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Abiogenesi - Il Giocoscuro CD (album) cover

IL GIOCOSCURO

Abiogenesi

 

Crossover Prog

3.11 | 19 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Occult tinged Abiogenesi have kept constantly refining their dark blend of hard and heavy gloomy rock with strong psychedelic and more traditional Italian 70's progressive touches for almost twenty years now. In that time they've produced a handful of very consistent albums that, while not totally essential, are more than worthy additions to any progressive rock collection. Their second album `Il Giocoscuro' (which I think translates to `The Dark Game') is full of one extended work and a few shorter pieces that showcase all the strengths of the band.

The side-long title track that opens the album is comprised of 6 different sections full of wonderful progressive playing and flowing arrangements. The typical gloomy occult mood is set right from the start with howling desolate winds, preparing the way for...classic 70's typical Italian prog?! Yes, instead of heavy guitars and a brooding atmosphere, we get lovely strummed acoustic guitar, snappy drumming and melodic flute with those trademark passionate Italian vocals - you'll quickly look back at the eerie album cover and wonder if you're listening to the correct album! Like a racing heartbeat, the pace quickens and soon diverts into a foot-tapping jazzy piano/bass/drum workout with floating Hammond organ and striking accordion. Still confused here! It then lurches into wailing wah-wah guitar runs racing around other-wordly treated vocals. There's an acoustic passage with pleading vocals before an abrasive and distorted noisy electric guitar solo backed with tribal-like drums and spacey harsh electronics swirling all around. Here we go - sinister maniacal laughter and dirge like organ stomp along with Black Sabbath-like repetitive riffs and soaring solos until the end. This piece encompasses all the different styles and sounds that Abiogenesi perform so well.

The translated title to the second track reads `On the edge of the forest, Death soared upon His sickle' - now THAT is a title! Despite creeping whispered vocals full of echo, `Sul Margine Del Bosco La Morte Librava La Sua Falce' is really an upbeat riff-heavy instrumental with repetitive melodic electric guitar lines, and a frantic up-tempo middle section with a rock-steady drumbeat, growling bass and powerful swooping endless organ soloing. Love the tense climbing wah-wah attack right before the lengthy soaring guitar solo. A very addictive and catchy piece!

`Notte Da Urlare (From Screaming Night) is a downbeat acoustic Italian prog ballad accompanied by accordion and pained dramatic vocals. A reflective break from the endless soloing and more involved tracks!

`Lunipeno' is simply a lovely but brief acoustic instrumental piece that barely runs a minute. The opening of ghostly yet still oddly uplifting `Golem' starts as an eerie instrumental with murky bass, drifting Le Orme-like organ and bluesy guitar work similar to early 70's Pink Floyd. After a surprising rhythm change, the piece turns very somber, with the arrival of creeping bass and haunting Mellotron choirs. This section is highly repetitive and plodding with marching drums and spectral organ playing until the fade out. It ends the album in quite an alarming and sinister manner - exactly what you want from Abiogenesi.

The production of the album is very rough and lo-fi, sounding not unlike their fourth album `Io Sono Il Vampiro'. This gives the music a bit of an edge and appropriate grit, even if it does occasionally lets it down slightly in a few moments. It certainly doesn't have the clean and lively sound that follow-up album `Le Notte Di Salem' does, but I can't help but feel these sort of brooding and darkness-themed bands work well under a cloud of fog and murk. Special mention must also go to the gloriously intense horror-erotic front cover, I especially love the woman's fingernails stretching out to form with the tree branches! Pity I've only got this one on CD, because the striking artwork would look amazing on vinyl. I'm not even sure if it's available on LP from Black Widow anymore, probably long since sold out.

In the end, `Il Giocoscuro' is another highly consistent and fine addition to the gloomy yet beautiful Abiogenesi discography from this reliable and appreciated Italian band.

Three and a half stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |

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