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Gecko's Tear - Contradiction CD (album) cover


Gecko's Tear


Eclectic Prog

3.74 | 16 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars A very unique prog album to come from Italy.

Besides spaghetti and furious soccer players, Italy is the home of many symphonic prog bands, so many, in fact, they have their own subgenre here on ProgArchives. Yet Gecko's Tear breaks the mold here. "Contradiction", their first disc is more of a standard jam band rock formation using may technical scales and time signatures more commonly found in bands like Dream Theater, King Crimson and Van Der Graff Generator.

"Agartha" starts off in that similar function. The technicality and instrumental abilities of guitar player Claudio Mirone is superb, equally reminiscent of John Petrucci's guitar playing. It's a tough track to get through if those complex rhythms and atonal harmonies don't sit well in your stomach, but it gets even better with "Mental Hygiene", as the outfit serves up a funky, almost jazz-type beat here. It's a very uptempo beat ( for most of the time), but it's a stark contrast to the first track. Again, the technicality of this group is unprecident, as they march through unconventional time sigs and stop-go beats like they've done it their whole lives (which they probably have). A very interesting track for sure.

Then "My Own Shelter" throws a different curveball, as this is way more accessible to radio listeners than, say, Cannibal Corpse. This is more of a poppy radio track, albeit split in half by an unusual guitar solo, but this is a more refined, nicer prog track, similar to "Georgia Pine" by echolyn or "All On A Sunday" by Spock's Beard. These types of tracks are by wonderful prog groups who have also proven that they can make a song that pop stars can listen to as well.

"SPQA" lurches right back into the complex, technical prog once again. This song (the intro especially) rings hints of prog metal in the mix, but this disc is just not heavy enough throughout all nine tracks. Even though it is a heavier disc than, say, VDGG's "Godbluff", the complex atonal rhythms are there (Mirone's singing even reminds me of Peter Hamill; not as operatic as Geddy Lee, and not exactly smooth in songwriting, but it adds another element to focus on throughout their songs). Mirone and Aldo Ruggiero on bass do solo is up quite a bit in the middle, though, with Giovanni Greggorio creating a unique atmosphere on keys.

"Belly Bottom" erupts with a furious drum solo by Marco Castaldo, yet after which it opens up with a typical symphonic prog opening, with Greggori (anyone named Giovanni is automatically badass in my book) rocking it on keys (with a typical prog organ voice). Mirone's voice is once again stop-and-go in random patterns and rhythms. Yet, if you are a typical fan of eclectic prog, that type of singing is usually common in most bands (save for maybe King Crimson on some records). The instrumental section in the middle is quite entertaining in a complicated 5/4 time sig. Even though many prog groups (such as Rush and Dream Theater) love using the 7/8 time sig (although some really good technical groups turn 3/4 into musician's nightmare), 5/4 is by far one of the hardest time signatures to even learn, not just to master. The nice funky fusion ending is entertaining as well.

"On The Wings" is a very intriguing take on a slow, funky ballad. Castaldo turns a typical funky drumline and modifies it to his own unorthodox taste, and it really helps to distinguish this particular "soft, slow" song from every other. Greggorio's subtle keys at the end really alter the mood though the was put in place by the track to begin with, which helps to segue into "Unsaid" which bursts back into their stutter-step, jerky prog playing. Despite that, the technical abilities by these musicians are just outstanding and complex.

And, of course, that jerky, technical playing continues (and concludes) with "Bourgeois". To be honest, once you've heard one track, you've heard the rest, but it's still a phenomenal disc, especially for a debut at that. More often than not, though, "Bourgeois" reminds me of a softer uneXpect, especially towards the end where they play a ditty of "Tocatta and Fugue" and contsantly move from a frantic punk-metal spaz-attack to a funky, jazzy lounge scene, culminating with a arena rock, 1 minute long outro.

Despite the spastic approach of it all, it's still a very enticing disc, especially for fans of eclectic prog. It's nothing incredibly special, but it's a record that any fan of the genre will instantly be familiar with.

Wicket | 4/5 |


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