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Akron - La Signora del Buio CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.33 | 7 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Akron is a very strange progressive rock project led by bassist Enio "Akron" Nicolini. Normally Enio plays in doom metal outfits "The Black" & "Unreal Terror"(however I've never listened to "The Black" of course. Doom metal is not my cup of music, you know...) and Eugenio Mucci's (vocalist) main interest - according to internet sources - is also metal music (band called "Requiem"). I didn't find any information about the other Akron's musicians but 2 doom metal pals who decide to create progressive rock (and not prog-metal at all!) band is interesting enough to check them out. Especially if they use traditional 70s prog gear like Hammond & church organs. However final product isn't so outstanding as I expected. I can even say that I was a bit disappointed with their debut - "La Signora Del Buio" album. Let's see in more details:

1. "Akron" - first song starts with some sonar-like noises however after several seconds real music kicks in with Hammond organ waves and some murmuring in the background. After this section Eugenio Mucci begin normal singing (in his native Italian language)...but is it really "normal"? Not really... In fact he sings like doom/black metal vocalist who tries very much to sound as symphonic and operatic as it's possible. Unfortunately it seems that he already scraped off his throat because of instant screaming in his previous doom metal band (I suppose so anyway) and he's completely incapable of singing in deep sounding, progressive rock style. But it doesn't change a thing that "Akron" is one of the best songs on the album. Slow and - relatively - up-tempo parts with Hammond runs are floating quite nicely here. Early 70s British prog/psych rock are evident for me here. Track finishes with sonar-like sounds. Full circle.

2. "Rock'n'follia" - this one starts with dramatic screaming and really hideous drumming which sound like wrongly programmed drum machine with constant, monotonous "boom...boom...boom..", bleh... After that Eugenio speaks about something with dramatic voice but mainly we can listen to "eternal" (here read: boring) spacerockish synthesizers landscapes. We can also hear some "angelic", female voices probably created by keyboards.

3. "Ai confini del mondo" - surprisingly this track begin with some electric guitar sounds which are later repeated over and over again in very similar fashion. I suppose Enio Nicolini just plays this part on bass guitar (similar like in debut album of Italian band "Standarte", where bassist also imitates electric guitar). During this composition vocalist constantly recite something in Italian and keyboardist (presumably Fabio Barraco) deliver monotonous synth layers.

4. "Atratus Axe" - along with "Afasath" & "Anthios" this is my favorite moment of the album. Probably because it's instrumental and we don't have to suffer through not-so-good vocal parts. Keyboard player comes back to his Hammond here and drummer (Lea Palmieri?) provide more dynamic rhythm. Along with Moog-sounding synthesizer outbursts these instruments create very good, 70s atmosphere. Splendid staff.

5. "L'angelo giustiziere" - unfortunately another "song" isn't good again. Late 70' Eloy-like synthesizers, melorecitating Mucci and even complete lack of drums. However bass guitar plumping and church organ in the second part of the track are rather good.

6. "Preghiera di sasso" - this song starts with "Come to The Sabbath"-like drum rhythm but soon heavenly (or maybe hellish?) synths join and Mucci scream/talk something with quite awful, doomy voice. And that's it. In the second part Mucci even tries to sing something a little and we can listen to some female, probably computer-programmed voices. In fact almost 6 minutes of sheer boredom.

7. "Anthios" - after 1st minute I though that it will be another Hammond loaded instrumental, however then vocalist joined the party. Anyway his vocal fragment is quite short and not so bad this time, I can even say quite passionate. In general I enjoy this one quite much.

8. "La nave dei pazzi" - composition starts with cosmos-sounding synthesizer, after several moments Mucci begin...talking, again... However after some time drummer joins with good, rock beat and vocalist starts to really sings (in "roaring" style however). In fact song finishes in much better note than I thought it will after boring beginning.

9. "La signora del buio" - titled song is another slow, Gothic inspired composition with Italian melorecitation. But I have to admit that church organ layers along with Mucci's operatic-style screaming in the middle is thrilling and can bring some shivers to your spine... Partly good.

10. "La notte prima della battaglia" - after "Ai confini del mondo" this is another track with electric guitar sounds. Unfortunately just like in "Ai confini..." its performance is extremely basic and include only repeating of the same notes again and again. Mucci is talking and Barraco is playing his "atmospheric" keyboards. Monotonous and boring.

11. "Anubi" - almost 1 minute of soft churchish sounding Hammond organ waves. A bit like "Bridge Passage" from Black Widow's second album.

12. "Afasath" - surely the best piece on "La Signora Del Buio". Dynamic percussion (but too low volume compared to other instruments), violent bass guitar stomping and - the most important - Hammond organ runs. But it's only 1:28 minute long...

13. "Elegia" - album finishes with the most melancholic song. Eugenio Mucci surprisingly sounds very good in this soft ballad. Piano and bells (no drum here) create good atmosphere. Nothing special, but decent relaxing song.

How to summarize such kind of album? For ure it's not for everybody. Very often music seems to be monotonous because of lack of sudden signature changes, catchy, memorable melodies and evident "hooks" (yes, prog-rock also need them. Like all music). Slow tempo of 90% of material also doesn't help to make listener interested. However I can't say that it's total disaster. Surely music is sometimes atmospheric and can bring on some "goose bumps" from time to time. I also think that in general their music is innovative & progressive because I can't think of any other band which sounds similar. I can only compare it to some Gothic horrors soundtracks and - to lesser extent - to Jacula/Antonius Rex dark music. Overall I recommend to start from Akron's second work called "Il Tempio Di Ferro" which is much more interesting, better arranged and with bigger amount of organs. Also songs on second recording are much longer, so they sound as complete prog pieces pieces.

To sum up - 2,5 stars for Akron's debut.

ozzy_tom | 2/5 |


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