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Labirinto Di Specchi - Hanblecheya CD (album) cover

HANBLECHEYA

Labirinto Di Specchi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.77 | 41 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Porcupine Tree meets Pholas Dactylus?"

Well, that's how their label Lizard Records describes them! Labirinto di Specchi (Labyrinth of Mirrors) is a band from Siena who've been around since about 2005. "Hanblecheya" is their proper full-length debut released on Lizard Records. The band consists of regulars Gabriele Marroni, Filippo Menconi, Andrea Valerio, Raffaele Crezzini, and Michele Sanchini, and the liner notes list many collaborators as well. One of those collabs is none other than Paolo Carelli, vocalist of the legendary Pholas Dactylus band of the RPI heyday. Lizard's Loris Furlan apparently arranged to connect them with Carelli. Just as Museo Rosenbach's Lupo Galifi brought experience and musical wisdom to this year's sensation Il Tempio Delle Clessidre, Carelli is great in his role with Labirinto. He told a web reviewer that he was moved to work with the band, saying "They are all students, very young, and in their eyes I saw a light, a desire to create."

"Hanblecheya" is a word which refers to the desire for an Indian vision quest, a ritual of enlightenment, if I understand correctly. It's a fitting theme for the enticing music found within this adventurous album. The album is not easy to pigeonhole and it incorporates a wide range of audio delights. I suppose one can start by calling it a mixture of modern electronic and psych-rock, with lesser elements of post-rock, folk, fusion, avant, relaxing ambient textures, and even raga in one or two spots. These diverse morsels are then merged with the classical element of the strings, the lovely sad melodies of the piano, and the dramatic recitational vocal style of Carelli, these latter elements fitting well under the stylistic genes of the RPI. They don't exactly mimic any one band I could name, but I will say that they make me think of Battiato, Il Babau & I Maledetti Cretini, Mappe Nootiche, Il Paese dei Balocchi, and Djam Karet to name a few.

The album unfolds like a low altitude flight, traveling great distances over changing landscapes. Tribal hand percussions behind soft piano and spacey, echoing guitar chords and phased effects. Acoustic guitars teaming with haunting cello, beautiful crescendos of strings, guitars, and a dynamic rhythm section. Dramatic vocal narrations over avant-garde sections building to great tension. Emotional releases from fiery guitar solos easing back to tranquil piano playing. It's a turbulent and often stormy feeling, even menacing at times, but finding respite when you need it. And it's not all serious. There are some playful moments as well. There is one track which borrows heavily from the great rock themes of Zeppelin's "Achilles Last Stand." Whether this was intentional or not I have no idea, but I do know it's pretty damn cool and Zep fans will spot it right away. The album also sports a 19 minute epic track called "Follia" which will not disappoint the headphones/dark room set.

"Hanblecheya" is not a masterpiece in my book, but it is a fine debut which I believe will lead to more albums. Intriguing, trippy, and often exhilarating, the sense of adventure is with Labirinto. About 3 stars, may adjust after more spins-this was an early review.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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