELATIVES took a staggering eight years to complete and features two more artists to join the Milano extended clan. NICHELODEON has been an expressionist theater music project formed in Milan in 2007 and has fused everything from traditional classical music with jazz, ethnic sounds, Italian folk, electronica and various shades of rock music. INSONAR on the other hand was founded in Venice in 2011 by Marco Tuppo and has dabbled in electronica, acoustic explorations and strange timbres from unusual instruments.

On this new release INCIDENTI - LO SCHIANTO, Milano, NICHELODEAN and INSONAR join forces with NOT ME and THIS ORDER. NOT ME is a newer project formed in Puglia in 2018. This group blends classical music with electronics and ethnic sounds with avant-garde harmonies, polyrhythms and atonality. THIS ORDER is a Gothic and theatrical avant-garde metal project that mixes metal heft with darkwave, stoner rock, math rock and avant-prog. Founded in 2015 in the small town of Taranto, this group has also cross-pollinated with many other artists and has even seen Paolo Tofani of Area in its company in the past. Together these four distinctly different bands have collaborated with Claudio Milano to craft one of the most outrageously creative and ambitious projects released in 2021.

This is the kind of music that really gets me excited. It's literally impossible to label as any particular genre given its scope is well beyond the limitations of any definitions thus designated. While the focus is on Milano's vocal gymnastics that distinguish him one of the most creative vocalists of the modern era accompanied by other gifted vocalists who craft intriguing and even freakishly weird harmonic displays, this album runs the gamut of Milano's classic avant-prog to chamber rock, contemporary classical, traditional Italian folk music, Gothic rock, avant-garde metal and much, much more. Everything is smoothly blended into one of the most stylish albums of the entire musical year of 2021. This album has taken several spins to really sink in but unlike some of Milano's avant-garde music of the past, this one has instantly infectious melodic hooks that are teased out into unthinkably strange terrain.

Milano's projects are like a musical circus really. While every release is ambitious beyond belief, INCIDENTI - LO SCHIANTO goes for the jugular. With no less than 44 musicians on board who contribute a whole warehouse full of instruments, this album is graced with a rich array of tones and timbres with all the usual rock, classical and chamber rock suspects however the album also features some homemade instruments such as something called the ghironda as well as other sounds from accordions, glockenspiels and exotic ethnic instruments. The is perhaps one of the best produced albums i've ever heard. Every detail is polished like a fine gemstone and then carved into one of the most breath-taking pieces of art that is almost too much for the ears to take given its stunning beauty.

Milano delivers some of his best vocal performances to date. While still delivering all those scrumptious operatic runs, he also surprises with strange screams, shrieks (reminiscent of Mike Patton) as well as Mongolian throat singing! His octave range seems to have expanded even further and his playful commingling of vocal parts with the female divas on board is utterly magical as they play off of each other with the precision of a Cirque du Soleil performance. Generally speaking the avant-riffs of various instruments weave hypnotizing tapestries of sound that generate unusually bizarre counterpoints that are based on recognizable melodic musical scales but twist and bend like refracted light through a crystal prism. The different bands contribute different tracks and they are distributed in a way that the album maintains a continuous flow yet offers an amazing diverse pallet of tones, textures, timbres, musical motifs and avant-garde weirdness.

The passion and talent that went into this album is unthinkable really. With so many bands simply trying to cash in on the sounds and styles of the original prog scene, Claudio Milano and friends are hell bent for leather in crafting fresh sounding music that actually takes you somewhere you never knew existed. This is the kind of music i crave for it is bold, daring and utterly uncompromising bravado yet as Milano has stated many times before, he is not about making complex music for the sake of complexity unlike his friends and fellow Italians Yugen. His motive is to make music that one can emotional embrace in a passionate love affair and then take you on a roller coaster ride of sound. Everything about this album is perfect. Every note and twisted avant-garde frenzy seems like it was divinely inspired.

Given the extremities of the music involved unfortunately Milano is one of those artists who is too far ahead of the pack for most music fans to comprehend. This music is as lushly orchestrated as a symphony, as angular and abstract as the most alienating avant-jazz and yet as sensual and inviting as traditional operas and arena rock. While the rock and metal aspects are limited, they offer the necessary contrast to keep this album firing on all pistons. I would say that the main gist of the album lies in contemporary classical and chamber rock steeped with avant-prog musical motifs with the many other sounds, styles and sensations offering supplemental sonorous splendor. Claudio Milano clearly never disappoints and with this latest jewel INCIDENTI - LO SCHIANTO he has raised the bar once again. Nothing short of an ingenious masterpiece of 2021. Bravissimo! Standing ovation! Clappity clap clap!!!!!!!!!

siLLy puPPy | 5/5 |

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