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Metronhomme - Tutto il Tempo del Mondo - 1.ņikos CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.38 | 12 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars [Originally published as a mini review at The Progressive Aspect]

I have no knowledge of Italian, but my classes in French lead me to guess this EP is entitled 'All the Time in the World'. Unless Ņikos is also an Italian word, my Classical studies lead me to assume this is the Greek concept of family and house. This would make a lot of sense, given the EP came out of the lockdowns and quarantines of 2020. For so many of us, we did indeed have all the time in the world, with our family, in our house. Just to ram it home, the opening number is entitled Quarantine. The immediate sound of this release is vastly different from 4, as it feels almost swamped by darkness, anxiety and dread that is palpable. There is none of the light-heartedness that peppered 4. This is almost, yet not quite, gloomy. But there is always a spark of hope that is never put out - always flickering away in the background. It makes for very interesting listening, and is notably different from a lot of quarantine releases I've heard from other bands and artists. Listening to some of thosereleases, it's easy to come up with adjectives such as unsettling, haunting, and melancholic, which no doubt is perhaps how their composers were feeling when they wrote the pieces. On the other hand, it seems Metronhomme might even be content!

While it could not really be described as upbeat, Ņikos simply feels to me to be an optimistic release. While 4 was easy to listen to, and immediately accessible, Tutto Il Tempo del Monde - 1. Ņikos seems intent on taking us out of our comfort zones. It's more experimental and spontaneous, sometimes unsettling but never threatening. It's music as catharsis and medicine - a means of coping with a situation out of our control. It's more stark, more sparse, more minimal, more inorganic than 4. And it's all the better for this. Sometimes there is such a great sense of expansiveness and space in the music that it's impossible to feel enclosed or trapped - which is no doubt how some people in lockdown felt. Even when the music feels more constrained, it's never quite in a threatening manner. The sense of constraint is more akin to being wrapped up and cocooned in a blanket. Some of this is down to the instruments and instrumentation often feeling more like effects than music, almost giving an ambient effect - though ambient music this is not. The same can be said for the use of voice, whether sung or sampled, because unlike 4 this is not a fully instrumental release. Interestingly, Meteonhomme come closer than Pink Floyd ever did to making a "Household Objects" album, given what they used for instrumentation, according to their Bandcamp page.

The tracks that make up this ep are all quite different and separate from each other, which seems to neatly fit back into the sense of (self) isolation of covid lockdowns, and also of the varying emotions that are cycled through while separated from the world, apart from by our screens. The electronic nature of much (but not all) of the ep heightens this feeling. But there are some truly beautiful tracks, like the second track (which I assume translates as "Like the Snow". This is as breathy and fragile and ephemeral as you might expect, and almost has a classic RPI sound to it. But there's not another track on the album that sounds like it. And really, none have the intriguing meeting of jazz and space rock that 4 had, even if still predominantly created with a similar mix of electronic and acoustic sounds. 4 was thoroughly delightful. I'm not sure I'd describe Ņikos in the same manner, but it is definitely one of the best EPs I've heard from 2020, and I very much hope that the title indicates that there will be a second part forthcoming.

nick_h_nz | 4/5 |


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