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Architrave Indipendente - Azetium a otto piste CD (album) cover


Architrave Indipendente


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.59 | 17 ratings

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4 stars Architrave Indipendente is an Italian prog band from the province of Bari. The band was formed in 2005 by five young, skilled musicians in love with vintage sounds and analog recording techniques. The line up features Oscar Larizza (electric bass, lute, classical and acoustic guitars, flute, synthesizers, organ, glockenspiel), Alessandro Mezzacane (violoncello), Emanuele Palumbo (piano, flute, organ, synthesizer, harmonium), Piero Palumbo (drums, percussion, xilomarimba) and Stefano Renna (acoustic and electric guitars). In 2009 they released an excellent debut album, "Azetium a 8 piste", self produced and published only on vinyl. The album was proudly recorded using only analog techniques but despite the vintage sounds it is by no means a nostalgic operation or a "regressive work". On the contrary, the sound is fresh and the music and lyrics rich in ideas. The result is an interesting concept album dealing with ecological issues where the members band express the need to rediscover a wealthier way of life in harmony with mother nature. The art cover, the extended liner notes and the pictures in the inner fold contribute to explain the subject matter...

The opener "La spinta" (The thrust) starts softly, you can hear in the background the wind blowing and singing birds. Then the rhythm rises and from a strummed guitar pattern the notes of a violin soar embroidering evocative melodies. This piece is about the need to go back to your roots to find your own identity because the people who don't know what happened in the past can't grow up. The lyrics and music depict a small town where people don't care about anything but money... Anyway there's also a man strolling around who does not conform, who has travelled abroad and raises doubts suggesting that changing is possible. The doubts push you to investigate the history of the town... "There are some who believe and others who don't...".

The first track leads to "Emplecton", a long suite in three parts that in some way tries to describe the effects of the lack of a collective identity. The first part, the instrumental "Incipit, regressione e cerimoniale", features a delicate acoustic guitar arpeggio, soothing keyboard waves and colourful flute passages. It sets a dreamy, bucolic atmosphere... On the second part, "Vassallo ignorante", the dream becomes uneasy, the rhythm rises and you can imagine some ghosts dancing on the notes of a fiery tarantella just before a sudden stop and a nocturnal piano passage... The title of this suite refers to a building technique developed by the ancient Greek architects, who used it to build the walls of their cities. Now of the ancient walls of the town there's nothing left but some scattered ruins. The vestiges of an old civilization had to give way to new vineyards and intensive crops and there's no respect for the ancestors and their way of life anymore, threatening clouds of pesticides appear on the horizon and people don't realize that ambition and greed can kill... "The soil under your feet pleads for mercy / It can't give you more fruits / Fossilized county, wake up!... In your grapes the environment is drowning and you are still afloat, ignorant vassal!". The third part of the suite, "Scherzo (di cattivo gusto) e ripresa" is a tasteful, complex instrumental coda, rich in ideas and featuring many changes in mood and atmosphere where the music seems to evoke the clash between the ghosts from the past and the dangers of modern life. It closes the first side of the album and you have to turn your vinyl now...

Side B opens with another complex suite in three parts, the excellent "Azezio". The title refers to the ancient name of Rutigliano, the hometown of the band. The first part, "Calura d'agosto", evokes a hot summer day in August and a beautiful bucolic landscape that invites you to dream and to think about the glorious past of this land... Slowly in your mind the old town with its customs comes to life again in antithesis with the modern hectic reality... "From the countryside I can hear a voice singing / The prosperous red soil tells stories of ancient flourishing civilizations...". The second part, "Sagra dell'uva", is just an instrumental acoustic bridge where you can hear the voices of some people arguing in the background while an acoustic guitar carelessly weaves its arpeggios, indifferent to what is going on all around. Then comes the darker third part, "Ossa puto", where the evocative music invites you to keep on dreaming all day long until the night falls...

The title of the last track "Gli altarini di San Rocco" (The little altars of Saint Rocco) refers to an old tradition of Rutigliano. On August 16, the inhabitants use to set some little altars in honour Saint Rocco and the band sarcastically compares the cult of the saint with the reckless exploitation of the soil and with the cult that now some people tribute to their brand- new tractors that they park "even in their living-rooms". This piece features many changes in rhythm and mood and concludes a very good, committed album full of musical inventions and surprises...

Despite some ingenuities, on the whole I think that this work could be an excellent addition to your prog collection!

andrea | 4/5 |


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