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Assenzio - 'Avon CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.74 | 12 ratings

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4 stars I've created a social schema or stereotype in my head that all Italians are generally pretty darn good at this "music" thing. I believe it, and I'm sure others do as well. I'm not an RPI connoisseur, but I know that I do like RPI a whole lot and this album is no exception.

I recently started doing a get-a-bunch-of-free-music run over the internet, and this is one of the best items to come from my voyage through the web. This free album includes some of the finest and most beautiful prog I've heard in a while; such great melodies, such infectious hooks, and such passionate vocals. "Antitesi" starts the album off with some beautiful flute and to me it sounds like a very Italian intro to something, kind of like if Jethro Tull were Italians. It's beautiful, but the following two songs are probably my favorites.

"Primo Cherubino" is awesome. It's starts out playful, but gets more serious and beautiful about a third into the song, and only a few seconds later we are presented with the "chorus" and its beautiful vocal hook. I can sing along to this, even though I don't know Italian. I suffice with the Korean language. The keys also play a big part in this tune, and they are beautiful and strong throughout. The song leads out in the same playful manner it started with.

"Beni Shahih" is also awesome, but I feel that some people might find it strange. It's a very strong song, but the melodies are sort of odd. This song is very jazzy and a little RIO, in my opinion. I'm not really sure how to explain it. There are interesting keyboard and guitar solos near the end that matches the weirdness of the rest of the song, and they are great. And there are some strangely alien sounding vocals screaming at the end of the song, which kind of reminds me of Solaris' "Martian Chronicles" album's intro. It was after hearing this song that I decided that this album was definitely not going to slack on the progressiveness.

"Passione e Vizio" is passionate, like the name suggests. Very beautiful yet still very "rock". There is a beautiful Mediterranean guitar break near the middle section that sets the mood for the second half of the song. The sound of the bass really sticks out on this song, sounding like some Mediterranean funk. Anyone who's read my other reviews should know that I'm a big softy for funky bass, so this song reinforced my love for this album even more. The solos in the track are fiery and fun, and should be found enjoyable by anyone who plays an instrument.

"Tempesta" starts with some heavy rock bass, bu very neo-prog sounding keyboards come in. I don't know the prog-keyboard terminology (hammond, rhodes, etc.) so 'keyboard' will have to suffice. This track is more straight-forward rock than the others, but there is still great bass playing and some brief progressive ideas throughout the song, most notably the bass and guitar instrumental break about half-way through and the creepy-circus sounding keyboard solo that really sticks out near the end. Strong vocals throughout, as before.

"Avida Anima" is very funk-blues-rock, and sounds very '70s to me (but what do I know? I'm only 20). Actually, this sounds like some of the more relaxed funk-based song on the Mars Volta's "Bedlam in Goliath" album but with more controlled vocals. The whole song including the bass lines stink with funk, so I love. The softer psych-blues solo near the end of the song is very beautiful, as are the vocals that follow.

The last two tracks are the longest, running at 8 minutes and 8 minutes 40 seconds. "Parassita" starts off sounding very dark, but quickly breaks off into a swingin' bass line accompanied by subdued vocals, followed by a rockin' chorus. Jazzy guitar playing throughout, stark string arrangements in the background, powerful vocal hook in the chorus, then comes a beautiful piano break accompanied by some thumping bass and crunchy guitar. There is also a neo-classical type guitar solo, which is kind of fun. This track managed to sound very dark the whole way through, and it's very nice sounding.

"L'oppio degli Ignavi" starts off with some classical sounding piano, and then the rest of the instruments follow in a darkly, beautiful, and sentimental fashion. This is what RPI usually sounds like. This song actually gets fairly metal sounding about a fourth into it. The beautiful and heavy moments alternate all through the song, giving it a progressive sound. There is a great guitar solo midway through the track, followed by another interesting keyboard solo. I usually don't enjoy keyboard solos, but this band makes them sound more fun and interesting than usual. My favorite part of this track is the dancelike string arrangement starting about 6 minutes in.

I found this album to be very unpredictable, which is fantastic. I didn't think much of it upon first listen, but I was soon completely taken by it. I hope for much more great music from this young band, and it would be a shame if they were to quit before making more of this music. I would suggest this to anyone who loves good progressive rock and doesn't mind vocals in Italian. Among the free albums I've downloaded, this has top rank.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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