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Garden Wall - Assurdo CD (album) cover

ASSURDO

Garden Wall

 

Progressive Metal

3.89 | 49 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars "Everything is absurd when you see it clearly." That is one of the quotes in the CD booklet taken from what I assume to be different authors. Garden Wall is a Italian band formed in the late 1980s with the main member being Alessandro Seravalle who composes, sings and plays various instruments. This is the first full album I have heard from this group, I had only heard a few songs previously. Although tagged as "Progressive Metal" this album anyway is eclectic and diverse, but there is still a strong metal vibe here. Assurdo is supposedly the third chapter in a trilogy that began with the 2002 album Forget The Colours and the 2004 album Towards The Silence.

The metal parts sound very metal but the juxtaposition of the metal and non-metal parts work very well. Contains jazzy and electronic elements as well as other non-metal styles. Metal fans may find this not metal enough, while avant fans might think this is not avant- prog enough. Mostly in Italian, some of the lyrics (both sung and spoken) are also in English. Good use is made of vocal samples. A variety of instruments are used but guitars/drums/keyboards are the main instrumentation. The whole album is generally seamless; hard to tell when one song has finished and another has begun. The transitions between different sections within the same song are almost flawless.

"Butterfly Song" is one of the highlights. Nice clean guitar and violin along with some vocal samples at the beginning. Much of this song sounds like metal at it's most melodic and mellow. "Transfigurotofunky" features Middle-Eastern female wailing and a repetative "all by yourself" vocal sample. The music goes into funk-rock territory at times (hence the title). Features a nice synth solo followed by a rockin' guitar solo followed by what sounds like yet another synth solo. Another highlight.

"Negative" features some wordless female singing and is generally one of the more laid- back and mellow songs on the album. Some vibraphone throughout the song but you really notice at the end when it is the only instrument. The end of "Flash (short lived neorealism)" reminds me of Mastodon. "Clamores Horrendos ad Sidera Tollit" has some jazzy organ and drumming at times. Also lots of electronics as well. Halfway into "Vacuum Fluctuation" is a cool section with percussion, acoustic guitars and great violin playing. This gets reprised near the end of the track.

"Re-awakening" opens with some lovely flute playing. The Middle-Eastern female wailing gets reprised here. I like the main guitar figure here. What sounds like an old scratchy record at the end. "Isterectomia" consists of various "no [this]" and "no [that]," mostly in English but sometimes the list is in Italian. I like how the track ends avant and atmospheric and then goes into a few seconds of metal jamming at the very end. This album was a real grower for me, liking it the more I heard it. The production, playing and compositions are all excellent. This may not be for a DT or Opeth fan, but open-minded prog fans in general should enjoy this. One of the better albums I have heard from 2011. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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