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Akt - Blemmebeya CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 33 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Blemmebeya' - Akt (6/10)

As with most things, Italian progressive rock has evolved with time. Although it's doubtful that legends like Premiata Forneria Marconi will ever be topped by the newer acts, it has not stopped bands from marching onward and shaping the distinctive prog sound of their country. There are still certainly bands that hold true to the original sound of the 70's, but Akt is one of the groups that want to put a new modern spin on prog rock. Although comparable vocally to Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Akt brings in a number of different sound to create a rather experimental brand of rock music. Although 'Blemmebeya' cannot be accused of lacking ambition, the music's adventurous stance is handled aimlessly, and puts a hamper on an otherwise excellent recording.

Akt's sound is hard to describe, because they bring many different tastes into their sound. The vocals sound very similar to Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso's, but the instrumentation is taken in a different direction. On the spectrum of prog, Akt tends to exchange technical instrumentation for atmosphere; instead of relying on twenty minute epics to get their point across, Akt tightens their ideas into dense songwriting that takes several listens to properly decode. Make no mistake; Akt have not severed their ties to the classic sound of Italian progressive music, but the way they piece together the elements is much different. While much RPI I am familiar with (both new and old) tends to don a theatrical tone to it, the music of Akt stays fairly reserved, even if the music gets complex. Though 'Blemmebeya' is never intense, it isn't ambient either; the flow of ideas is unrelenting, and throughout the course of one song, a listener will often find themselves introduced to a number of different sounds. Akt have arranged these pieces with care and intelligence, and if memorable hooks or melodies had been given the same attention, 'Blemmebeya' would have come out a much more powerfully.

Even after repeated listens, it is still clear that while Akt offers the intelligence of composition and musicianship of a great prog band, they lack the emotional connection I look for. The brooding closer 'La Fine' is as close as the band gets to having something downright 'beautiful' on the album, with instrumentation sifting along as if it were scoring the end credits of some melancholic film. Akt take away its emotional power however by making the vocals so laid-back, blanketed with a somewhat off-putting flange effect. Had Akt performed this music with a greater intensity, 'Blemmebeya' would not be such a difficult record to get into. With the diversity of modern electronic music, acoustic rock and classic prog, Akt comes up with a record that feels like a cup that's been overfilled with ideas, and lacks the passion to make that work.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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