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Universal Totem Orchestra - Rituale Alieno CD (album) cover


Universal Totem Orchestra



4.09 | 86 ratings

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3 stars Universal Totem Orchestra is a project started in 1998 by two Runaway Totem members, drummer Uto Giorgio Golin and bassist Giuseppe Buttiglione.Golin and Buttiglione were also responsible for the whole composing material of the band's debut ''Rituale alieno'', which featured also female singer Ana Torres Fraile and keyboardist Marco Zanfei.The album was released in 1999 on Black Widow Records and next to the band stands an impressive supporting personel on guitars, choirs and string instruments.

Runaway Totem was always a unique-sounding band and with Universal Totem Orchestra Golin and Buttiglione try to push this sound even further, creating some sort of Prog Rock Opera with strong Zeuhl, symphonic and jazzy characteristics.The style of this project is trully grandiose, pompous, challenging and often bombastic with a special mention to the very original vocal sections.Fraile delivers clear operatic vocals when she appears, while the male choirs create a haunting atmosphere, sounding like a choir from a Gregorian chant.Musically Universal Totem Orchestra explore different territories always in a very rich and powerful style.Dissonant Avant-Prog passages with complex guitar breaks and deep grooves are blended with Classical sections in a Chamber Music style, often with some great piano work, and huge symphonic themes with dominant organ and synth parts.The overall atmosphere is very dark and reminiscent of the darker works of BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, the gothic approach of DEVIL DOLL along with the personal style of RUNAWAY TOTEM.Some would expect Universal Totem Orchestra's work to lack any sign of melody, but I can assure the listener that among the groovy and dynamic musicianship there are certain guitar melodies to be found.

A great album indeed with an atmosphere of its own, which will appeal to all fans of the aforementioned groups as well as anyone eager to discover Zeuhl music through a different point of view.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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