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Nichelodeon - Il gioco del silenzio CD (album) cover

IL GIOCO DEL SILENZIO

Nichelodeon

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.84 | 48 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars This is the first studio album from Italian avant-prog ensemble Nichelodeon. Led by singer/lyricist Claudio Milano, who has a great versatile singing voice. Their previous release was a live album, some of the songs on it reappear here in re-recorded form. The origins of the concept and music of Nichelodeon go back to the late 1990s. They didn't become an active working group until 2005. The music here displays many styles and can be very melodic one minute, and more noisy and improvisational the next. The album was mostly recorded live in the studio with some vocal overdubs.

The vocals are in Italian but the CD booklet comes with English translations. Judging by the translated lyrics, they appear to be deep and thought-provoking. There is no actual drummer in the group, but there is percussion in places. The main instruments appear to be piano, electric guitar, electric upright bass, sax and viola. There are some great synthesizer sounds here and there. Good use is also made of oddball instruments like didjeridoo and Theremin. Sometimes the music has a very traditional western European sound. Not just Italian music mind you, but some French as well. Possibly other cultures.

The album begins with "Fame", which is the Italian word for "hunger" and not a cover of the David Bowie tune. The main riff/melody is a nice mix of sax and electric upright bass. The singing is sort of catchy. Goes into freer, improv sections at times. Near the end is some nice traditional European music. "Fiaba" is a song you can listen to on PA. Starts off very lovely with clarinet(?) and some sound effects. Some female vocals. The main 'chorus' part is very good. You hear water noises at some points. Music picks up when electric guitar comes in. Nice piano playing in the middle. I like the sound effects at the end.

"Claustrofilia" is mostly vocals, guitar and various sounds. Picks up near the end with percussion and sax. "Malamore e la Luna" has a 'chorus' part which is very melodic and nice. You hear some strange laughing while the music is very free and loose. "Amanti in Guerra" starts with cool industrial noises and echoed bird-like sounds. Then goes into a section with mostly piano and vocals. More instruments and vocals join in. Some nice flute or clarinet in the middle.

"Ombre cinesi" is based around Claudio's lyrics and vocals. The music has no structure and is very free and improvisational. The most avant-garde part of the album. I like when Claudio says "bah, bah, bah, bah" as a metal-like guitar plays with him. "Apnea" has a cool main riff/melody on sax and electric upright bass. The part after that is even better. Goes into improv. Halfway goes back to the song portion. Music gets freer and looser for the remainder of the track. "Il giardino delgi altri" begins with percussion and chanted vocals. Then synth, guitar and wind instruments. Good melodic electric guitar playing. Good use of wind instruments and what sound like an accordion.

Track #9 has no title but is called "La corsa dei trattori" on the PA album page. Basically some rock'n'roll guitar with a wind instrument and what sounds like a horse tap-dancing. "Se" at the beginning has a tape of someone speaking Italian which gets altered. Mostly improv with some echoed vocals. There is a vocal theme with electric guitar. In the middle some themes from movies and TV shows are played. "Lana di vetro" starts with a long improv section before it goes into an upbeat Italian-style music with bass drum. The song goes punk style briefly in parts. Goes back to improv at the end. "Cia che rimane" starts with some horror film type piano. More instruments and vocals come in. The music gets more cheerful. Some percussion and synth get added later. Ends with piano and vocals.

This was one of those albums where I didn't know what to think of it the first time I heard it. Very dense music which needs to be listened to several times in order to appreciate it. The sound is very good. The mix of vocals and instruments is well done. A unique sound can go a long way, and these guys have it. Recommended to those who want to explore some modern avant- prog. The improv sections will be an acquired taste to some, but repeated listens help. This may yet be a masterpiece, but for now I give a strong 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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