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Akt - Blemmebeya CD (album) cover

BLEMMEBEYA

Akt

 

Eclectic Prog

3.80 | 25 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The journey continues...

More than a band, Akt is an experimental group who have been searching for something elusive since 1998. Born in Bologna, the band went through line-up changes but now consists of Simone Negrini, Marco Brucale and Alessandro Malandra. Akt has a strong philosophy that music is meant to be shared, criticized, and manipulated by the user. They give their albums away for free on their website, encourage downloading so as not to pollute and waste resources with physical CDs, and generally seek new ways for their eclectic progressive rock to be composed, recorded, and used. Their sound reminds me a bit of another Italian group called The Natural Mystic, though perhaps softer than that.

Their first album called "Déntrokirtňs" came out in 2007 and was well received by those who heard it. They now have released their 2nd full length album called "Blemmebeya" and have been quite pleased at the amount of downloads to date. The new album is presented with another new artistic feature called "OpenBlemme." As I understand it, when finished, their web site feature will allow the user to take the downloaded tracks and dissect them, removing various parts of the Akt members and inserting their own playing. Thus, musicians will be allowed to "jam" with Akt from their own home across the globe, and create some unique improvisation.

While their previous work seemed inspired by Belew era King Crimson, the new album finds Akt in a bit warmer, more organic, more flowing mood. It's still tight and refined stuff, but there are longer, dreamier passages that sometimes sound Floydian, and other times very much like classic RPI with flowing acoustic piano and plaintive vocals. Beginning with a spoken political rant about how the "limits of debate are established before the debate even begins", the songs are assembled like brushstrokes. The piano, guitar, and percussion parts seem very well thought out, and yet they do feel ready for the OpenBlemme project. I was listening with that in mind. I kept thinking, yes, if you remove that part, you could insert a great guitar part there. If the OpenBlemme comes to fruition (watch their site for updates), I think musicians will really enjoy this.

There are some nice moments where swirly keyboard runs tangle with tight guitar and bass lines, with light, disciplined percussion. More keyboards offer background coloring behind the main sections of playing. Acoustic guitars find their way into the sound as well. Really soaring electric leads permeate several tracks but for the most part the modern edge is retained. A slight fusion bent inhabits "Stati d'animo Uniti." This is one of those modern groups like Il Babau Maledetti Cretini for whom you don't know what to expect. There are nods to the classics but the music is always forward looking. The 10-minute "Di Vento" builds slowly to some great ending lead guitar. The final track "La Fine" is a lovely, slow reflection with melodic acoustic lead guitar over sad, spoken vocals. It almost sounds like a solo Roger Waters track. Aside from sound quality that is thinner than I like it, Akt's "Blemmedeya" is another unique and interesting excursion that satisfies.

This free recording is highly recommended to Eclectic prog fans and fans of Italian prog. Check it out and get involved in the Akt universe.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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