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Zaum - Plus De Viande Dans Les Saucisses CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.49 | 5 ratings

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4 stars A new line-up but the exotic flavors remain

Zaum is the ongoing musical adventure of Claudio D'Errico of Naples, Italy. Formed in the 1970s, the band saw many line-up changes and did not record until 1998. Their first album "Materialismus" was "a fusion of Area-styled wild RPI, alternative rock, and a good dose of funk" and was released in 2012 by Psych-Up Melodies. Zaum is back in 2013 with "Plus De Viande Dans Les Saucisses" (also from Psych-Up Melodies.) This album of all newly recorded material features an entirely new band behind D'Errico: vocalist Fabiana Fazio, Alfredo Mercaldo on keys, Fabrizio Di Vicino on bass, and Corrado Fusco on drums.

The only consistency between the first and second Zaum albums is the spirit of strangeness and an "anything goes" attitude. The young guys who gave the first album a bit on a 90s alt rock feel are gone. This album sports a jazzier, subtler, somewhat more laid-back feel to the music while injecting even more eclecticism by twisting away from most remnant of traditional RPI and borrowing from club, jazz, avant-garde, world music, and even some folk music element. The band is cool enough with D'Errico's interesting songs and some really inspired playing by the other guys, but the secret spice in this dish is vocalist Fabiana Fazio. Her singing and flute add much in terms of variety and appeal. I always enjoy RPI projects where a strong feminine presence is introduced to the boys club.

"Il suono vero" begins as almost-Crossover with nice vocal harmonies and layered guitar. D'Errico consistently does a nice job of throwing in bits of acoustic guitar or mandolin behind the electric instruments, giving a richness to the sound, whether simply strumming or doing more complex lead work. In other places however things can be very sparse so you can easily hear what the players are doing. After a bluesy diversion in "Hellhounds" they go to vocal jazz in "Ombre roce", almost entirely acoustic and e-piano I believe. Fazio does pretty well here given the sometimes crazy waters she's dealing with....sometimes her approach is "pretty" but other times more "in your face" aggressive. "Fluxus" has an exotic feel with a heavy bass and wild, manipulated guitar work. " O guarracine" is just fantastic, using orchestration, handclaps, and mandolin to set a folk mood, before lurching to a rapid-fire vocal and percussion bit. So many flavors! The final three tracks get particularly saucy with some intense vocals and lovely flute playing. This album is a bit like a night on the town in a strange, romantic city. A bit too much wine, the fragrance of a night breeze, the disorienting movement of unfamiliar streets and faces. Intoxicating music, as it should be.

Zaum is not a band for fans of textbook, melodic prog and thus won't please everyone. But if you love adventurous and mischievous bands who toil in the underground, making their music for the sheer love of it, you might check them out. I really enjoyed this album!

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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