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Deus Ex Machina - Diacronia Metronomiche CD (album) cover


Deus Ex Machina


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.86 | 16 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The maniac Italian rockers of Deus Ex Machina did something to Fusion similar to what a group like THE MARS VOLTA would later do to Psychedelia: jolting the genre out of its middlebrow conventions with several megawatts of kinetic energy and an uncompromising musical vision.

Cooler heads than mine have tried and failed to describe their unique sound, typically combining impossible-to-follow time signatures with more tempo changes per song than most groups put into an entire album, performed by a near-telepathic ensemble of screaming guitars, burning organ, and virtuoso violin playing. All that plus a truly unhinged high-tenor vocalist singing in a dead language...seriously, fellow Progheads: what's not to like?

The band's 1996 live album (following three acclaimed studio recordings) proved the sextet could recapture that same intensity and complexity on stage; if anything their energy is even stronger in front of a receptive audience. The set list covers a lot of territory, from moments of near-classical delicacy (the introduction to "Ad Montem"; the acoustic guitar / violin duet of "Perpetua Lux") to the unexpected beauty of "Exordium", and to more than one episode resembling something not unlike Jazz-Punk, as in the 59-seconds of "Sigla": all shouted Latinate vocals over a churning one chord boogie.

A quick personal aside: my own introduction to Deus Ex Machina was through their appearance on the "Progfest '95" concert CDs (qv). Without a doubt they must have played the most challenging music of the entire two-day festival, and frankly it took me a while to appreciate the uncommon urgency and integrity of their style. But the effort eventually paid off, and here's the reward: 70 minutes of likeminded musical mayhem, unabridged and unadulterated.

You get the point: the music of Deus Ex Machina does require an effort. But it's certainly worth it, especially when heard in a live setting.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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